Erin Whitson
Archaeologist
Brief info

Erin is a Historical Archaeologist, whose research to date has primarily focused on identity politics—especially between dominant colonizers and those categorized generally as “other.” She has worked on projects tied to French, British, Spanish, Dutch, and American colonization efforts in Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and the Caribbean, and has published on topics tied to French colonialism and francophone African enslavement in Missouri, and how our knowledge of the past is influenced by the landscape. Though much of the work Erin has concentrated on has been focused on the French colonial experience in the United States, Erin has also volunteered with the Civil War Heritage Foundation in conducting archaeological surveys of Missouri Civil War battle sites, which include the Battle of Marshall (2010), the Battle of Pilot Knob (2011) and the Battle of Moore’s Mill (2013). In 2012, Erin supervised the laboratory efforts associated with a project based in the Dutch Antilles. In 2013, Erin worked with a team to locate and return American World War II human remains, listed as Missing in Action (MIA) from Kiribati. Also in 2013, Erin excavated and managed the laboratory work for a project meant to better understand De Soto’s travels amongst the Cherokee in eastern Tennessee. In 2016, Erin aided in excavating an Alsatian immigrant household in Castroville, Texas and she became one of two individuals managing the laboratory work for the assemblages from this work. She was hired in 2017 by Trileaf Corporation to do archaeology on prospective cell phone tower locations to ensure that no major cultural resources would be impacted during the construction of towers across the Midwest. In the fall of 2017, the Missouri Humanities Council contracted Erin to oversee archaeological surveys of an early 19th century property tied to the Trail of Tears. She oversaw numerous surveys of the site, including Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), a drone-based Photogrammetry survey, and a metal detecting survey for the site. Since joining the Missouri Humanities Council full-time, Erin now oversees the archaeology for the Trail of Tears and German Heritage initiatives.

1 Comment

  • by Gerald Spitznagel
    Posted March 19, 2021 2:17 pm

    Hi Erin,
    Met you at scout meeting at Beaumont. Wanted to let you know that the lead drop tower I told you about is still there. I saw it from the highway going home from meeting. Its at the curve just before you get to Krause horse stables off of hwy 141. Enjoy!

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