Stephen A. Dueppen, PhD
ACLS New Faculty Fellow
BA (1999): University of California, San Diego
I am an anthropological archaeologist with a general interest in the development of social and political complexity. My research in West Africa aims to add this understudied region to worldwide discussions on complexity, in particular by directly addressing the origins of societies with non-centralized political systems through the study of long-term trajectories. Currently, my primary focus is on the case study of Kirikongo, an Iron Age village community in Burkina Faso, where I am employing diverse analytic methods to improve our understandings of the origins and development of inequality, social ranking, decentralization, checks and balances in political systems, and the use of divine sources of power to create and legitimize all of these. In addition to my work in Burkina Faso, I have also done fieldwork in Senegal, Kenya, and New Mexico, and laboratory work at IFAN-Dakar, the NMNH (Smithsonian), and the Field Museum of Chicago.
TEACHING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
Anth 150: World Archaeology (Spring 2011, 2012)
CURRENT FIELD RESEARCH
Kirikongo Archaeological Project, Mouhoun Province, Burkina Faso
The archaeological site of Kirikongo, an extremely well preserved Iron Age village (occupied ca. 100-1700 CE), is contributing a significant new case study of a developmental trajectory leading to a modern egalitarian society. I started the project with an intensive excavation and mapping program at the site itself (2004 and 2005/2006 field seasons). Most recently, the field program has expanded to include survey of the surrounding area and excavations at three contemporary sites (2011 field season). Future fieldwork will continue the survey and excavations, and revisit Kirikongo as the site is threatened by the maintenance and planned improvement of Burkina Road #10.
Summary of Major Results:
My research at Kirikongo has revealed a dynamic socio-political sequence, with the development of institutionalized inequalities over the course of the 1st millennium CE, followed by an egalitarian revolution in the early 2nd millennium CE. The consequent social formation, despite being structurally egalitarian was actually more complex than the vertically oriented system that preceded it, and calls into question common assumptions of directionality in socio-political evolution.
Dueppen, Stephen volume in prep
Dueppen, Stephen in press
Dueppen, Stephen in press
Dueppen, Stephen 2011
Dueppen, Stephen 2004
Dueppen, Stephen (Chair Kent Flannery)
ACTIVE RESEARCH PROJECTS
Maadaga Archaeological Survey, Tapoa Province, Burkina Faso
Project Zooarchaeologist, 2006-present
Located adjacent to the Gobnangou Escarpment in southeastern Burkina Faso, this research project explores changes and continuities in landscape use over the past 2000 years. In addition to participating in two seasons of fieldwork (2004, 2006), I collaborate as the project zooarchaeologist and have worked with fauna from three excavated Iron Age sites. Identification and analyses were recently completed and preliminary results on the use of aquatic resources were presented at the 2011 SAA meetings. Publications for this project are in preparation.
Diouboye (Central Faleme Project), Senegal
Project Zooarchaeologist, 2010-present
This research project is based at the early 2nd millennium CE village Diouboye, located along the Faleme River in eastern Senegal. Excavations at the site have yielded an exceptionally large faunal assemblage, the analysis of which will be a multi-year project leading to a significant contribution to our understanding of Iron Age subsistence in this region. In 2011, identifications from a preliminary subsample of the collection were checked using comparative collections at the NMNH (Smithsonian Institution).
Dragon Jar Project, Guthe Collection, Philippines (Housed at University of Michigan)
Ceramic Analyst, 2003-present
Focusing on vessels collected during an early 20th century University of Michigan expedition to the Philippines, this project is a good example the research potential of museum collections. My involvement with the greater Guthe Collection project (coordinated by Carla Sinopoli) began with the technological and stylistic analysis of the stoneware Dragon Jars, a class of storage vessel employed for transporting goods and valued in its own right as a trade item within east and southeast Asian and Indian Ocean networks of the 2nd millennium CE.
Dueppen, Stephen in press
Sinopoli, Carla M., Stephen Dueppen, Robert Brubaker, Christophe Descantes, Michael 2006
Other Research Interests
I was introduced to West African archaeology through my involvement in the analysis of the beautiful rockshelter paintings of the Tassili-N-Ajjer. These elaborate panels depicting pastoral life provide a window into mid-Holocene societies of the central Sahara Desert. I maintain an active research interest in pastoral ideology, which I have also explored through textual analysis of historically recorded Fula songs and poems.
Holl, Augustin and Stephen Dueppen 1999