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Brandi Bethke

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Brandi Bethke

Lab Director

Ph.D. University of Arizona, 2016

M.A. University of Exeter, 2011

B.A. Augustana University, 2010

Brandi Bethke CV


Research Interests

As the Laboratory Director for the Oklahoma Archeological Survey I oversee the processing of collections for analysis and curation, student internship opportunities, and public outreach initiatives.

My current research focuses on understanding interactions between humans, animals, and the landscape in the North American Plains from the late precontact period to the present day through the integration of zooarchaeology, oral history, geospatial analysis, computer modeling, and theory and methods from Indigenous and Collaborative archaeologies. I'm especially interested in the responses of Native American communities to various forms of colonialism and the long-term consequences of these processes. My most recent work has involved collaborative projects centered on bison hunting and processing activities, the impact of the horse on the Native peoples in the US and Canada, and the survivance of cultural practices during the Reservation, Resettlement, and Allotment Periods. I have conducted field, laboratory, and ethnographic research on projects in Oklahoma, Montana, Alberta, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Portugal, Italy, and the UK. 

Plains archaeology; Contact period; zooarchaeology; cultural landscapes; geographic information systems (GIS); GNSS and sUAS (drone) survey and mapping; remote sensing; Indigenous archaeology; applied anthropology; collaborative research; laboratory methods; 3D modeling and photogrammetry

Selected Publications

Taylor, William Timothy Treal et al. 2023. Early dispersal of domestic horses into the Great Plains and Northern Rockies. Science, 379: 1316-1323.

Brandi Bethke. 2022. Zooarchaeological Investigations at the Boarding School Site (24GL0302), Glacier County, MT. Plains Anthropologist, 67:119-148.  

Sarah Trabert and Brandi Bethke. 2021. Reconceptualizing the Wichita Middle Ground in the Southern Plains. In The Routledge Handbook of the Archaeology of Indigenous-Colonial Interactions in the Americas, edited by Lee M. Panich and Sarah L. Gonzalez, pp. 261-275. Taylor and Francis, Milton Park, UK.

Brandi Bethke and Amanda Burtt (eds.) 2020. Dogs: Archaeology Beyond Domestication. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Brandi Bethke. 2020. Revisiting the Horse in Blackfoot Culture: Understanding the Development of Nomadic Pastoralism on the North American Plains. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 24: 44-61. 

William A. White and Brandi Bethke. 2019. Landscapes of Resilience at the Cut Bank Boarding School, Montana. In The Sound of Silence: Indigenous Perspectives on Historical Archaeology of Colonialism, edited by Tiina Äikäs and Anna-Kaisa Salmi. Berghahn Books, Oxford. 

Brandi Bethke. 2017. The Archaeology of Pastoralist Landscapes in the Northwestern Plains. American Antiquity 82(4):798-816.

Brandi Bethke, M. N. Zedeño, Geoffery Jones, and Matthew Pailes. 2016. Complementary Approaches to the Identification of Bison Processing for Storage at the Kutoyis Complex, MontanaJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports 17: 879-894.

Brandi Bethke. 2016. A Networked Landscape: Meaningful Places along the NIOB and MNRR. Practicing Anthropology 38: 11-14.