Wesleyan portrait of Douglas K. Charles

Douglas K. Charles

Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus

Winchester House,


BA University of Chicago
MA Northwestern University
PHD Northwestern University

Douglas K. Charles

Douglas Charles is an archaeologist and biological anthropologist who researches pre-Columbian societies in eastern North America and teaches archaeology, paleoanthropology and human osteology. Selected publications. 

My primary research interest is in understanding the complexity of the political economies of foraging/gardening societies, with a focus on pre-Columbian Eastern North American, particularly the Mississippi River drainage of the Eastern Woodlands. I attended an archaeology field school in Illinois during the summer after my sophomore year, and I never really left. A set of secondary interests--human evolution and skeletal biology--stems from my concentration on biological anthropology in graduate school. My first academic appointment was as lecturer in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy in the Medical School at Northwestern University teaching human gross anatomy to first year medical students. Following that, and before coming to Wesleyan, I was a Leverhulme Visiting Fellow in the Department of Archaeology and Prehistory at the University of Sheffield in England where I taught courses on mortuary archaeology and paleopathology.

Academic Affiliations