Dr. George Hambrecht is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Maryland College Park. His specialization is zooarchaeology, with a focus on historical archaeology. He is also currently involved in a number of medieval era projects as well. He has excavated in Iceland, Northern Norway, the Caribbean, and in New York City. Dr. Hambrecht’s main area of research is Iceland and the sub-arctic, as well as arctic North Atlantic area. His second developing area of research is in Scotland, specifically the islands of the Outer Hebrides. Dr. Hambrecht’s main theoretical concerns center on interactions between the political, environmental, and biological dimensions of the transformative processes of the early modern period (global culture contact, voluntary and forced migration, pandemic disease, translocation of species, mechanisms of subordination and dominance, commoditization, market vs. subsistence production) and in the comparative  historical ecology of different colonial situations.

He is the PI on the NSF Navigating the New Arctic funded project: The Central North Atlantic Marine Historical Ecology Project, #2022656 (2021-2023). Our project will use bones from cod as well as other coastal species that have been excavated from archaeological sites in Iceland and the Faroes over the last 30 years. These sites were lived in from the 9th to the 19th centuries. These bones will be the subject of a variety of biochemical analyses that allow us to track population size, body length, and feeding changes over the last millennia. These analyses will be combined with archaeological and historical methods to build a new and deeper record of the relationship between cod, humans, and the environment in Iceland that will serve as an important tool in managing this relationship in the present and future.

Dr. Hambrecht is also the PI on a National Geographic Explorers Grant that will fund exploratory survey work on the islands of North Uist and Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. We will be looking for sites with good organic preservation dating from the Norse Period through the Early Modern Period.

Areas of Interest

  • Zooarchaeology, with a focus on historical archaeology, medieval era,dynamics between humans and natural systems
CV: CV.docx36.04 KB

Doctoral Training in Anthropology: Emphasis in North Atlantic Marine Historical Ecology 

The University of Maryland, College Park, Anthropology Department is pleased to announce that it has  a funded (National Science Foundation) doctoral student position available beginning in Fall 2021. This  is a four-year funded position in which the student would participate in the Central North Atlantic Marine  Historical Ecology Project (CAMHEP). The CAMHEP project will use bones from cod as well as other  coastal species that have been excavated from archaeological sites dating from the 9th through the 19th centuries in Iceland and the Faroes. These bones will be the subject of a variety of biochemical analyses (such as stable isotope analysis (SI)) and we hope to track population size, body length, and feeding  changes over the last millennia. These analyses will be combined with archaeological and historical  methods to build a deeper record of the relationship between cod, humans, and the environment in  Iceland.  

This position will be supervised by Dr. George Hambrecht and, in addition to the regular doctoral  training in anthropology offered by our department, the admitted student will receive training in  zooarchaeological methods. The student will be expected to actively participate in the project from the  zooarchaeological side, though there will also be opportunities to work on the SI side of the research in  Alaska and possibly Iceland. It is anticipated that the student would be able to create a Ph.D. dissertation  out of the research produced by this project. This is, however, not a requirement, and students who have  complementary research interests (for example, zooarchaeology, SI, Historical Ecology, environmental  justice and inequality, fisheries science and history or marine biology) in other regions and or methods  will be considered. Any experience in marine zooarchaeology would be attractive though not absolutely  necessary. Some background in biology and/or marine biology would also be beneficial.  

The candidate should apply to the Ph.D. program through the normal application process. Please note  that as of Fall 2020, we no longer require applicants to submit GRE scores. The application for Fall 2021  admission is January 5, 2021. 

The University of Maryland Anthropology Department as well as the CAMHEP project has a  commitment to encouraging and facilitating the education of students from underrepresented groups who  can add robust and important perspectives to the discipline. We are interested in students who want to  make a difference and want to mobilize research towards engaging with current social issues. Therefore,  women and underrepresented ethnic minorities are especially encouraged to apply to our doctoral  program and for this position.  

Please contact Dr. Hambrecht (ghambrec [at] umd [dot] edu) for more information about the position, or our  Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Christina Getrich (cgetrich [at] umd [dot] edu) or Assistant Director of  Graduate Studies, Nadine Dangerfield (nadine [at] umd [dot] edu) for general information about the Ph.D.  program.

Current Students

Former Students

  • Sarah Noe
  • Sarah Grady
  • Sara Downard

Related Students (Listed by Student on Student's Profile)

  • Kevin Gibbons
  • Valerie M. J. Hall
George Hambrecht
0132 Woods Hall
Department of Anthropology
Email
ghambrec [at] umd.edu