David Anthony

Areas of Interest:

I specialize in the archaeology of both North American prehistoric Native Americans in the northeastern woodlands; and the prehistoric cultures of the Eurasian steppes and eastern Europe. I am curator of the Anthropology Collections in Hartwick's Yager Museum of Art & Culture. I have served as the director of the Institute for Ancient Equestrian Studies (IAES) since 1994.

At Hartwick I teach the prehistoric archaeology of North America, Europe, and the Eurasian steppes. As curator of Anthropology in the Yager Museum I try to research and mount one exhibit every other year, usually on an American Indian theme. My most recent two exhibits (2007-08) were on wilderness tourism in the northern forests in 1911, and an examination of the changing spiritual beliefs invested in a variety of Native American artifacts. In 2008-09 I was the guest curator for an exhibit at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, The Lost World of Old Europe, which for the first time brought artifacts from Europe’s oldest Copper Age civilization to the United States. The exhibit was profiled in the New York Times on December 1, 2009.

My wife and research partner, Dorcas Brown, holds an M.A. in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies. She co-authors our site reports and laboratory studies, co-directs our field excavations and teaches adjunct courses (Field Methods in Archaeology, various courses in Museum Studies). We have co-authored many journal articles and collaborated on many field excavations.

We led archaeological projects in the steppes of Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan beginning in 1989. Two or three Hartwick students excavated with us each year during the Samara Valley Project, 1999-2002, funded by the National Science Foundation; and a few Hartwick students helped with the early fieldwork funded by the National Geographic Society beginning in 1995. An earlier project, studying the origins of horseback riding by examining bit wear on the teeth of ancient horses in museums from Kazakhstan to Hungary, was funded by the NSF 1992-94. Our discovery of the earliest evidence for bits and therefore for horseback riding was covered on NPR and CNN and was published in Scientific American in 1990-91. A portion of The Riddle of the Desert Mummies, an hour-long television feature shown on the Discovery Channel, was filmed in the Anthropology Lab at Hartwick. My recent book, The Horse, the Wheel, and Language, was published by Princeton University Press. See more under the link for the Institute for Ancient Equestrian Studies.

We directed an archaeology field school at the Pine Lake Environmental Campus near Oneonta in 1989 and 1991. Another professor, C. Klink, re-started the Pine Lake excavations in collaboration with Dr. R. Walker at the State University/Oneonta in June 2003; this excavation is ongoing every other summer. Pine Lake has revealed a series of hunter-gatherer Native American sites dated 3000 BCE-1100 CE. One former student at the Pine Lake field school, Sean Rafferty, is now a professor in archaeology at SUNY Albany, and another, Christina Reith, is now state archaeologist for NY at the State Museum in Albany.


Ph.D. in Anthropology/Archaeology, University of Pennsylvania, 1985

M.A. in Anthropology/Archaeology, University of Pennsylvania, 1974

B.A. in History, Princeton University, 1971


1987-present: Professor, Anthropology Department/ Anthropology Curator, The Yager Museum of Art & Culture, Hartwick College

2008-09: Guest Curator, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU

2006: Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies, School of Historic Studies, Princeton University

1999-2002: Advisory Editor for Russian Archaeology, Antiquity

1999-Present: Archaeology Co-Editor, Journal of Indo-European Studies

1994-present: Director, Institute for Ancient Equestrian Studies

Selected Publications:


2009. The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000-3500 BC. New York and Princeton: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and Princeton University Press.

2007. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language. How Bronze Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Princeton University Press.

Selected Articles and Chapters

2009. “The Sintashta genesis: the roles of climate change, warfare, and long-distance trade.” In Social Complexity in Prehistoric Eurasia: Monuments, Metals and Mobility, edited by Bryan K. Hanks and Katheryn M. Linduff, pp. 47-73. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2009. “The rise and fall of Old Europe.” In The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000-3500 BC, edited by Anthony, David W. with Jennifer Chi (maps by Dorcas Brown), pp. 28-57. Institute for the Study of the Ancient World: Princeton University Press.

2008. Co-authored with Dorcas Brown. “Herding and gathering during the Late Bronze Age at Krasnosamarskoe, Russia, and the end of the dependency model of steppe pastoralism.” In Social Orders and Social Landscapes, edited by Popova, Laura M., C.W. Hartley, and Adam T. Smith, pp.393-415. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

2006. Co-authored with Dorcas Brown and Christian George. "Early horseback riding and warfare: the importance of the magpie around the neck." In Horses and Humans: The Evolution of the Equine-Human Relationship, edited by Olsen, Sandra, Susan Grant, Alice Choyke, and Laszlo Bartosiewicz, pp. 137-156. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports International Series 1560.

2005. Co-authored with Dorcas Brown, Emmett Brown, Audrey Goodman, Aleksandr Kokhlov, Pavel Kuznetsov, Pavel Kosintsev, Oleg Mochalov, Eileen Murphy, Anne Pike-Tay, Laura Popova, Arlene Rosen, Nerissa Russell, and Alison Weisskopf. "The Samara Valley Project: Late Bronze Age economy and ritual in the Russian steppes." Eurasia Antiqua (Berlin) 11:395-417.

2000. Co-authored with Dorcas Brown. "Eneolithic horse exploitation in the Eurasian steppes: diet, ritual and riding." Antiquity 74: 75-86.

1997. "Prehistoric Migration as Social Process." In Migrations and Invasions in Archaeological Explanation, edited by John Chapman and Helena Hamerow. BAR International Series 664: 21-32.

1995. "Horse, Wagon, and Chariot: Indo-European Languages and Archaeology." Antiquity 69(264): 554-565.

1991. Co-authored with Dimitri Telegin and Dorcas Brown. "The Origin of Horseback Riding." Scientific American 265(6): 94-100

1990. "Migration in Archaeology: the Baby and the Bathwater." American Anthropologist 92(4): 23-42.

1986. "The 'Kurgan Culture,' Indo-European Origins, and the Domestication of the Horse: A Reconsideration." Current Anthropology 27(4): 291-313.

Contact Information
Dr. Anthony can be reached via e-mail: