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A picturesque view of the Cal U campus.A picturesque view of the Cal U campus.

Dr. John P. Nass Jr.


  • A.A.: Sociology, Delta Community College
  • B.A.: Anthropology, Michigan State University
  • M.A.: Anthropology, Western Michigan University; thesis: “A Description and Quantitative Analysis of Artifacts Recovered from Fort Meigs (1813-1815), Wood County, Ohio”
  • Ph.D.: Anthropology, Ohio State University; dissertation: “Use-Wear Analysis and Household Archaeology. A Study of the Active Structure of the Incinerator Site, An Anderson Phase Fort Ancient Community in Southwestern Ohio”


Dr. Nass has been at Cal U for 20 years. His major focus is eastern North American prehistory, but he has training and experience in the excavation of 18th- and 19th-century Euro-American military and domestic sites.


  • Introduction to Anthropology
  • Archaeology Field School
  • World Ethnology
  • Archaeology
  • Research Laboratory in Archaeology
  • Prehistoric American Indians
  • History Sites Archaeology
  • Anthropological Thought


Center for Prehistoric and Historic Sites Archaeology

Research Interests

  • Microwear Analysis: This analytical approach uses high power (greater than 100x) to visually examine the edges of stone tools in order to infer how they were used by prehistoric native Americans.
  • Prehistoric household organization: A household is usually thought of as everyone who lives within the same house or dwelling; however, this definition does not hold true for all peoples across the world. The task is to determine how prehistory native American families organized themselves both politically and economically in regard to labor and food acquisition by using modern living populations and the remains of the built environments (such as houses) over the past 10,000 years.
  • Historic site archaeology: Dr. Nass' interest in history or historical sites focuses on early colonial settlement dating to the 17th century and on military sites, especially military forts and fortified communities.

Student Research Projects

Over the past 10 years, students have assisted in the survey and testing of areas for development by both the U.S. government and non-profit organizations.

One such project was the examination of the land within the Fort Necessity National Battlefield Park in Fayette County, Pa., for the National Park Service. Several acres were surveyed for the Park Service in advance of building a new welcome and interpretive center. Students obtained field experience and were also paid for their time and labor.

A second project consisted of testing the inside of the Fort Pitt Blockhouse, the only remaining fortification from the British fort built at the Point in Pittsburgh, Pa. The blockhouse was slated for a major renovation, and excavation within the blockhouse to learn about its 18th-century history was required prior to beginning the renovation. Students obtained field experience and were paid for their time and labor.

Academic Department(s)

  • Department of Modern Languages, Philosophy and Socio-Cultural Studies

Academic Program(s)

  • B.A. Anthropology

Contact Information



Azorsky Hall 117


"The best part of my job is sharing with students not only my love for archaeology and anthropology, but also the relevance of both in today's world by showing how both are useful for understanding and helping solve current social issues and problems."

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