Ted Goebel’s research focuses on the Ice Age origins of the first Americans, specifically the peopling of the Americas, stone artifact analysis and Paleoindian archaeology in Alaska & Siberia.
Through his career, he has worked on Paleolithic and Paleoindian sites in remote areas of Russia (interior Siberia, Kamchatka and Chukotka), Alaska, and the intermountain west of North America (Nevada, California, Oregon, Utah, and Idaho).
He currently directs field-based archaeological projects in Alaska and the Great Basin. In Alaska, his team’s research focuses on explaining variability in human technologies of Pleistocene Beringians. Since 2009, the team has excavated a buried fluted-point site called Serpentine Hot Springs, which dates to about 12,000 years ago and is located in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.
In addition, the team is surveying for early sites in the uppermost Tanana River valley and middle Yukon basin of Alaska, and analyzing old collections from the Nenana valley region. The Great Basin program for the past decade has centered on Bonnville Estates Rockshelter, eastern Nevada, where they have unearthed evidence of human cultures spanning the last 13,000 years.
Although fieldwork at Bonneville Estates is now complete, they are still engaged in analyses of a variety of paleoecological and archaeological materials from it, for example 12,000-year-old grasshoppers, 8,000-year-old human coprolites, and hundreds of projectile points representing all periods of Great Basin prehistory. The team has also initiated new field research in southern Idaho, investigating the chronology of early fluted- and stemmed-point technologies.
Goebel is a professor of anthropology, holder of the Endowed Professorship in First Americans Studies, and associate director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans in the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M.
He earned a BA in anthropology from Washington and Lee University, and an MA and PhD in anthropology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.