Matthew Hill

Associate Professor of Anthropology


Dept:World Languages And Cultures
Office:2224 Pearson
505 Morrill Rd.
Ames IA

Area of expertise: hunter/gather mobility and faunal exploitation, late Pleistocene large mammal ecology, Paleoindians, vertebrate taphonomy in ancient and recent contexts, zooarchaeology

Topics of interest: archaeology, human diet, prehistory of North America, world prehistory


Matthew Hill works at the intersection of archaeology, vertebrate paleontology, and ecology to address questions about the people who lived on the eastern Great Plains and Upper Midwest at the end of the last Ice Age (ca. 12,000-9,000 years ago). Current research falls into several areas, including the cause of terminal extinction or regional extinction of Ice Age animals such as muskox, moose, caribou, ground sloth, and flat-headed peccary. Other active research concerns the diet and subsistence activities of late prehistoric villagers in central Iowa, Late Paleoindian ritual practices in the western Great Lakes, colonization and settlement of the Upper Midwest, and the formation of ancient bone assemblages in fluvial contexts.

There are many potential, small learning opportunities nested in Dr. Hill’s research program that would be good Master’s thesis projects. Students interested in earning a graduate degree in Anthropology under his supervision are encouraged to contact him.

Recent / Major Publications

  • Wilson, Kurt M., and Matthew G. Hill. (2020). Synthesis and Assessment of the Flat-Headed Peccary Record in North America. Quaternary Science Reviews 248(106601):1-11.

  • Theler, James L., and Matthew G. Hill. (2019). Late Holocene Shellfish Exploitation in the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Quaternary International 530-531:146-156.

  • Loebel, Thomas J., John M. Lambert, and Matthew G. Hill. (2016). Synthesis and Assessment of the Folsom Record in Illinois and Wisconsin. PaleoAmerica 2(2):135-149.

  • Hill, Matthew G., Thomas J. Loebel, and David W. May. (2014). The Carlisle Clovis Cache from Central Iowa. In Clovis Caches: Recent Discoveries and New Research, edited by Bruce B. Huckell and J. David Kilby, pp. 79-106. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

  • Hill, Matthew G. (editor) (2014). Archaeology, Zooarchaeology, and Malacology: A Festschrift for James L. Theler. The Wisconsin Archeologist 95(2).

  • Hill, Matthew G., David J. Rapson, Thomas J. Loebel, and David W. May. (2011). Site Structure and Activity Organization at a Late Paleoindian Base Camp in Western Nebraska. American Antiquity 76(4):752-772.

  • Sellet, Frédéric, James Donohue, and Matthew G. Hill. (2009). The Jim Pitts Site: A Stratified Paleoindian Site in the Black Hills of South Dakota. American Antiquity 74(4):735-758.

  • Hill, Matthew E., Jr., Matthew G. Hill, and Christopher C. Widga. (2008). Late Quaternary Bison Diminution on the Great Plains of North America: Evaluating the Role of Human Hunting Versus Climate Change. Quaternary Science Reviews 27(17-18):1752-1771.