James Margotta

Ph.D. Student, Department of Anthropology

Research Interests:
James’ investigations focus on archaeological and cultural heritage studies of the American Southwest. He explores the dynamics among several groups in the late Precontact period, such as the Animas phase and eastern Salado phenomenon between 1250 to 1450 A.D. On campus, James is working as a graduate curator in SMU’s archaeological research collections. He also plans to conduct a dual archaeological/ethnographic project in the Upper Gila region of the Southwest, examining not only the past, but also how the present shapes and is shaped by cultural heritage. 

Road to the Moody School:
James is from the Boston area of Massachusetts, where he graduated with honors with a B.A. in anthropology in 2021 from Wheaton College. Through several avenues, he gained research experience in the American Southwest, participating in several research projects and even conducting his own work on the cultural and archaeological heritage of the region in the form of a senior honors thesis on the United States Forest Service.