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Dr. Ashley Dumas

Ashley A. Dumas

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director, Fort Tombecbe Archaeological Site

UWA has a minor in Anthropology. Although my primary focus is archaeology, I am always happy to help tailor independent research and internships to complement a student's major and interests.   

I am an archaeologist specializing in the late prehistory and history of the Southeastern U.S.  My dissertation at the University of Alabama presented the results of my excavations at a salt spring in southwest Alabama where Late Woodland to Mississippian (A.D. 900-1500) peoples evaporated brine to produce salt. I hypothesize that local Late Woodland groups made salt largely for themselves but were eventually pushed out by expanding Mississippian populations who utilized more efficient technologies to make salt for themselves and for trade. Dr. Paul Eubanks, Middle Tennessee State University, and I are currently co-editing a book on the production of salt in Eastern North American and the Caribbean, to be published by the University of Alabama Press. As the Director of the Fort Tombecbe Archaeological site, owned by UWA and The Archaeological Conservancy, I oversee biannual excavations, regular field trips, and an annual Community Day for the public. More information on the site can be found at www.forttombecbe.org, a website funded by a grant from the Alabama Historical Commission. Another project is the Black Belt Slave Housing Survey, a long-term attempt to document extant slave dwellings in the Black Belt region of Alabama. Interested students learn how to make to-scale drawings, notes, and photographs of these structures. As the inventory grows, we will make it available online. 

In 2017, I was honored to be selected as the Lorraine McIlwain Bell Trustee Professor for service, teaching, and creative work.

Courses Taught:

AN 100 Introduction to Anthropology

AN 101 Introduction to Biological Anthropology

AN 110 Introduction to Archaeology

AN 120 Great Discoveries in Archaeology

AN 200 Cultural Anthropology

AN/HY 310  Indians of North America

AN 400 Archaeological Laboratory Methods

AN 401/402 Field Work in Archaeology

AN 407 Directed Studies in Anthropology

AN 408 Cultural Resources Management

AN 409 Internship in Anthropology

AN/HY 427 Indians of the Southeast

AN 485 Fundamentals of Historical Archaeology

AN 498 Special Topics in Anthropology


  • Ph.D. Anthropology University of Alabama 2007
  • M.A. Anthropology University of Alabama 2001
  • B.A. Anthropology and French University of South Alabama 1996
  • Recent Publications

  • Dumas, Ashley A. An Ethnoarchaeological Interpretation of the Salt Life, A.D. 1200. In Archaeology of the Everyday, edited by S. E. Price and P. Carr, pp. 67-79. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. 2018
  • Dumas, Ashley A., N. Mooney, V. Moore, and C. Sly Cabins as Far as the Eyes Can See: An Introduction to the Black Belt Slave Housing Survey. Alabama Review 70(1):22-49. 2017
  • Peacock, Evan, S. McGregor, and A. A. Dumas Behavioral, Environmental, and Applied Aspects of Molluscan Assemblages on the Lower Tombigbee River, Alabama. In Trends and Traditions in Southeastern Zooarchaeology, edited by T. M. Peres, pp. 186-203. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. 2014