Department Chair:
Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway, Associate Professor/Chair

Administrative Assistant:
Jackie Fortino

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8970
Fax: (440) 775-8644

King Building 305
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074-1019

Amy Margaris

Amy Margaris

Associate Professor of Anthropology (2006)

Antler Craft: A Barbed Harpoon Point (2008)

This 11-minute film demonstrates, step by step, the replication of a style of harpoon point once used for sea mammal hunting by Alutiiq Natives of Alaska’s Kodiak archipelago. The film was produced by Amy Margaris, Jessica Cummings (OC ’10), Patrick Willems (OC ’10) and Evan Shallcross (OC ‘08).

Contact Information


King 302
(440) 775-5173

Personal Office Hours:
TF 3:30-4:30 or by appointment

Personal Web Site:

Amy Margaris

Amy Margaris

Amy Margaris, Asst Professor of Anthropology, OC '96

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Arts, Oberlin College, 1996
  • Master of Arts, University of Arizona, 2000
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University Arizona, 2006

I am an anthropological archaeologist interested in hunter-gatherer ecology, and especially the technological adaptations of foragers living in marine and cold climates. My most recent research with archaeological collections has taken me to beautiful Kodiak, Alaska, home of Native Alutiiq peoples whose recent ancestors practiced a rich coastal economy.  My work on skeletal technologies blends collections analysis with ethnohistory and materials science to better understand the links between technological choices (and change) and raw material properties.

I am also interested in museums and the history of ethnological collecting.  Oberlin College houses a unique 19th century ethnological collection that contains roughly 1600 objects acquired by missionaries and naturalists from a variety of regions, including southern Africa, Micronesia, Thailand, and the North American Arctic. The following website/database provides background on the collection, images of its contents, and research resources:

I have published on these and related topics in such journals 
as Museum AnthropologyEthnoarchaeology, and the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory.

At Oberlin I teach courses on hunter-gatherers, colonialism, introductory archaeology, and human evolution.