Department of Anthropology

Ruth Maher


Office: Science Hall East, rm. 5011
Office Hours: M/R, 10:30-2:00, email for appt

Department: Anthropology
Position: Anthropology Program Coordinator

Area Specialization
Archaeology of the North Atlantic, Viking Mortuary Practices, Landscape Archaeology, Human Ecodynamics, GIS, Mapping and 3D Models, Heritage Management and Sustainability, Social Constructs, and Community Engagement


Ph.D. The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York (Anthropology)

M.Phil. The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York (Anthropology)

M.A. City College, New York (Anthropology)

B.A. Hunter College, New York (Anthropology)


  • Origins and Diversity of Humanity
  • Digging the Past:  Intro to Archaeology (UCC-3B Ways of Know Historical and Non-Western)
  • Cultural Resource Management & Community Engagement (UCC-5 Community&Civic Engagement and UCC-Writing Intensive)

Current Projects

  • Gateway to the Atlantic Project. Since 2009, we have been conducting archaeological research and running an archaeological field school for undergraduate and graduate students on the multiperiod coastal site on the island of Rousay in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. The site contains a Neolithic chambered tomb, Iron age settlement, Pictish houses, and Norse hall; as well as the near-by Pictish and Viking cemetery where the famous "Westness Brooch" was found. More information on the site of Swandro can be found here.
  • Geodatabase for Orkney Islands. 
  • Community and Civic Engagement:  working with OK Archaeology -- Kids Archaeology in the Orkney Islands; creating Community website to connect Kids projects in the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization ( and Global Human Ecodynamics Alliance ( in the Orkney Islands, Easter Island, and Cook Islands. 

Books, Publications & Grants


Papers, Book Chapters, and Reports

  • Ruth Maher, Lindsey Kemp and Gerald McDonal (under contract).  “The Potential for Geo-Referenced Spatial Data on Coastal Erosion Sites,” The Journal of Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites (Special Issue on Burning Libraries).
  • Maher, R.A. and J.M. Bond.  (In Press) The Making Of Social Landscapes -- Identity and Monumentality in the North Atlantic Isles. In George, D. and B. Kurchin (eds) O’ Brave New World. University of Florida Press.
  • Maher, R.A. and Harrison, R. Humans:  A Force of Nature 2014.  In Harrison, R. and R.A. Maher (eds).  Human Ecodynamics in the North Atlantic: a Collaborative Model of Humans and Nature through Space and Time.  Lanham: Lexington Books.
  • Maher, R.A.  2014. Land of the Dead: Human Ecodynamics of Ritual and Belief in Viking Period Iceland.  In Harrison, R. and R.A. Maher (eds).  Human Ecodynamics in the North Atlantic: a Collaborative Model of Humans and Nature through Space and Time.  Lanham: Lexington Books.
  • McNeil, Cameron L., Edy Barrios, Walter Burgos, Roberto Rodríguez, Raquel Macario, Kristin Landau, Justin Bracken, Ruth Maher, Paul House, Marc Wolf, Iliam Rivera, Katya, Soler, Lucila Vilchez 2013. Informe Final de la 1era Temporada de Investigaciones en Rio Amarillo. Proyecto Arqueológico Rio Amarillo, Copán (PARAC). A report held at the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia (unpublished).
  • Maher, R., R. Friel and H. D. Michelsen 2009.  Report on Penmap Surveys and GIS Studies of Archaeological Sites in Sandur, Sandoy, Faroe Islands, 2006. Faroes:  The Heart of the Atlantic Project, A report for Føroya Fornminnissavn.
  • Maher, R., R. Friel and S. Arge 2008.  Preliminary Report of the 2005 Saltuvík Survey.  A report for Føroya Fornminnissavn.
  • Maher, R. Kuml, kyn og kyngervi 2008. In Árbók hins íslenzka fornleifafélags 2004-2005, edited by M. Snæsdóttir, pp. 151-167. Hið Íslenzka Fornleifafélag, Reykjavík.
  • Bond, J.M., R. Maher, L.D. Brown 2006.  Report on Penmap surveys and GIS studies of possible Viking/Norse house sites in Unst, Shetland, A report for Shetland Amenity Trust, January 2006.
  • Ragnar Edvardsson og Ruth A. Maher 2002.  Fornleifaskráning í Ísafjarðarbæ: hluti Eyrarhreppur hinn forni Svæðisskráning og aðalskráning jarðanna; Eyri, Seljaland, Tunga, Hafrafell, Engidalur, Fossar og Kirkjuból, Náttúrustofa Vestfjarða og Fornleifastofnun Íslands, NVNR8/02, Bolungarvík.  Report on File.
  • Maher, R.A. 2002.  Viking Settlement Patterns in Iceland:  an Archaeological Survey of pre-Christian Burials, Fornleifastofnun Íslands: Reykjavík.  Report on File.

Grants & Awards

  • 2014-2017.  National Science Foundation. Award Number: 1439389. Project Title: BCC Building Cyberinfrastructure for Transdisciplinary Research and Visualization of the Long-Term Human Ecodynamics of the North Atlantic. Contributor.
  • 2014.  Adjunct excellence Award, WPU School of Humanities & Social Sciences. Stipend.
  • 2004-2005.  Thors Thor Scandinavian Grant for Research Abroad.  $20,000.