Professional Biography of Mark Groover
Originally from East Tennessee, I attended Roane State Community College in Oak Ridge between 1983 and1986 and received an Associate of Science degree in Social Science in 1986. While a student at Roane State, I participated in excavations at Fort Southwest Point in Kingston, Tennessee during the 1984 and 1986 field seasons. Located on a high bluff overlooking the confluence of the Clinch and Tennessee rivers, Fort Southwest Point was a federal military post occupied from 1797 to 1811. Sam Smith, staff historical archaeologist with the Division of Archaeology, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, directed the excavation projects. The field experience at Fort Southwest Point was instrumental in developing my interest in historical archaeology.
I subsequently attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville between 1986 and 1988. At the University of Tennessee I took several historical archaeology courses and participated in excavation projects directed by Charles Faulkner at the Nicholas Gibbs house, the Carmichael Inn, and the Perez Dickinson house. In 1988, I received a B.A. in anthropology and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. After graduating, I worked in cultural resource management (CRM) as a field tech for a year with private firms, state agencies, and the National Park Service.
I resumed my education as a graduate student at the University of South Carolina in 1989. I was awarded the M.A. degree in anthropology in 1991. During graduate study at the University of South Carolina I was a student assistant for a year with Stan South. While at USC I also became interested in the archaeology of plantations and African-American contexts through the influence of Leland Ferguson. For my M.A. thesis research, I conducted excavations at the Thomas Howell site, the residence of a colonial frontier planter and cattle raiser located in Richland County immediately south of Columbia.
Between 1991 and 1994 I returned to CRM and worked for the National Forest Service in Asheville, the Midwestern Archaeological Research Center (MARC) at Illinois State University in Normal, and the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA), University of South Carolina. At the Midwestern Archaeological Research Center, I became interested in historical materialism, world systems theory, and farmstead archaeology through the influence of Charles Orser. This experience subsequently shaped the theoretical premises explored in my dissertation.
In 1994, I returned to the University of Tennessee and resumed my graduate education under the guidance of Charles Faulkner. The topic of my dissertation was the Nicholas Gibbs farmstead located near Knoxville. The Gibbs site had been the subject of long-term field school excavations conducted by Charles Faulkner. I received the doctoral degree in December 1998 and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi national honor society. I subsequently worked for the University of South Carolina at the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program (SRARP) near Aiken, South Carolina between 1998 and 2003. I also taught anthropology courses part-time for the Department of History and Anthropology at Augusta State University between 1998 and 2003. I came to Ball State University in 2003 and have been a professor of anthropology since 2015.
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