Peter Bleed
Emeritus Professor Anthropology


Peter Bleed loves stuff. He collects several kinds of things - most notably Japanese swords - and is active in local historic preservation groups. He tries to encourage and respect citizen interest in historical material culture. Dr. Bleed's passion for interesting objects reaches his professional life where application of evolutionary approaches to the study of material systems is his primary research focus. These interests have led him to excavations in Japan and North America and to experimental studies of tool designs, the evaluation of prehistoric and ethnographic designs principles, and theoretical study archaeological tools assemblages. Recently he has explored the application of Darwinian thinking and the concepts of "niche construction theory" to explanations of agricultural origins. Over the past several years, he has also investigated battlefields in both western Nebraska and Cuba.

Selected Publications

2006 "Living in the Human Niche" Evolutionary Anthropology. 15:8-10.

2006 "Archaeology and Intelligent Design," Archaeological Record. 6:14-15.

2006 "Reflections from the Ebb Tide of the Fur Trade" Fur Trade Quarterly. 42(1):6-17.

2007 "Do Regions Make Theory? Comments on Mitchell's Discussion of the Legacy of the Missouri Basin Project" American Antiquity. 72(4):783-784.

2008 "Skill Matters." Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. 15(1):154-166

2008. "Microblades and Microevolution: Expanding Evolutionary Archeology with Very Small Stone Tools" Festscrift for C. Serizawa, Tohoku University, Sendai Japan.

2008 The Archeology of Plattford, 24LC45. Nebraska State Historical Society, Publications in Highway Archeology, (with Amy Koch and John Swiggart)

2009 "Comments on Ofer Bar-Yosef and Philip Van Peer 2009 The Chaine Operatoire Approach in Middle Paleolithic Archaeology." Current Anthropology Volume 50, Number 1:103-131


Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, 1973

Research Interests

Technology, material culture, lithics, historic archaeology, conflict and war, Japan, and North America