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Matthew F. Napolitano

Ph.D. Candidate in Archaeology, University of Oregon

Matt’s research interests include island and coastal archaeology with a focus on colonization events on previously uninhabited islands, adaptation to island environments, and developing high-precision chronologies for early settlement patterns. He is also interested in pottery production, exchange, and how manufacturing skills/techniques are taught at the community or family level. His dissertation will look at the early settlement of Yap, a group of four small islands in western Micronesia (northwest tropical Pacific). In addition to Yap, he has also led projects on the Rock Islands of Palau and conducted extensive fieldwork on St. Catherines Island, Georgia (USA) while Field Director and Laboratory Manager of Nels Nelson North American Archaeology Laboratory at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. His Master’s degree research determined that a small marsh island between St. Catherines Island and the mainland coast was utilized consistently during 4500 years of human activity in the region and that small islands were important in forager subsistence and settlement strategies.


  • –present
    Ph.D. candidate, University of Oregon


  • 2012 
    University of West Florida, Master's of Arts