Colin Quinn


Colin Quinn.

Colin Quinn


Colin Quinn


Research Topics

Political economy, landscape archaeology, mortuary theory, evolutionary theory, signaling theory, increasing social complexity, origins of inequality, cremation, metal procurement, public archaeology, sustainable mining, community engaged-research, archaeological survey, geophysics, radiocarbon analyses, GIS, Europe, North America, Near East.


I am an anthropological archaeologist interested in how and why things change. I combine archaeological science with anthropological theory to better understand how people create and experience transformations in social, economic, political, and ideological institutions in the past. I have active research projects on the development of inequality and hierarchy in Eastern Europe and human responses to climate change in Eastern North America.


  • PhD, University of Michigan
  • MA, Washington State University
  • BA, University of Notre Dame

Courses Offered

Undergraduate Courses

  • APY 199 | UB Seminar: Collapse, Resilience, & Transformation
  • APY 330 | Prehistory of Europe
  • APY 434 | Topic - Stuff: Materiality and Inequality

Graduate Courses

  • APY 730 | Advanced Problems in Areal Archaeology: Prehistory of Europe

Selected Publications

Edited Books and Journals

2020  Beck, J., and C.P. Quinn. Living and Dying in Mountain Landscapes. Special Issue of Bioarchaeology International, Volume 4, Number 2.

2014  Kuijt, I., C.P. Quinn, and G. Cooney. Transformation by Fire: The Archaeology of Cremation in Cultural Context. Amerind Series at the University of Arizona Press: Tucson.

Journal Articles

2023  Beck, J., and C.P. Quinn. Balancing the Scales: Archaeological Approaches to Social Inequality. World Archaeology: DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2023.2169341 .

2022  Quinn, C.P., E. Walker, and A. Wright. Late Woodland Settlement Ecology of the Appalachian Summit. Southeastern Archaeology 41(1): 32-52.

2021  Ciută, M-M., C.P. Quinn, and R.V. Totoianu. Radiocarbon data of Funerary Discoveries from Middle Bronze Age in the Mureș Valley: The Wietenberg Cemetery from Limba-Oarda de Jos (Alba County, Romania). Journal of Ancient History and Archaeology 8(2):75-83.

2020  Beck, J., H. Ciugudean, and C.P. Quinn. Bioarchaeology and Mountain Landscapes in Transylvania’s Golden Quadrangle. Bioarchaeology International 4(2): 89-110.

2020  Quinn, C.P., H. Ciugudean, and J. Beck. The Politics of Placing the Dead in Bronze Age Transylvania. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 34A: 102574.

2020  Quinn, C.P., H. Ciugudean, G. Bălan, G. Hodgins. Rethinking Time, Culture, and Socioeconomic Organisation in Bronze Age Transylvania. Antiquity 94(373):44-61.

2020  Quinn, C.P. and D. Fivenson. Transforming Legacy Spatial Data into Testable Hypotheses about Socioeconomic Organization. Advances in Archaeological Practice 8(1):65-77.

2019  Quinn, C.P., I. Kuijt, N. Goodale, and J. Ó Néill. Along the Margins? The Later Bronze Age Seascapes of Western Ireland. European Journal of Archaeology 22(1):44-66.

2018  Quinn, C.P. and H. Ciugudean. Settlement Placement and Socio-Economic Priorities: Dynamic Landscapes in Bronze Age Transylvania. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 19:936-948.

2016  Quinn, C.P. and J. Beck. Essential Tensions: A Framework for Exploring Inequality through Mortuary Archaeology and Bioarchaeology. Open Archaeology 2(1):18-41.

2015  Quinn, C.P. Returning and Reuse: Diachronic Perspectives on Multi-Component Cemeteries and Mortuary Politics at Middle Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Tara, Ireland. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 37:1-18.

Book Chapters

2023  Ciugudean, H. C.P. Quinn, C. Uhnér, and J. Beck. From East to West and West to East: Yamnaya Migration and Interaction with Copper Age Carpathian Communities in Transylvania. In Steppe Transmissions: The Yamnaya Impact on Prehistoric Europe. B. Preda Bălănică, M. Ahola, and P. Włodarczak. pp. 204-245. Archaeolingua, Budapest.

2022  C.P. Quinn, D. Glowacki, C. Wendt, and N. Goodale. Situating Households within Broader Socioeconomic Contexts. In Archaeology of Households, Kinship, and Social Change. L.B. Carpenter and A.M. Prentiss (eds). pp. 111-120. Routledge Press, New York.

2019  Quinn, C.P. Costly Signaling Theory in Archaeology. In Handbook of Evolutionary Research in Archaeology, edited by A.M. Prentiss, pp. 275-294. Springer Press: New York.

2018  Bălan, G., Quinn, C.P., and G. Hodgins. The Cultural and Chronological Context of the Bronze Age Cemetery from Sebeș-Între Răstoace. In Bronze Age Connectivity in the Carpathian Basin. R. Németh, B. Rezi, and S. Berecki (eds). pp. 183-216. Bibliotheca Mvsei Marisiensis: Tîrgu Mureș.