Sophia Perdikaris

(PhD CUNY 1998; Assoc Prof) Archaeology, zooarchaeology, environmental studies; Northern Atlantic, Europe (

Professor Perdikaris is an archaeologist specializing in the analysis of animal remains from archaeological sites in the North Atlantic. She has extensive field experience and has participated and directed excavations in many parts of the world. She has been excavating in Norway for the last twelve years and in Iceland for seven years. She has also taught field school in the Bahamas. In collaboration with Professor Thomas McGovern (Hunter College and PhD Program in Anthropology, CUNY) and the FSI (Fornleifastofn Islands) – Icelandic Archaeological Institute, she has been directing a special program of undergraduate study in Iceland. The Research Experience for Undergraduates program admits ten CUNY students per year. A graduate of the PhD Program in Anthropology at CUNY, Professor Perdikaris is committed to quality education for inner-city youth.

Her particular research interest is the transition from the Viking Age to medieval times in North Norway and how the early commercialization of the cod fisheries (AD 1200) affected the people and the economy of the area. She is currently involved in cooperative projects with institutions in the U.S. and the U.K. collecting DNA information from fish bone assemblages. These efforts are being done to help modern fisheries biologists develop better management strategies for depleted fish stocks. Most modern fisheries data were collected in the years post- AD 1850, but the human manipulation of wild resources and fish started many hundreds of years prior to this. If we are to understand the processes that affect the modern fish populations we need to look at the impact of human activity on natural resources as far back in time as possible.

Professor Perdikaris teaches a series of general courses in anthropology as well as more specialized courses such as zooarchaeology, urban archaeology, and Viking Age archaeology. She has been a member of NABO (North Atlantic Biocultural Organization) and chair of the Education and Maritime Adaptations groups since 1992. She is also a coordinator of NORSEC (Northern Science and Education Center), based at Brooklyn College. NORSEC includes faculty participants from the CUNY Graduate Center, Hunter College, College of Staten Island, John Jay College, the University of the Arctic, the Medieval Institute of Oslo, the Archaeological Institute of Iceland, and the Stefansson Institute. Students interested in northern research are encouraged to contact Professor Perdikaris for further information (see email address above).

Recent Representative Publications

  • 2001 “Introduction” (The Vikings), pp 361-363, and “Introduction” (Pre-Viking Scandinavia), pp 269-272, in Archaeological Encyclopedia of Medieval Europe, Pamela Crabtree, ed. Garland Publishers.
  • 2001 “Introduction” (Medieval Hunting) [with J. Woollett], pp 168-170 inArchaeological Encyclopedia of Medieval Europe, Pamela Crabtree, ed. Garland.
  • 2001 “Viking’s Silent Saga” [with T.H. McGovern], Natural History 10:50-56.
  • 2000 “Cultural Sediment Analyses and Transitions in Early Fishing Activity at Langenesvaeret, Vesteralen, N. Norway” [with I.A. Simpson, G. Cook, J.L. Campbell, and W.J. Teesdale], Geoscience: An International Journal 15(8):743-763.
  • 2000 Economy of Landnam: Evidence of Zooarchaeology, with T.H. McGovern and C. Tinsley. Iceland: Nordall Publishers.

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