Office Location: 223a1 Johnson Hall
Phone Number: (901) 678-2979
Fax: (901) 678-2178
Degree: Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1996
Fields of Interest
Geoarchaeology; Paleoecology; Environmental Change; Human-Environmental Interactions;
Culture Contact; Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology; Cultural Resources Management; High
Plains and Rocky Mountains
My research focuses on the Central Rocky Mountains and Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
in northwestern Wyoming and southern Montana where I study rockshelter formation processes,
human response to environmental change, and the effects of culture contact and colonialism
on the Native Tribes of Wyoming and Montana. My rockshelter studies focus on the Bighorn
Mountains where I am characterizing variability in Late Quaternary formation processes.
Working with Marcel Kornfeld and Bob Kelly (University of Wyoming), I am involved
in understanding the role of rockshelters in Early Paleoindian (i.e., Clovis and Folsom)
settlement strategies. I am also interested in Late Paleoindian (i.e., the Foothills-Mountain
Tradition) and Archaic lifeways, particularly the effects of climate change on human
foraging patterns. I see the relationships between rockshelter formation processes,
Late Quaternary environmental change, and human foraging behavior expressed in the
archaeofaunal record using the expectations of human behavioral ecology, particularly
the prey model. So far my rockshelter studies have focused on geochronology using
AMS and OSL (optically stimulated luminescence), macrostratigraphy, and the geomorphic
processes linking rockshelter formation to environmental change. In the near future
I will add micromorphology to many of the rockshelters I have already characterized
and will use stable isotope geochemistry as an additional line of evidence for Late
Quaternary environmental change. My rockshelter work continues to add new sites in
the Bighorn Mountains and the nearby Pryor Mountains. In 2009 I will begin a pilot
study of alluvial geomorphology in the northern Bighorn Basin by examining recent
flash flood deposits in the Bighorn Canyon area.
I am also involved in a multi-year study of tipi rings in the Bighorn Canyon area
separating the Bighorn and Pryor Mountains and recent high-elevation occupations in
the mountains east of Yellowstone National Park. The Bighorn Canyon area is part of
the traditional Crow tribal
homeland. Thousands of stone circles or tipi rings line the Bad Pass Trail, which
traverses the canyon and connects the northern Bighorn Basin to the Montana High Plains.
Working with Laura Scheiber (Indiana University), we are documenting the tipi rings
using survey-grade GPS, GIS, geophysical (i.e., gradiometry) surveys, and limited
test excavations to build a chronology of tipi ring occupations in the canyon. Tipi
rings are an important part of Crow tribal history, and we are working directly with
Crow elders and students to bring together multiple interpretations of tipi rings
as a record of domestic life and the Crow social landscape. My work in the mountains
east of Yellowstone National Park, also with Laura Scheiber, involves following forest
fires to document campsites associated with terminal Prehistoric and Historic Mountain
Shoshone occupations. Our work has revealed extensive contact period assemblages of
mixed stone and steel technologies often associated with bighorn sheep kill sites.
These camp and kill sites document the critical transition from pre- to post-contact
lifeways for Shoshone people living in the Central Rocky Mountains during the late
18th and early 19th Centuries. In addition to spatial analysis of campsites using
GPS, GIS, and geophysical survey, we are tracing the effects of culture contact on
native people using obsidian and ceramic (i.e., Intermountain Ware) source analysis.
Please contact me for student (undergraduate and graduate) opportunities.
Scheduled for Fall 2009
- ESCI 7311 Public Archaeology
- ESCI 7327 Lithic Analysis
Scheduled for Spring 2010
- ESCI 4370 Ancient Human Societies and Environmental Change
- ESCI 7345 Geoarchaeology Materials Science
- Principles of Geoarchaeology
- Environmental Archaeology
- The Archaeology of Prehistoric Foraging Societies
• Finley, Judson Byrd (2007) Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, and Geomorphology. In Medicine Lodge Creek: Holocene Archaeology of the Eastern Big Horn Basin, Wyoming, edited by George C. Frison and Danny N. Walker, pp. 131-152. Clovis Press, Avon,
• Finley, Judson Byrd (2007) The Geologic and Geomorphic Context of Rockshelters in
the Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming. In On the Shelter’s Ledge: Histories, Theories, and Methods of Rockshelter Research, edited by Marcel Kornfeld, Sergei Vasil’ev, and Laura Miotti. Proceedings of the
XV World Congress UISPP Lisbon, Portugal, September 2006. British Archaeological Reports
BAR S1655. Archaeopress, Oxford, England.
• Finley, Judson B., Marcel Kornfeld, Chris C. Finley, Brian N. Andrews, George C.
Frison, and Michael T. Bies (2005) Rockshelter Archaeology and Geoarchaeology in the
Bighorn Mountains. Plains Anthropologist 50:227-248.
• Finley, Judson Byrd, Marcel Kornfeld, George C. Frison, and Chris C. Finley (2003)
Below Folsom at Two Moon Shelter, Wyoming. Current Research in the Pleistocene 20:18-20, Center for the Study of the First Americans, Texas A&M University, College Station.
• Scheiber, Laura L., Judson Byrd Finley, and Maureen P. Boyle (2008). Bad Pass Archaeology.
The American Surveyor April/May:12-22.
• Scheiber, Laura L., and Judson Byrd Finley (2008). Mountain Shoshone Technological
Transitions Across the Great Divide. In Across the Great Divide: Culture Contact and Culture Change in North America at AD
1500, edited by L.L, Scheiber and M. Mitchell. University of Arizona Press, Tucson. In
• Surovell, Todd A, Judson Byrd Finley, Geoff Smith, Robert Kelly, and P. Jeffrey
Brantingham (2008). Correcting Temporal Frequency Distributions for Taphonomic Bias.
Journal of Archaeological Science 36:1715-1724.