ADRIAN PRAETZELLIS - my little home on the web


photo of Adrian PraetzellisADRIAN PRAETZELLIS, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology
Director, Anthropological Studies Center

Department of Anthropology
Sonoma State University
1801 E. Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, California
USA 94928

adrian DOT praetzellis AT sonoma DOT edu

Bienvenue ! Welcome !



Figuring that 40 years in one place is long enough, I will enter the Faculty Early Retirement Program beginning August 2016. I'll be at ASC part-time after that, but I won't be taking on new graduate students between now and my FERP date except those whose thesis involves an ASC collection or project.

The Anthropology Department will be conducting a search over the next few months for someone to fill my position. Students will have the oportunity to meet the candidates and to give the search committee their impressions. We'll be looking for the best all-around person be they woman or man, historical archaeologist or prehistorian. To apply for this position, go to and select Job Opportunities.

Want to organize a retirement celebration? Do me a favor... and don't.  Sorry if this sounds grumpy, but I really, really don't want a retirement party or any other recognition (really). My ideal last day as a faculty human is simply to do my job, pack up my closet/office, and leave. That would feel good. Presumtuous? Maybe. But on the off-chance that anyone would want to organize such an event, thanks for the kind thought but...


Fall  Semester  2015

My times fill up quickly so it's best not just to turn up.

Send me an email and we'll set up an appointment.


  Morning: Probably ASC (campus blg. 29)


  9:00 – 10:00 ANTH 491 (Stev. 3072)
  10:00 – 11:00 Office hours (Stev. 2056)
  12:00 – 1:00 Faculty meeting


  9:00 – 10:00 Office hours (ASC blg. 29)


  Morning:  Probably ASC (campus blg. 29)


  1:00 – 4:00 ANTH 503 (Stev 2061)

Office hours are approximate and may change
Office hours as above and by appointment
Email me or phone for an appointment. It’s unwise just to turn up.
ASC is in the NE corner of campus, east of Lot H (phone 664-2820)
Anthropology Dept. office is Stev. 2056 (phone 664-3950)


My cool new book!
Here's the cover of my latest effort. And, yes, I did the illustrations too.
Buy many copies at full price here. They make great door stops.



My first archaeological experience was six weeks shoveling gravel for the late Margaret "Mudge" Jones (and famous dog, Reject) at a Saxon site called Mucking in the summer of 1969. While still at school I worked summers at the Roman site of Usk for Bill Manning, and learned the ancient art of baulk bashing from experts. In 1972, my professional career began when I started working full-time on Roman and medieval sites on the British archaeology circuit at places like York and Winchester. Later, I worked on prehistoric and 18th-19th-century archaeological sites in Virginia, the Great Basin, and California. At the urging of Jim Deetz, UC Berkeley eventually gave me a Ph.D. and now I won't give it back.

Since the late 1970s, I have specialized in urban archaeology (both prehistoric and historical) and I have acted as Principal Investigator for numerous archaeological research projects. Among these was the 1993-2004 Cypress/West Oakland project, one of the largest pieces of urban historical archaeology ever undertaken in the American West. I have written on the archaeology of African Americans, Chinese/Chinese Americans, and Jews in the American West amongst other stuff.

In addition to teaching archaeology and cultural resources management at Sonoma State University, I'm Director of the Anthropological Studies Center, a University research institute.

Click this link for a pdf of the gantzeh megillah (i.e., my vitae).  While you're waiting for that click here for some photos of my grandaughter (quite a bit out of date -- she's 6-1/2 now). Such a shayna maidel!

In 2013 I was appointed to the State Historical Resources Commission "...a nine-member State review board, appointed by the Governor, with responsibilities for the identification, registration, and preservation of California's cultural heritage."


Picture of a trowel




Updated 081915

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