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Steven R. Simms

Steven R.  Simms


Professor Emeritus

Contact Information

IconPhone: (435)753-0206

Educational Background

1984, Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City (Committee: J. F. O’Connell, K. Hawkes, E. L. Charnov).

1978, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1976, M.A. in Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno

1973, B.A. in Anthropology, Cum Laude. University of Utah, Salt Lake City


Archaeology of the American Desert West; archaeological method and theory; history and theory of anthropology; human evolutionary ecology; hunter-gatherers; pastoralists; ethnoarchaeology; food and culture; paleoecology; museums; fieldwork in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi; Southwest Asia (Jordan). In retirement Professor Simms continues to write papers, serves as the Editor for the “Pioneers” section of the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, serves on editorial boards. He is currently collaborating with avocational archaeologists in southeastern Utah and western Colorado, and plans on another project with “Traces” photographer Francois Gohier – this time in northern Nevada. He lives with his partner Judy Nelson, a ceramicist and artist, in their home on “Piney Island” at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains, Story, Wyoming.


Steven R. Simms is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Utah State University, Logan, Utah, and retired living in Story, Wyoming. He conducted archaeological field work across the United States and in the Middle East for over 45 years. His areas of specialty are the prehistory of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau, human behavioral ecology, and archaeological method and theory. Simms has authored over 100 scientific publications, technical reports, and monographs. His books, Ancient Peoples of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau was published in 2008, and the award-winning Traces of Fremont: Society and Rock Art in Ancient Utah was published in 2010 (Society for American Archaeology Book award public audience category and Utah Book Award nonfiction). He has directed over 60 archaeological research projects, most in the context of Cultural Resource Management law and regulations. He served as President of the Great Basin Anthropological Association and editor of the journal Utah Archaeology, and is a Fellow of the Utah Professional Archaeological Council. He served on the Government Affairs Committee and as annual meeting Program Chair of the Society for American Archaeology. Member of the Register of Professional Archaeologists. He served on numerous government committees including the Utah Governors committee to draft the Utah version of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. He served as an expert witness for the Bureau of Land Management in the case of Spirit Cave Man, Nevada.