I joined the faculty of the Indiana University Department of Anthropology in 2002, as a specialist in Plains archaeology and zooarchaeology. I am the director of the William R. Adams Zooarchaeology Laboratory, which houses a large collection of modern animal bones used by archaeologists to study the relationships between people and animals in the past. My work with the lab combines research, education, and outreach and offers opportunities to students and faculty across IU. I teach courses on North American archaeology, zooarchaeology, Native American subsistence, colonialism, and archaeological fiction. My research interests focus on interactions between foragers and farmers, the material and social effects of colonialism, multi-scalar analyses of residential spaces, bison food processing, and long-term social dynamics on the western North American Plains. I recently initiated an archaeological research project "Exploring Social and Historical Landscapes of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem." This project consists of two spatially separate locations around the Bighorn Basin of northern Wyoming and southern Montana, one adjacent to the Crow Indian Reservation on the western slope of the Bighorn Mountains and the other in the Shoshone homeland of the Absaroka Mountains. This is collaborative research with Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming; Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Montana; the National Park Service; and the U.S. Forest Service. As part of this research program, I teach a summertime archaeology field school in Wyoming and Montana every year.

I was recently selected as the recipient of the Society for American Archaeology-Amerind Foundation award based on my co-organized symposium called Across the Great Divide: Change and Continuity in Native North America, 1600-1900. The book that will be published as a result of this seminar reflects current research related to long-term social dynamics in Native North America that bridges the divide of scholarship between history and prehistory. My recent work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Western National Parks Association, the IU Office of the Vice Provost and Lilly Endowment, IU's Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), and Cooperative Studies Ecosystems Unit Programs. I am a former member of the Board of Directors of the Plains Anthropological Society and continue to chair the annual student paper competition at the Plains Anthropological Conference every year. We encourage students and faculty members to become members of the organization!

I mentor students who are studying Native North America, both past and present. Popular courses for AISRI students that I teach include Culture Contact and Colonialism (ANTH P600) and North American Prehistory through Fiction (ANTH P363/663).

Recent Publications

  • Scheiber, Laura L. (2007) The Economy of Bison Exploitation on the Late Prehistoric North American High Plains. Journal of Field Archaeology. 32(3):297-313.
  • Scheiber, Laura L. and Charles A. Reher (2007) The Donovan Site (5LO204): An Upper Republican Animal Processing Camp on the High Plains. Plains Anthropologist 52(203):337-364.
  • Scheiber, Laura L. (2006) Skeletal Biology: Plains. In Handbook of North American Indians: Environment, Population, and Origins, Volume 3, edited by Douglas Ubelaker, pp. 595-609. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
  • Scheiber, Laura L. (2006) The Late Prehistoric on the High Plains of Western Kansas. In Kansas Archeology, edited by Robert J. Hoard and William E. Banks, pp. 133-150. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence.
  • Scheiber, Laura L. (2005) Late Prehistoric Bison Hide Production and Hunter-Gatherer Identities on the North American Plains. In Gender and Hide Production, edited by Lisa Frink and Kathryn Weedman, pp. 57-75. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, California. In Gender and Archaeology Series, edited by Sarah M. Nelson.