Year entered:: 2007
Degree sought:: PhD
Research interests:: Historical Archaeology of Native communities in Tidewater Virginia, specifically the Pamunkey Indian Tribe
Regional specialization::: Chesapeake / Tidewater Virginia
Background Ashley is a current PhD student at College of William and Mary with the Department of Anthropology studying both Historical Anthropology and Archaeology. Ashley graduated from James Madison University with Honors and earned a B.A. in Anthropology in 2007. In 2009 she received her M.A. from the College of William and Mary. Her thesis research focused on material culture, specifically Pamunkey pottery and its importance in constituting a Pamunkey identity through defining pottery as a tradition inundated with multiple values associated with continuity, economy and cultural persistence. Her primary focus is on Virginia's Chesapeake Natives centering on both Virginia Indian archaeology and contemporary Virginia Indian communities, including the Virginia Indian community of which she is a member, the Pamunkey Tribe. Being both Pamunkey and an archaeologist, Ashley is dedicated to the inclusion of and collaboration with Native communities in archaeological and anthropological research. This dedication was developed through her participation in two collaborative archaeological projects in Virginia including the King William Reservoir Project and the College of William and Mary affiliated Werowocomoco Research Project. Currently, Ashley is conducting her dissertation research, which focuses broadly on the Historical Archaeology of Native Americans and more specifically on the Pamunkey Indian Reservation. This year Ashley received the Society for American Archaeology Native American Graduate Archaeology Scholarship and the Archaeological Society of Virginia's Sandra Speiden Scholarship, which funded her first season of fieldwork this summer at a 18th/19th century domestic site on the Reservation. Because Ashley is dedicated to community involvement and participation in archaeological and anthropological research, the scholarships were used to fund tribal members to work with Ashley in the field and the lab. As the Director/Curator of the Pamunkey Indian Museum, she plans to include an exhibit that focuses on the Pamunkey people's experiences during the 18th and 19th centuries. In the future Ashley hopes to continue archaeological research on the Reservation with tribal members.