Profile picture of Dennis Jenkins

Dennis Jenkins

Senior Research Associate
Phone: 541-346-3026
Office: Or State Mus Of Anth, Bldg 107
Office Hours:


B.A., Nevada (1977); M.A., Nevada (1971); Ph.D., Oregon (1991)


Dennis Jenkins specializes in prehistoric archaeology of the Great Basin, having worked closely with Drs. Claude Warren (Mojave Desert), Margaret Lyneis (Anasazi), and C. Melvin Aikens (Northern Great Basin). He served as the Fort Irwin Archaeological Project Field Director in Barstow, California between 1981 and 1985. He came to came to the UO to pursue a doctorate degree under the direction of professor Aikens in 1985 and received his PhD in 1991. Dennis is a Senior Research Archaeologist for the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. He has taught and directed the UO’s Northern Great Basin archaeological field school since 1989. His research focuses on the first colonization of the Americas, obsidian sourcing and hydration, prehistoric shell bead trade, and settlement-subsistence patterns of the Northern Great Basin. He has conducted more than 100 site investigations throughout his career, publishing 7 books, 33 chapters, articles and reviews, >30 reports and contributions to reports, and given >50 papers at professional meetings. He directs the Paisley Caves Archaeological Research Project in central Oregon where the UO field school recovered the oldest human remains (14,000 year old DNA in coprolites) in North America. He has co-authored 3 articles in Science and his work has been profiled in more than 50 newspaper and magazine articles. He has appeared in 8 television documentaries, filming for History Channel, National Geographic, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and Canadian Broad Casting. Financial, professional, and material support for his research has been provided by the National Science Foundation, University of Oregon, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Sundance Archaeological Research Fund, University of Nevada, Reno, Keystone Research Fund, Oregon State University, Bureau of Land Management, and private donations.