Welcome to my professional webpage. I am Benjamin Carter, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Muhlenberg College. The purpose of this site is to provide a location where I can share the various digital projects in which I am engaged. I am an anthropological archaeologist who revels in teaching to/discussing with/ listening to/ collaborating with my archaeology students at Muhlenberg along with anyone else willing to see/ discuss/ interpret the physical palimpsest of various pasts that we see, feel, hear, smell and experience all around us.

I received by Ph.D. in Anthropological Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008. My main focus has been how communities are built. A central concern of my dissertation on shell bead production  on the coast of Ecuador (between c. A.D. 800- 1530) is how the identity of bead makers is developed as a community and how it is embodied. Currently (2017), I am working on two projects. The first is about how the landscapes of late prehistoric Ecuador were both employed by and fashioned by the Guancavilcas while constructing a unique local identity. Second, I am also looking at how the landscape of the Blue Mountain in eastern Pennsylvania, which looks “natural” today,  was used by colliers (charcoal makers) to supply fuel to two iron furnaces in the 19th century. Overarching all of this is a deep concern with openness in archaeology. I am working on designing- using only open tools and open standards- a data base that can be shared publicly (while protecting vital data). Part of that design is presented on this website.

For additional publications, please see:



The site is set up so that you can see a bit about me, but it is largely a series of links to projects. Please have a look. Let me know what you think. leave a comment. Contact me at bcarter(at)muhlenberg.edu or on Twitter at Spondylusarchy.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Benjamin,
    I am interested in the green glass beads from Ecuador and I am working on a site that Meggers and Evans excavated that has several examples. I have seen Stothert’s online descriptions of the beads from Mar Largo where she illustrated 7 whole or fragmentary beads. In your dissertation you reported on the Mar Largo beads briefly and mention five beads are also from Salango. Are they all the blue-tinged green or are there other colors and types of glass beads? Are there any images of these beads available other than in Stothert?


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