Edward Herrmann

Edward Herrmann

Senior Research Scientist, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences


  • Ph.D., Indiana University, 2013
  • M.A., Indiana University, 2010
  • B.A., Cornell University, 1987

About Edward Herrmann

Edward Herrmann is a geoarchaeologist who uses methods and theories developed in the geosciences to study archaeological questions, and is a faculty member in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. His training and research are multidisciplinary in nature and straddle the fields of anthropology, archaeology, history, geology, and earth science. Although his degree is in anthropology, the archaeological research questions he addresses focus on how earth processes affect archaeological sites. Such work provides data relevant to understanding the chronology and environmental contexts specific to archaeological site occupational histories. Ed has been involved in archaeological projects in Illinois, Indiana, Montana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, as well as in Germany and Tanzania.

Most recently, Dr. Herrmann was the inaugural Executive Director for the Indiana University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, where he directed the new museum’s concept, redesign, social justice mission, and research focus. As Director, Ed fostered relationships with North American tribal colleagues to provide an Indigenous voice to museum exhibits, educational programs, research goals, and staff training. During this time, he also helped administer the IU NAGPRA Office, working with American Indian colleagues to repatriate IUs NAGPRA-related collections to associated tribes.

These experiences gave Ed the opportunity to work with a variety of people including Indigenous communities from a wide range of cultures. At Olduvai Gorge where Ed studies evolutionary clues left by early human ancestors millions of years ago, his research team lives and works with Maasai and Chagga tribal communities. Their perspectives and local landscape knowledge are invaluable assets to the research conducted during the summer weeks on the Serengeti.

In North America, Ed spent two summers conducting research and organizing a landscape-based Crow tribal field school through Little Big Horn College that focused on locating and excavating buffalo jump and trap sites on the Crow reservation. The grant he helped obtain for this field school facilitated teaching ten Crow students the skills necessary to become tribal archaeological technicians, and provided the students with funding for six college credits.

Although much of Ed’s research focuses on early North American hunter-gatherers, he has experience in Native American mound construction methods, chronologies, and taphonomy (the study of differential preservation of or within archaeological sites). As the term geoarchaeology implies, Ed researches both the Earth and the people who inhabited it. He works in different time periods and regions, and has had experience working at sites in Germany that range in time from the Upper Paleolithic to Roman colonies to medieval villages.

While in Germany, Ed worked for the Römisch-Germanisches Museum in Cologne, where he conducted excavations, cataloged artifacts, trained new hires, and gave museum tours. He had the opportunity for hands-on experience with Old World lithics, Roman-era artifacts and fieldwork, and cave excavations. These experiences have helped him understand that museum research includes a broad range of scientific disciplines and a wide variety of collections-based questions. While a student working at the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Ed developed an interest in experimental archaeology, studied stone tool technology and the identification of Midwestern tool types, and organized the Lithic Raw Material and typological comparative collections. Ed is also an avid flintknapper.

Ed was Chair of the Geoarchaeology Interest Group of the Society of American Archaeology, and a member of numerous archaeological, museum, and Earth sciences associations.

Recent research

Ed is currently working on long-term projects in Indiana, Illinois, Utah, and Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, focused on deciphering how landscape evolution has affected the visibility of archaeological sites. The goal is to incorporate geomorphological knowledge into models that can predict where archaeological sites might be found in buried and therefore preserved contexts. His fieldwork includes organizing and teaching field schools, studying prehistoric landscape use, geomorphology, lithic tools, and archaeological site predictive modeling. Ed hopes to continue to work with tribal communities on projects they design.

Previous positions

  • 2019-2022 Inaugural Executive Director, IU Museum or Archaeology and Anthropology
  • 2019-2022 Executive Director, IU Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Office
  • 2013 Instructor, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • 2012 Associate Instructor, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • 2008-10 Prehistoric Research Fellow, Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University, Bloomington

Courses taught

  • A211, Great Fermentations
  • Indiana University Continuing Education, “The Archaeology and Appreciation of Beer”
  • P200, Introduction to Archaeology (Associate Instructor)


  • GSA and SAA Geoarchaeology Newsletter, Co-Editor
  • Society of American Archaeology Geoarchaeology Interest Group Chair
  • IU International Repatriation Committee
  • IU NAGPRA Review Board


Herrmann, Edward W., Rebecca Hawkins, Christina Friberg, Jayne-Leigh Thomas, Jack Rossen, and August Costa (2023). Furrows Without Ridges: Evidence for an Agricultural Field at Angel Mounds (12Vg1), Southwestern Indiana, USA. Journal of Field Archaeology, 48(7): 534-550. DOI

Krus, Anthony M., Edward W. Herrmann, Christina M. Friberg, Broxton W. Bird, and Jeremy J. Wilson (2023). Social Change and late Holocene Hydroclimate Variability in southwest Indiana. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 69:101486. DOI.

Edward W. Herrmann and Mackenzie Cory*. Modeling Early Paleoindian settlement and mobility in Indiana. In Paleoindians in the Midcontinent, Brad Koldehoff and Henry Wright editors, Texas A&M Press. Accepted, (expected summer 2023).

Romain, William F. and Edward W. Herrmann (2022). An archaeoastronomic assessment of Angel Mounds, Indiana with commentary on Moundville, Alabama and Cahokia, Illinois. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, 47(1):25-46. DOI.

Watts Malouchos, Elizabeth, Mark R. Schurr, and Edward W. Herrmann (2021). From the mound to the moon: geophysical insights into Angel phase landscapes. Journal of Archaeological Sciences Reports, 37:102886.

Stollhofen, Harald, Ian G. Stanistreet, Nicholas Toth, Kathy D. Schick, Agata Rodríguez-Cintas, Rosa M. Albert, Paul Farrugia*, Jackson K. Njau, Michael C. Pante, Edward W. Herrmann, Lana Ruck*, Marion K. Bamford, Robert J. Blumenschine, Fidelis T. Masao (2021). Olduvai’s oldest Oldowan. Journal of Human Evolution, 150:102910.

Friberg, Christina M., Melody K. Pope, April Sievert, Jennifer St. Germain*, Kelsey T. Grimm, and Edward W. Herrmann (2020). Creation of knowledge and curation of legacy: preserving Angel Mounds collections and data. The Society of American Archaeology Archaeological Record, May 2020, pp. 12-18.

Njau, Jackson K., Edward W. Herrmann, Lana Ruck*, Michael Pante, Paul Farrugia*, Nicholas Toth, Kathy Schick, Harald Stollhofen, Ian G. Stanistreet (2020). Core stratigraphy constrains Bed IV archaeological record at HEB site, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 552:109773.

Schurr, M., Monaghan, G.W., Herrmann, E.W., Pike, M., and Wilson, J.J. (2020). Evaluating ground-penetrating radar antenna performance for investigating Mississippian mound construction compared with data from solid-earth cores and magnetometry. Archaeological Prospection, 2020:1-14. DOI

Krus, A.M., Herrmann, E.W., Pike, M.D., Monaghan, G.W., and Wilson, J.J. (2019). “Chronology of a Fortified Mississippian Village in the Central Illinois River Valley.” Radiocarbon 61(3):713-731. DOI

Monaghan, G.W. and Herrmann, E.W. (2019). Serpent Mound: Still Built by the Adena, and Still Rebuilt during the Fort Ancient Period. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, 44(1):1-10. DOI

Herrmann, E.W., and Monaghan, G.W. (2018). Post-glacial drainage basin evolution in the midcontinent, North America: Implications for prehistoric human settlement patterns. Quaternary International, 511:68-77.

Romain, W.F. and Herrmann, E.W. (2018). Rejoinder to Lepper Concerning Serpent Mound. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, 43(1):76-88.

Herrmann, E.W., Nathan, R.A., Rowe, M.J., and McCleary, T. (2017). Bacheeishdiio/ Place where men pack meat. American Antiquity 82(1):151-167.

Romain, W.F., Herrmann, E.W., Monaghan, G.W., and Burks, J. (2017). Radiocarbon Dates Reveal Serpent Mound Is More than Two Thousand Years Old. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, 42(3): 201-222.

Herrmann, E.W. (2016). How Bedrock-controlled Channel Migration can Structure Selective Preservation of Archaeological Sites: Implications for Modeling Paleoindian Settlement. Geoarchaeology 31(1):58-74.

Herrmann, E.W., Monaghan, G.W., Romain, W.F., Schilling, T.M., Burks, J., Leone, K.L., Purtill, M.P., Tonetti, A.C. (2014). A New Multistage Construction Chronology for the Great Serpent Mound, USA. Journal of Archaeological Science 50, 117-125. DOI

Herrmann, E.W. (2013). Pre-Mississippian Projectile Points in Mississippian Context at Angel Mounds. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, 38(2):189-204.