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Kenneth Barnett Tankersley

Title: Associate Professor, Curator, Court Archaeological Research Facility
Office: 456 Braunstein Hall
Tel: 513-556-5784
Email: tankerkh@ucmail.uc.edu

I specialize in Archaeological Geology, Quaternary Science, and Catastrophic Volcanic Events.

Education

  • B.S. , University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1978 (Education (Geology)).
  • M.A., University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1982 (Anthropology).
  • Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1989 (Anthropology).
  • Post-Doctorate, Illinois State Museum, Springfield, Illinois, 1993 (Quaternary Research Program).

Research Information

Research Interests

My current research and publications represent an integrated body of research focused on catastrophic volcanic eruptions and cosmic airburst events, which resulted in periods of climatic and environmental change. From an evolutionary perspective, these are periods of accelerated change, which force people to economically adapt, downsize, or migrate. Temporally, my research focuses on the Quaternary, the geological period of time during which humans evolved. I direct two laboratories, the Court Archaeological Research Facility and the Ohio Valley Archaeology Laboratory.

Research Support

  • Court Archaeological Research Fund Endowment, Court Family Foundation. $50,000.00. 2013.
  • Ohio Valley Scholarship Endowment, Court Family Foundation. $350,000.00. 2010.
  • National Park Service. $1,200.00. 2008.
  • Court Archaeology Research Facility (CARF) Endowment, Court Family Foundation. $500,000.00. 2008.
  • (Collaborator), Hancock, John; Tankersley, Kenneth, The Ancient Ohio Trail, National Endowment for the Humanities. (09-041), $15,000.00. 03-01-2009 to 04-30-2010. Status: Closed.
  • (Collaborator), Baucom, Regina; Cameron, Guy; Hinkel, Kenneth; Lentz, David; Tankersley, Kenneth, FSML: Power, Equipment and Connectivity for the University of Cincinnati Center for Field Studies, National Science Foundation. (DBI-1226891), $167,076.00. 09-01-2012 to 08-31-2014. Status: Active.

Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • 2018. Kenneth Barnett Tankersley et al. Positive Platinum anomalies at three late Holocene high magnitude volcanic events in Western Hemisphere sediments. Nature - Scientific Reports DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-29741-8.

    2018. Co-author.  Water Uncertainty, Ritual Predictability, and Agricultural Canals at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Antiquity doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2018.114.

    2018. Co-author. Soil analysis in discussions of agricultural feasibility for ancient civilizations: A critical review and reanalysis of the data and debate from Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. PLOS ONE https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0198290

     2018. Kenneth Barnett Tankersley et al. Volcanic minerals in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico and their archaeological significance. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 17:404-421.

    2018. Co-author.  Extraordinary Biomass-Burning Episode and Impact Winter Triggered by the Younger Dryas Cosmic Impact ∼12,800 Years Ago. 2. Lake, Marine, and Terrestrial Sediments. Journal of Geology doi.org/10.1086/695704

    2018. Co-author. Extraordinary Biomass-Burning Episode and Impact Winter Triggered by the Younger Dryas Cosmic Impact ∼12,800 Years Ago: 1. Ice Cores and Glaciers. Journal of Geology  doi.org/10.1086/695703

    2017. Co-author. Widespread platinum anomaly documented at the Younger Dryas onset in North American sedimentary sequences. Nature: Scientific Reports 7:44031 | DOI: 10.1038/srep44031

    2017. Kenneth Barnett Tankersley. Geochemical, economic and ethnographic approaches to the evaluation of soil, salinity, and water management in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports. 12:378-383.

    2017. Kenneth Barnett Tankersley et al. Micro-flotation removal of coal contaminants from archaeological radiocarbon samples from Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, USA. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 12:66–73.

    2016. Kenneth Barnett Tankersley et al. Evaluating soil salinity and water management in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports: 9:94–104.

    2016. Kenneth Barnett Tankersley et al. Stable carbon isotope values (δ13C) of purslane (Portulaca oleracea) and their archaeological significance. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 7:189-194.

    2016. Kenneth Barnett Tankersley et al. Catastrophic Volcanism and its Implication for Agriculture in the Maya Lowlands. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 5:465-470.

    2015. Kenneth Barnett Tankersley et al. Quaternary chronostratigraphy and stable isotope paleoecology of Big Bone Lick, Kentucky, USA, Quaternary Research 83, 479–487. 

    2015. Co-author. Synchroneity of Widespread Bayesian-modeled Ages Supports Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis, Letter, PNAS www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1520411112

    2015. Co-author. Bayesian chronological analyses consistent with synchronous age of 12,835-12,735 cal BP for Younger Dryas Boundary on four continents. PNAS 2015-07146R

    2014. Co-author. Forests, fields, and the edge of sustainability at the ancient Maya city of Tikal. PNAS U.S.A., doi/10.1073/pnas.1408631111.

    2014. Co-author. Nanodiamond-Rich Layer across Three Continents Consistent with Major Cosmic Impact at 12,800 Cal BP. The Journal of Geology  Volume 122, doi: 10.1086/677046.

    2013. Co-author.  They Ignore Decades of Comet Research. PNAS Letter doi: 2013.15467.

    2013. Co-author. Regarding the impact-related YDB la