Ben A. Curry

About Ben A. Curry

My work focuses on ranching during the Spanish and Mexican periods (1769-1846) and early American perior (1846-1850s) in California. The primary themes in my work inclued the coupled human-natural systems connected to ranching, the involvement of Native Californians with the mission and private ranchos during these preiods, historical trajectories in landuse, animal use patterns, and methodological issues in zooarchaeology - especially in relation to butchery and husbandry practices.

Areas of Study

California, Arizona, New Mexico, Baja California, Sonora, and Montana


Wilder Ranch/Rancho Refugio

Wilder Ranch is a California State Park in Central California. Work currently focuses primarily on the faunal analysis or animal remains uncovered in 1987 and 2009 from a large feature. This work, along with some basic site overview and synthesis forms the basis of my Masters work. Future plans include a more extensive of faunal remains and other artifacts from multiple excavations at this site, extending survey and excavation to unexplored portions of park, and identifying ways of exploring and analyzing the historical ecology of the park in relation to human use of the landscape.

Kutoyis Archaeological Project (KAP)

KAP is a multi-year project conducted in association with the Blackfeet Nation. The primary focus is on the exploration of the Kutoyis site in northwestern Montana. The Kutoyis site is a bison kill and processing site which includes a bison jump and a large associated processing area.

Work includes faunal analysis, data management, and field excavation.


Canyon de Chelly, reanalysis of fauna:

This fauna re-analysis included animal remains from Antelope House and Mummy Cave, along with several other sites,  in the Canyon de Chelly National Monument. This work has been conducted to re-identify and re-catelog the fauna from these sites in conjunction with other work necessary to Monuments compliance with Park Service mandates.

Work includes faunal analysis and report preparation.

Research Interests

Colonialism, Zooarchaeology, Land Use and Landscapes, History of Modern Globalism, Epistomological Issues in Archaeology

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