Chris Ellis

Professor Emeritus - Archaeology & Research Associate, Sustainable Archaeology

PhD 1984 (Simon Fraser University)
Office: Sustainable Archaeology, the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, 1600 Attawandaron Road, London, ON N6G 3M6



Research Interests

I am an anthropological archaeologist with major theoretical and topical research interests in hunting and gathering societies, settlement and subsistence practices, chronology building and stone tool technologies. My most recent research has focused on hunter-gatherer mobility practices including the development of more sedentary lifestyles, as these have been traditionally seen as central to understanding these peoples. I am particularly interested in how one can measure, document or sort out the varying effects of differing kinds of mobilities in the archaeological record (range mobility, residential mobility, entrenched mobility, etc.) and of course, how one can explain the mobility strategies used by different groups and why they change. The geographical focus of my investigations has been in Ontario and more broadly, Great Lakes, archaeology. Since the 1970s I have explored my research interests largely through work on the earlier, preceramic (Paleoindian and Archaic), time period over 3000 years old. 

Selected List of Publications

C.J. Ellis - 2022 - Crowfield Site (AfHj-31) and Thedford II Site. In Archaeology of Prehistoric Native America: An Encyclopedia, Guy Gibbon (ed.), pp. 185-186, 833-835. Routledge Publishers, New York. Republication in e-book format of volume orginally published by Garland Publishing Co., N.Y. in 1998*

C.J. Ellis and J. Lothrop (editors) - 2021 - Eastern Paleoindian Lithic Resource Use. xxiii + 398 pp. Routledge, New York. Electronic republication of book released originally in 1989 by Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado. Forthcoming December.

C. J. Ellis. J. Conolly and S. Monckton – 2021 -- Dating the Late Archaic at the Davidson Site (AhHk-54), Ontario. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 46(2):157-183

C.J. Ellis and D. B. Deller – 2019 -- Culloden Acres (AfHj-90): A Small Early Paleo Site near Komoka, Ontario. Ontario Archaeology 99:1-48

C.J. Ellis and D.B. Deller – 2019 -- Profile: Edward Merle Franklin (1915-2008). Ontario Archaeology 99: 127-141

C.J. Ellis and J. C. Lothrop – 2019 – Early Fluted-biface Variation in Glaciated Northeastern North America. PaleoAmerica 5:121-131

D.B. Deller, C. J. Ellis and M. Franklin – 2018 -- The Rogers Site: An Early Paleoindian Site in the Niagara Peninsula Region of Ontario. Archaeology of Eastern North America 46:103-134.

J. C. Lothrop, D. Lowery, A. E. Spiess and C. J. Ellis - 2016 - Early Human Settlement of Northeastern North America. PaleoAmerica 2:192-251.

C. J. Ellis, J. R. Keron, J. H. Menzies, S. G. Monckton and A. Stewart - 2015 - For Immediate Occupancy: Cosy 3000 Year Old Heritage Winter House with River View Near Lake Huron. Apply to Terminal Archaic Realty. In: Building the Past: Studies of Prehistoric Wooden Post Architecture in the Ohio Valley-Great Lakes Region, edited by Brian G. Redmond and Robert A. Genheimer, pp. 29-62. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

D. B. Deller and C. J. Ellis (with contributions by J. R. Keron and R. H. King and a foreword by H.T. Wright) - 2011 - The Crowfield Site (AfHj-31): A Unique Paleoindian Fluted Point Site from Southwestern Ontario. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan No. 49. Ann Arbor, Michigan. xiii + 209 pages.

C. J. Ellis - 2011 - Measuring Paleoindian Range Mobility and Land-Use in the Great Lakes/Northeast. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 30(3):385-401.

C. J. Ellis and N. Ferris (editors) - 1990 - The Archaeology of Southern Ontario to A.D. 1650. Occasional Publications, London Chapter, OAS No. 5. xxii + 570 pp.

For a more complete list of publications see my page:

Recent Conference/Workshop Presentations

C. J. Ellis and D. B. Deller - The Culloden Acres (AfHj-90) Paleo Site, Ontario. Paper presented in symposium: Current Research on Paleoindian Archaeology in the Northeast, organized by Zac Singer (University of Connecticut and Jonathan Lothrop (New York State Museum, Albany) at the Annual Meeting, Eastern States Archaeological Federation, Watertown, New York, November, 2018.

J. C. Lothrop and C. J. Ellis - Fluted Point Variation in Glaciated Northeastern North America. Paper presented in symposium: Fluted Point Technology: Variation across the Hemisphere, organized by Heather Smith (Eastern New Mexico University) and Jesse Tune (Fort Lewis College). Annual Meeting, Society for American Archaeology, Washington D.C., April, 2018.

C. J. Ellis, S. Eckford, D. B. Deller, W. A. Fox and A. Burke - Rogers: Lithic Procurement Patterns at a Large Ontario “Clovis-Like” Site. Paper presented in symposium “Early PaleoIndian Mobility and Interaction in the Upper Midcontinent,” organized by Brad Koldehoff (Illinois Dept. of Transportation) and Henry T. Wright (University of Michigan) at the Annual Meeting, Midwest Archaeological Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana, October, 2017

D.B. Deller & C.J. Ellis – The Rogers Site: A Fluted Point Site in the Niagara Peninsula. Paper presented in symposium “Paleoindian occupations of the Great Lakes/Northeast”, organized by Robert von Bitter, Ontario Ministry of Culture, and Chris Ellis, University of Western Ontario, at the 50th Annual Meeting, Canadian Archaeological Association, Ottawa/Gatineau, Canada, May, 2017.

C. J. Ellis – Paleoindian Research, 25+ Years Later. Invited paper presented in symposium “The Archaeology of Southern Ontario to A.D. 1650 (edited by Ellis and Ferris), A 25+ Year Retrospective”, organized by Gary Warrick, Wilfred Laurier University, at the 43rd Annual Meeting, Ontario Archaeological Society, Waterloo, Ontario, November, 2016.

C. J. Ellis – Archaic Research, The Black Hole of Southern Ontario Archaeology. Invited paper presented in symposium “The Archaeology of Southern Ontario to A.D. 1650 (edited by Ellis and Ferris), A 25+ Year Retrospective”, organized by Gary Warrick, Wilfred Laurier University, at the 43rd Annual Meeting, Ontario Archaeological Society, Waterloo, Ontario, November, 2016.

Recent Research Funding

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) Insight Research Grant - "The Davidson Site: Refining Chronology and Explanations of Changing Late Archaic Settlement Systems" (Principal applicant with collaborator Lisa Hodgetts [University of Western Ontario]) - $73,445. 2013-2015.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) Standard Research Grant – "Archaeological Investigations at the Davidson Broad Point Archaic Site" (Principal applicant with collaborators Joseph Desloges [University of Toronto], Sarah Finkelstein [University of Toronto], Lisa Hodgetts [University of Western Ontario], John Menzies [Brock University] and Andrew Stewart [Independent Scholar and Consultant]) - $115,590.00. 2007-2010.

Teaching and Graduate Supervision

My undergraduate teaching has covered everything from the history of archaeological/anthropological thought to the ethnography of hunting and gathering societies but a main focus has been on North American archaeology.

While I find just about any aspect of Ontario archaeology utterly fascinating, and have supervised students working on wide range of sites and materials, many of my graduate students have and continue to work on stone tool and other assemblages from preceramic sites. Note however, that I am retiring as of June 30, 2018. Hence, I am not taking on any more graduate student supervisions.

Current Students:

David Norris (PhD): Geometric Morphometric Analyses of Late Paleoindian Projectile Points from Northwestern Ontario.

Recent Graduate Students Supervised:

John Dunlop (MA, 2018): Pushing the Limits: Testing, Magnetometry and Ontario Lithic Scatters.

Kyle Forsythe (MA; 2016): Buried Dreams: Refitting and Ritual at the Mount Albert Site, Southern Ontario. (Middle Archaic)

Kaitlyn Malleau (MA; 2015): Practice Makes Projectiles: A Study of Genesee Lithic Biface Technology. (Late Archaic)

James R. Keron (PhD; co-supervisor with E. Molto), 2015: The Use of Point Pattern Analysis in Archaeology: Some Methods and Applications.

Monica Maika (MA; 2012): A Use-Wear Analysis of Gravers from Southern Ontario Paleoindian Sites.