Autumn Melby

Doctoral Student




Autumn received her B.S. in Anthropology with a concentration in Archaeology and Public History from Appalachian State University in 2018. She is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and her dissertation explores everyday rural life and engagement with the collapse of the Cahokian polity in 14th century southwestern Illinois. Her work seeks to emphasize the lived experiences of rural peoples, combining a bottom-up perspective of everyday life alongside broader, landscape analyses. Her research is grounded in the desire to make archaeology accessible and engaging to rural communities. At the Penn Museum she has kept herself busy leading Graduate Guide tours and Daily Digs, working with the North American collections, and in previously serving as the President of the Penn Museum Graduate Advisory Council.


B.S. Multi-Disciplinary Anthropology, Appalachian State University, 2018

Research Interests

Household Archaeology, Southeastern North America, Identity Politics, Ceramics, Socio-political complexity, Subsistence Practices, Rural Studies


Geographical Area

Research Interests


Graduate Status