My research interests are in the prehistory and early history of the U.S./Mexico Borderlands, investigating the shifting boundaries of the “border” through time. My current research program deals with the Paleoindian occupation of the Chihuahuan Desert, focusing (for now) on the U.S. portion of the desert in far west Texas. Most of my career has been spent as a student of the Paleoindian period. Based on raw material profiles and the organization of projectile point technology, it appears Folsom and later Paleoindians in the Chihuahuan region were not regular inhabitants of far west Texas, at least not to the extent seen on the southern and central Great Plains. And it appears west Texas was not a waystation during migrations between the Plains and the central Rio Grande. I interpret this tenuous (and negative) evidence as suggesting areas in modern Mexico were part of Chihuahuan Paleoindian seasonal rounds instead. So, while it is clear a “border of sorts” existed as early as 10,000 years ago, it is certainly not the modern border demarcated by the Rio Grande (which is itself a recent historic phenomenon).
In addition to my interests in the North American Pleistocene and Early Holocene, I am also designing fieldwork documenting the spread of Late Prehistoric Jornada-Mogollon settlement between El Paso and Presidio, Texas. Specifically, I am interested the extent to which the full Jornada-Mogollon sequence is in evidence, or whether the spread from El Paso was limited to the very late Formative era. The hamlets in the La Junta district near modern Ojinaga, Chihuahua Mexico come to life fully formed ca. AD 1250, but this alone does not impinge on the earlier development of agricultural hamlets further to the north. I am planning to test the chronological progression of settlement down the Rio Grande, under the assumption that the associated floodplains would have been a far less risky place to practice small-scale agriculture than the rainfall-dominated systems found on the alluvial fans of southern New Mexico and western Texas.
My research interests are not limited to archaeology. I also maintain an intense interest and knowledge of hunter-gatherer ethnography/ethnology, which I bring to bear in my work. I am also extremely interested in the past, present and future of Native American groups in the United States and Canada. Lastly, I am designing a course considering the philosophical, economic and musical precursors to, as well as the lasting cultural legacy of, punk music.
Andrews, Brian N., Jason M. LaBelle and John D. Seebach
2008 Spatial Variability in the Folsom Archaeological Record: A Multi-Scalar Approach. American Antiquity 73:464-490.
Seebach, John D.
2007 Late Prehistory along the Rimrock: The Archaeology of Pinto Canyon Ranch. Papers of the Trans Pecos Archaeological Program, Vol. 3, Center for Big Bend Studies, Sul Ross State University, Alpine.
2006 Drought or Discovery? Patterns of Paleoindian Site Discovery in Western North America. Plains Anthropologist 51:71-88.
Mallouf, Robert J. and John D. Seebach
2006 Filling in the Blanks: Early Paleoamericans in the Texas Big Bend. Current Research in the Pleistocene 23:140-142.
Meltzer, David J., John D. Seebach and Ryan M. Byerly
2006 The Hot Tubb Folsom-Midland Site (41CR10), Texas. Plains Anthropologist 51:157-184.
Seebach, John D.
2004a Past and Present at the Chispa Creek Folsom Site, Culberson County, Texas. Journal of Big Bend Studies 16:1-30.
2004b Investigations at the Hot Tubb Folsom Site (41CR10), Crane County, Texas. Current Research in the Pleistocene 21:70-71.