Francis E. Smiley, IV, PhD

Francis E.  Smiley, IV Professor, Undergraduate Coordinator
Northern Arizona University
Blg 98D Rm #109C
Phone: 928-523-6923


  • archaeology
  • method and theory
  • GIS
  • early agricultural and hunter-gatherer societies
  • chronometric studies
  • ethnoarchaeology
  • applied
  • US Southwest, High Plains, North America


BA, University of Colorado-Boulder
MA, University of Wyoming
PhD, University of Michigan 1985


Dr. Francis E. Smiley is a professor of anthropology and Internship Coordinator in the Department of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University.  Smiley is the producer, director, and editor of the new video documentary Applying Anthropology. 

Smiley’s research interests range from method and theory in archaeological chronometry, to faunal and lithic analyses, to computer simulation and Geographic Information Systems. 

His primary research focus continues to be small-scale societies and the transition to agriculture.  Dr. Smiley has worked in several locations in the northern Southwest, the American High Plains, northern Europe, and the southwestern United States. Dr. Smiley has been a frequent speaker in the K-12 schools. 

Current research and applied projects

Colorado Plateau Agricultural Origins Project

The Colorado Plateau Agricultural Origins Project, directed by Dr. Francis Smiley, is in its tenth year of archaeological investigations in the Butler Wash area of southeastern Utah.  The project investigates the origins of agriculture and the development of tribal societies in the northern Southwest. 

The project has trained numerous undergraduate and graduate students in field archaeology and operates under the auspices of the US Bureau of Land Management out of Monticello, UT.