SAFE Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Cameron Gokee

SAFE Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Cameron Gokee
Dr. Cameron Gokee, assistant professor, Department of Anthropology
Project: “Historical Landscapes through the Microscope: Building a Reference Collection for Ceramic Petrography Research and Teaching”

SAFE grant funds made possible the preparation of microscope thin-sections for more than 90 pottery shards from sites in North Carolina and Senegal. These thin-sections will arrive in the Microscopy and Landscape Archaeology Labs at Appalachian State, where they will provide a basis for petrographic analyses to be done in collaboration with students and colleagues in Anthropology and Geological and Environmental Sciences over the next 1-2 years.

“At a minimum, our research outputs will include an article interpreting petrographic data from the site of Diouboye in Senegal and an article manuscript interpreting petrographic data from the site of Garden Creek in North Carolina.

With the arrival of the thin-sections, this project will immediately begin to enhance undergraduate education and research. Students will gain first-hand experience with the petrographic analysis of archaeological pottery for publication in the next 1-2 years,” explained Gokee.

Additionally, these thin sections from pottery in North Carolina and Senegal will become a permanent resource for students learning to analyze ceramic artifacts in courses such as Microscopy in Archaeology (ANT 3260), Ceramics for the Archaeologist (ANT 3555) and perhaps also complementary courses in Geological and Environmental Sciences.

“The petrographic analysis of prehistoric pottery from North Carolina and Senegal will showcase the cutting-edge resources and research opportunities for undergraduate students available in the archaeological lab facilities here at Appalachian State University,” said Gokee.


About the SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:

About the Department of Anthropology
The Department of Anthropology offers a comparative and holistic approach to the study of the human experience. The anthropological perspective provides a broad understanding of the origins as well as the meaning of physical and cultural diversity in the world — past, present and future. Learn more at

Dr. Cameron Gokee, assistant professor, Department of Anthropology. Photo submitted.
Published: Jul 14, 2022 4:56pm