Don Gaylord Joins Our Department

Washington and Lee University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology is delighted to welcome our new staff archaeologist/instructor, Don Gaylord.

Don holds a master's degree in Anthropology/Archaeology from the University of Virginia and a BA in Anthropology with a minor in History from Rutgers University. He worked as a field and laboratory archaeologist at Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virginia, for twelve years, participating in archaeological field surveys and excavations, artifact cataloging and analysis, computer rendering of two- and three-dimensional features, and public interpretation of archaeological finds. With this long experience and a strong background in chemistry, physics, quantitative methods, and graphic design, Don can offer W&L students experience with scientific techniques in archaeology such as x-ray florescence, grain-size analysis, ceramic use wear, geo-archeological sampling, grain-size analysis, Geographical Information Systems, and Computer-Aided Design.

Washington and Lee Archaeology began formally collaborating with Monticello Archeology in 2009 through a spring-term field methods class at Jefferson's overseer's site. Since that time Don has collaborated on various projects with W&L students - including Susan Payton '11, Tyler Thompson '12, Erika Vaughn '12, and Erin Schwartz '12 - as well as faculty in chemistry, Professor Erich Uffelman, and anthropology, Associate Professor Alison Bell. He appreciates W&L culture and intellectual excellence, and describes the staff archaeologist/instructor position as his "dream job."

As an anthropologically-orientated archaeologist, Don's research focuses on analysis of property, ownership, and land use in the Mid Atlantic during the last four hundred years. He is also interested in mortuary practice and belief, as well as in Woodland and contact-period Native American social dynamics in the greater Chesapeake region. Classes Don looks forward to offering include the Archaeology of Virginia's Presidents, Scientific Approaches to Archaeology, Archaeological Field and Laboratory Methods, and Anthropological Approaches to Death.

Don is a veteran of the United States Navy, having served for six years (1986-1992) in nuclear field electronics and nuclear power training units, including as Training Petty Officer on the nuclear submarine the USS Key West.