Faculty & Staff

Michael J. Kolb

Ph.D., UCLA, 1991; Professor,
NIU General Education Coordinator

Professor Kolb is an archaeologist whose research interests include complex societies, monumental architecture, and the archaeology of power and ritual. He has conducted field work in Polynesia, Europe, and Africa. His most recent fieldwork has focused on social stratification and the political economy of the Maui Kingdom in Hawaii, and the rise of complexity in early Iron Age Sicily. Professor Kolb teaches courses in archaeology, field methods, ethnohistory, quantitative analysis, and method and theory. He is currently the director of the Na Heiau O Maui and one of the international co-directors of The Elymi Project.

Selected Publications

The origins of monumental architecture in ancient Hawai'i. Current Anthropology 46(4):657-664, 2006. (PDF 416k)

Elymian regional interaction in Iron Age western Sicily: a preliminary neutron activation study of incised/impressed tablewares. (M. J. Kolb and R. J. Speakman) Journal of Archaeological Science 32(5): 795-804, 2005. (PDF 341k)

The genesis of monuments among the Mediterranean islands. In The Prehistoric Archaeology of the Mediterranean. Edited by B. A. Knapp and E. Blake. Blackwell, London, pp. 156-179, 2005. (PDF 884k)

Landscape of War: Rules and conventions of conflict in ancient Hawaii (and elsewhere). With B. Dixon. American Antiquity 67(3): 514-34, 2002. (PDF 3561k)

Early human activity at a leeward coastal pondfield near Kalepolepo, Maui. (J. Pepalis and M. J. Kolb) Hawaiian Archaeology 8:32-41, 2002 (PDF 1730k)

The late Bronze Age and early Iron Age landscape of interior western Sicily. (M. Kolb and S. Tusa) Antiquity 75:503-504, 2001. (PDF 313k)

Monumental grandeur and political florescence in pre-contact Hawaii: Excavations at Piilanihale Heiau, Maui. Archaeology in Oceania 34:71-82, 1999.

Pig sacrifice and the Archaeology of ritual in the Hawaiian Kingdom. In, Complex Polities in the Ancient Tropical World, Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 9. Edited by E. A. Bacus and L. J. Lucero, pp. 89-107, 1997.

Labor, space, and boundary maintenance: Examining the archaeological community. (M. J. Kolb and J. Snead). American Antiquity 62(4):609-628, 1997.

New approaches to combining the archaeological and historical records: Current research in the New and Old Worlds. (S. Kepecs and M. J. Kolb, editors). Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, special issue, 1997.

Monumentality and the rise of religious authority in precontact Hawaii. Current Anthropology 35(5):521-547, 1994.