Dr. Bruce J. Bourque


Chief Archaeologist & Curator of Ethnography

Maine State Museum
83 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0083

Phone: (207) 287–6604
Fax: (207) 287–6633
e-mail: bruce.bourque@maine.gov


Ph.D., Anthropology, Harvard University
M.A., Anthropology, University of Colorado
B.A., Anthropology, University of Massachusetts

Recent Professional Activities:

Director, Fox Islands Archaeological Project (1970–present). Basic goals include reconstruction of the prehistoric cultural and environmental history of the Penobscot Bay region. The project has completed comprehensive surveys of over 200 prehistoric archaeological sites and excavations at 40 sites, including the 5,000-year-old Turner Farm site on North Haven Island. (See Bourque, 1995b.) Current research on the Holocene history of the Penobscot Bay marine ecosystem by a team including me is just getting underway with support from NSF.

Member, marine ecology research group, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, examining the historic impact of human exploitation on marine ecosystems. (See Jackson et al., 2001; Steneck et al., 2002; Lotze et al., 2006; Bourque et al., 2008.)

Director, Merrymeeting Bay Archaeological Project (1975–present) to assess the impact upon prehistoric human populations of sea level rise, including extensive investigations at seven large archaeological sites spanning most of the Holocene. (See Bourque et al., 2002.)

Senior Lecturer in Anthropology (1973–present), Department of Anthropology, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. Teach courses in archaeology, physical anthropology, ethnohistory.


Off Limits: Pine Trees, Politics, and the King's Broad Arrow, MSM (co-curator; 2011)
Wreck of the Nottingham Galley, MSM (2010–2011)
Vail, a Unique Paleo-Indian Occupation Site in Western Maine, Maine State House (2010–present)
Uncommon Threads: Wabanaki Textiles, Clothing, and Costume, MSM (lead curator; 2009–present)
12,000 Years in Maine, MSM (1991–present)

Selected Publications:

Bourque, B. J., and L. A. LaBar. 2009. Uncommon Threads: Wabanaki Textiles, Clothing and Costume. University of Washington Press, Seattle.

Bourque, B. J., B. Johnson, and R. S. Steneck. 2008. Possible Prehistoric Fishing Affects on Coastal Marine Food Webs in the Gulf of Maine. Pp. 165-186 in J. Erlandson and T. Rick, eds. Human Impacts on Ancient Marine Ecosystems: A Global Perspective. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Erlandson, J. M., M. H. Graham, B. J. Bourque, D. Corbett, J. A. Estes, and R. Steneck. 2007. The Kelp Highway Hypothesis: Marine Ecology, the Coastal Migration Theory, and the Peopling of the Americas. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 2:161-174.

Lotze, H. K, H. S. Lenihan, B. J. Bourque, R. Bradbury, R. G. Cooke, M. C. Kay, S. M. Kidwell, M. X. Kirby, C. S. Petersen, and J. B. Jackson. 2006. Depletion, Degradation, and Recovery Potential of Estuaries and Coastal Seas. Science 312:806-1809.

Bourque, B. J., S. L. Cox, and R. A. Lewis. 2006. The Mugford-Rosie Site, Topsham, Maine. Pp. 307-342 in D. Sanger and M. A. F. Renouf, eds. The Archaic of the Northeast. University of Maine Press, Orono.

Steneck, R. S., M. H. Graham, B.J. Bourque, D. Corbett, J. M. Erlandson, J. A. Estes, and M. J. Tegner. 2002. Kelp Forest Ecosystems: Biodiversity, Stability, Resilience and Future. Environmental Conservation 29(4):436-459.

Jackson, J., M. Kirby, W. Berger, K Bjorndahl, L. Botford, B. J. Bourque, R. Bradbury, R. Cooke, J. Erlandson, J. Estes, T. Hughes, S. Kidwell, C. Lange, H. Lenihan, J. Pandolfi, C. Peterson, R. Steneck, M. Tegner, and R. Warner. 2001. Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems. Science 293:629-638.

Bourque, B. J. 2001. Twelve Thousand Years: American Indians in Maine. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.

Bourque, B. J. 1995. Impacts of Rising Sea Level on Prehistoric Human Occupation of the Central Maine Coast. Field guide to the 1995 New England Intercollegiate Geologic Conference, October 1995, Bowdoin College, Brunswick.

Bourque, B. J. 1995. Diversity and Complexity in Prehistoric Maritime Societies: A Gulf of Maine Perspective. Plenum Press, New York. (Choice list of outstanding academic books of 1995)

Bourque, B. J. 1995. Prehistoric Indians of Maine. Pp. 12-30 in R. W. Judd, E. A. Churchill, and J. W. Eastman, eds. Maine: The Pine Tree State from Prehistory to the Present. University of Maine Press, Orono.

Bourque, B. J., and R. H. Whitehead. 1994. Trade and Alliances in the Contact Period. Pp. 131-147 in E. W. Baker, E. A. Churchill, R. S. D'Abate, K. Jones, V. A. Konrad, and H. E. Prins, eds. American Beginnings: Exploration, Culture, and Cartography in the Land of Norumbega. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.

Bourque, B. J., and H. W. Krueger. 1994. Dietary Reconstruction from Human Bone Isotopes for Five New England Coastal Populations. Pp. 195-209 in K. D. Sobolik, ed. Paleonutrition: The Diet and Health of Prehistoric Americans. Southern Illinois University Center for Archaeological Investigations.

Bourque, B. J. 1994. Evidence for Prehistoric Exchange on the Maritime Peninsula. Pp. 23-46 in J. E. Ericson and T.G. Baugh, eds. Prehistoric Exchange Systems in North America. Plenum Press, New York.