Christopher Watts

Associate Professor
watts profile pic

Office:  PAS 2010

Phone: 519-888-4567 x46925



Christopher Watts (PhD, Toronto) is an archaeologist with interests in place-making, materiality, artworks, and relational ontologies, particularly among the Woodland Period (ca. CE 1-1550) cultural traditions of the lower Great Lakes. Informed by contemporary social and archaeological theory, as well as Indigenous collaboration and scholarship, his research highlights how Woodland people, places, and things emerged in tandem with one another through various contextually dependent associations. In this vein, he is concerned with developing archaeological approaches that attend to such processes, be they at work in the materialization of sites, features, or assemblages.

Prior to joining the Department, Dr. Watts held postdoctoral fellowships at the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Western Ontario, and worked as an archaeologist in both the commercial and regulatory sectors. His past research has explored the agentive/animistic qualities of ceramic artifacts, notions of food collection vs. production, and the experiential aspects of longhouse life among Ontario Iroquoian groups. Currently, his field research focuses on Woodland Period earthen enclosures in southwestern Ontario, including field investigations in Essex Co., while his collections-based projects centre on design elements in Woodland pottery, smoking pipes, and other items.

Dr. Watts welcomes students who are interested in pursuing graduate studies as part of Waterloo’s MA in Public Issues Anthropology. See here for more information.

Some of the courses Dr. Watts teaches include:

Recent Publications

Watts, C. M. (2023) Exploring the Transmedial Worlds of Woodland Geometric Designs. In Ontologies in the Making: Anthropological and Archaeological Perspectives, edited by Q. Letesson and L. Simon. GRAAL series, Presses universitaires de Louvain (forthcoming).

Watts, C. M., R. F. Williamson, and L. Lesage (2023) All our Relations: The Grandview Site and Ancestral Huron-Wendat Gathering Logics. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 70, 10152.

Watts, C. M., and C. Knappett (eds.) (2022) Ancient Art Revisited: Global Perspectives from Archaeology and Art History. Routledge, New York.

Watts, C. M. (2022) Animals, Ambiguity, and Affect in Iroquoian Effigy Pipes. In Ancient Art Revisited: Global Perspectives from Archaeology and Art History, edited by C. M. Watts and C. Knappett, pp. 92-111. Routledge, New York.

Watts, C. M. (2020) The Embodied Performance and Affective Presence of Iroquoian Animal Effigy Pipes. World Archaeology 52(3):429-457.

Pilon, A. K., and C. M. Watts (2020) A GIS Analysis of Intra-Site Spatial Patterning at the Early Paleoindian Mt. Albion West Site (AhGw-131). Canadian Journal of Archaeology 44(2):222-252.

Watts, C. M. (2019) An Analysis of Ceramic Artifacts from the Cayuga Bridge Site (AfGx-1). Ontario Archaeology 99:49-76.

Watts, C. M. (2018a) Counter-monuments and the Perdurance of Place. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 28(3):379-393.

Watts, C. M. (2018b) Theorizing Materiality. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 42:92-100.

Watts, C. M. (2016) Recent Investigations at the Cedar Creek Earthworks (AaHq-2), Essex County, Ontario. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 41(1):1-25.