“Halito. Sia Joe Watkins. Sia Chahta Oklahoma. “

“Hello. I am Joe Watkins, and I am Oklahoma Choctaw.”

I thought it time to introduce myself. So far, I have provided some Memoirs about my time here at Hokkaido University in Sapporo as a Visiting Professor at the Global Station for Indigenous Studies and Cultural Diversity. I am a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and I have been doing archaeology for more than 50 years. It has been a wonderful and sometimes tumultuous journey, and I still enjoy doing it when I get the chance.

My interests have always been Experimental Archaeology, from the moment I learned how to make stone tools in France in 1972, through my dissertation research where I constructed and lived in an underground pit structure (“pit house”) in Taos, New Mexico. I used stone, bone, and antler tools as part of activities in the pit house to record the traces of activities related to making stone tools and pottery, grinding corn, and butchering and cooking animals left in the structure after abandonment.

For me, experimental archaeology is a way to learn more about past cultures by doing the activities past people did to survive. While I may not be as good at it as they were, I try. I’ve been doing various aspects of this for 50 years now, and I still enjoy it! Some of my activities here in Japan will touch on this aspect of my career, while other things will be far afield from it. I hope you will enjoy what I have to offer, and If you have any questions or suggestions about my time here in contemporary Sapporo or experimental archaeology, please email me at jwatkins [at] theaceconsulltants [dot] com.

Photograph of the author in 1975 (left) and 2022 (right). Photograph on the right by Carol Ellick.