Delaney Cooley

Delaney Cooley is an archaeology graduate student at the University of Oklahoma. Prior to attending OU, she received her B.S. in Anthropology and minor in Biology at the University of Iowa in 2010.


Delaney has spent the last several field seasons in Scott County, Kansas, with faculty at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Iowa. Through this experience, she has had the opportunity to work with the lithics from site 14SC409 to better understand the effects of European colonization and Puebloan migration on the Great Plains.  Her research focuses on raw material procurement, technological decisions, and lifestyles of the people living in this pluralistic community.

In 2017, Delaney finished her Master’s Thesis examining Ute cultural continuity and broader social changes on the Uncompahgre Plateau of Colorado.  Her work examined the lithic artifacts from two mutlicomponent sites to infer changes in lithic technology procurement and production strategies within the last thousand years.

Currently, Delaney’s research focuses on the Athapaskan migration, a large-scale movement of people south from the Subartic.  While many of these migrants made their way to the American Southwest, evidence supports their long-term occupation across the Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, and Great Basin.  Delaney examines the relationships these groups would have forged with neighboring groups and the landscape in these regions.

Her research interests include migration, hunter-gatherers, lithic technology, cultural contact, and social identity. Delaney is also passionate about public archaeology and continuously searches for new ways to share the past with members of the public.