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Dr. Robert Riordan Collection of Miami Valley Archaeological Surveys (MS-659)

Identifier: MS-659

Scope and Contents

The archaeological surveys predominately focus on sites in the Miami Valley in Ohio, with the exception of one survey conducted in Tennessee. The reports were created for various city, county, and state departments as well as private organizations (especially Ralph L. Woolpert engineering and surveying firm in Dayton). The surveys generally consist of an abstract, description of environmental setting, literature review, description of cultural setting, field methods, results, and recommendations. The surveys also include maps and photographs of the surveyed areas.

The early archaeological surveys dated 1975-1982, 1987-1988, and 2006-2014 were completed by Dr. Riordan with help from Wright State University students through the Anthropology Department’s Archaeological Field School. These surveys are labeled “Laboratory of Anthropology, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.” The remaining surveys, dated from 1983-1986 and 1989-2000, were completed by Dr. Riordan as a private contractor and not as a representative of Wright State University. There several years in the collection without any surveys including: 1979, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2001-2006, 2008, 2010, 2011.


  • Creation: 1975-2014
  • Creation: Majority of material found within Bulk 1975-1998


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Robert V. Riordan is a distinguished archaeologist. He received his BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Colgate University in 1968 and completed his PhD in Anthropology from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 1975. In the fall of 1976, Dr. Riordan started teaching in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He later became the chair of the department. He’s academic focus was on the mound-building Hopewell culture. Dr. Riordan, now Professor Emeritus, retired in 2014. He worked for Wright State University for nearly 40 years.

Dr. Riordan taught an archaeological field school every summer at Wright State. Many of the surveys in this collection came from those summer field schools. The remaining surveys were completed by Dr. Riordan as a private contractor. Contract archaeology became increasing necessary in the late-1960s with the passing of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Section 106 of the Act dictates that organizations must submit to a review process for all federally funded and federally permitted projects that could impact sites listed on, or qualified for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places. Many archaeologists joined or started Cultural Resource Management (CRM) firms or worked independently as contractors to fill the growing need for archaeological surveys on federally funded or permitted projects. The privately contracted archaeological surveys in this collection likely were conducted due to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.


2.31 linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection consists of approximately 70 archaeological surveys undertaken by Dr. Robert V. Riordan Professor Emeritus in the Wright State University Anthropology Department. A portion of the archaeological surveys were completed by Wright State University students through the Anthropology Department’s Archaeological Field School. Dr. Riordan completed the remaining surveys as a private contractor.


The collection is arranged chronologically by date of publication.

Other Finding Aids

The finding aid is available on the Special Collections & Archives, Wright State University Libraries web site at It is also available in the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository at

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated to Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University Libraries by Dr. Robert V. Riordan in 2015.


No further accruals are expected.

Guide to the Dr. Robert Riordan Collection of Miami Valley Archaeological Surveys (MS-659)
Lisa Rickey
2019 Oct. 2
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Wright State University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives Repository

Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA