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William Balco, Ph.D.

Title: Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Anthropology Coordinator, Dahlonega Campus
Phone: 706-867-2881

Office: Barnes Hall 327, Dahlonega
Areas of Expertise: Anthropology


Dr. Balco is a native of Del Rio, Texas, but grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and St. Charles, Illinois and is fluent in Italian.  After completing his undergraduate degree in anthropology, Dr. Balco worked in cultural resource management (contract archaeology) while completing a second undergraduate degree (in history), a master's degree in anthropology, and finally a doctorate in anthropology.  In the United States, he has excavated in Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  Internationally, he has excavated in southern Mexico, Italy, and Sicily.  At UNG, Dr. Balco teaches anthropology courses at the Dahlonega Campus.  In all of his courses, he emphasizes the role of cultural interaction in shaping ancient and modern civilizations.

Courses Taught

Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Introduction to Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Mediterranean Archaeology, and Anthropology of Food


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2012

Research/Special Interests

My research explores two primary foci.  First, I examine western Mediterranean cultures with an emphasis on the Iron Age through Medieval periods.  My work has explored the following specific research topics: landscape archaeology of western Sicily; the archaeological interpretation of complex social entanglements; material culture as an indication of social transformation; the adoption of Greek feasting traditions among indigenous Iron Age Sicilian populations; the archaeological interpretation of identity transformation as examined using the theory of cultural hybridity; the formation of social middle grounds in social entanglement contexts; and exploring pottery production and exchange using compositional X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), and ceramic petrography analysis.  Second, I explore human land use and occupation in prehistoric and historic-period north Georgia.


“Thinking Beyond Imitation: Mixed-style vessels in ancient western Sicily” (article in progress)
Picard, J.L., W.M. Balco, B.L. Drew, and J.D. Richards, Summary of Phase III Excavations at the McHugh Site (47WP294), Waupaca County, Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Archaeologist 96 (2015): 1:118-123.
Balco, W.M.,  Tri-nodal social entanglements in Iron Age Sicily: material and social transformation.  Field Notes: A Journal of Collegiate Anthropology 3 (2012):1: 24-35.
Balco, W.M. and M.J. Kolb,  Loomweights as material culture indicators: a western Sicilian case study. In SOMA 2008: Proceedings of the XII symposium on Mediterranean archaeology, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus, 5-8 March 2008. H. Oniz, ed. Pp. 177-182.  BAR International Series 1909. Oxford: Archaeopress.
Balco, W.M., Neolithic cultural hybridity: social entanglements and the development of hybrid culture in the western Mediterranean.  Field Notes: A Journal of Collegiate Anthropology 1 (2009):1-16.

Work Experience

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of North Georgia, Department of History, Anthropology, and Philosophy – 2015-Present
Visiting Assistant Professor, Northern Illinois University, Department of Anthropology – 2014-2015
Adjunct Lecturer, Oakton Community College, Department of Anthropology – 2013-2014
Adjunct Lecturer, College of Lake County, Department of Anthropology – 2013-2014
Associate Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Department of Anthropology – 2011
Associate Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Department of Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Anthropology - 2010


Personal Information

Society for American Archaeology – Member, European Association of Archaeologists – Member, Archaeological Institute of America – Member, Southeast Archaeological Conference – Member, Midwest Archaeological Conference – Member, Society for Georgia Archaeology – Member, Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists – Member, Blue Ridge Archaeological Guild – Professional Advisor, Wisconsin Archaeological Society – Member, Association of Ancient Historians - Member

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