Elizabeth Peterson

Interim Museum Director, Indigenous Engagement, Postdoctoral Fellow

Areas of interest

As a museum curator and archeologist, I am drawn to object based storytelling and how it connects people to the past through tangible, interactive experiences. Over the years, I have worked on several local and international archaeological and museum projects. Much of this work has focused on community engagement through increasing public access to museum collections and exhibit development. My current role as the Interim Director- Indigenous Engagement involves helping local communities reconnect to their cultural heritage currently housed within the MAE collection. This work includes overseeing collection research, visitations, and artifact repatriation projects.

My other areas of interest include the archaeological and ethnoarchaeological exploration of the development of craft specialization during the Pre-Aksumite period (1600-400BCE) in Eastern Tigrai, Ethiopia with a focus on stone tool studies. This research is part of the larger Eastern Tigrai Archaeological Project (ETAP) directed by Dr. Catherine D’Andrea.


  • Ph.D. Archaeology, SFU
  • MA Anthropology/Archaeology, University of Tulsa
  • BA Anthropology/Archaeology, University of Tulsa
  • Certificate Museum Studies, University of Tulsa


[In review] A. Catherine D’Andrea, Lynn Welton, Andrea Manzo, Helina S. Woldekiros, Alemseged Beldados, Elizabeth A. Peterson, Laurie A. Nixon-Darcus, Michela Gaudiello, Shannon R. Wood, Habtamu Mekonnen, Stephen Batiuk, Abebe Mengistu Taffere.“The Pre-Aksumite Period: Indigenous Origins and Development in the Horn of Africa.”

2019 Michael J. Harrower, Cinia Perlingieri, Ioana A. Dumitru, Smiti s. Nathan, Jennifer L. Swerida, Jacob L. Bongers, Helina s. Woldekiros, Laurel A. Poolman, Christie M. Pohl, Steven A. Brandt, Elizabeth A. Peterson, “Beta Samati: Discovery and Excavations of an Aksumite Town. Antiquity 93(372). Cambridge University Press: 1534 - 1552.