MSU archaeology expert named 2024 William Winter Scholar

Contact: Sarah Nicholas

Portrait of Shawn Lambert
Shawn P. Lambert (Photo by Beth Wynn)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—For his outstanding commitment to research and teaching in the humanities, Mississippi State’s Shawn P. Lambert, an assistant professor of archaeology, is representing the university as the 2024 William Winter Scholar at the 35th Annual Natchez Trace Literary and Cinema Conference this week [Feb. 22-24] in Natchez.

Selected by MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, Lambert is among scholars who are exploring life and death experiences in a series of presentations—including religious traditions, burial rituals, cemetery history, mourning practices and historic holidays—through this year’s theme, “Rites, Rituals, and Religion in the Deep South.”

More information about the NLCC is available at

“I want to thank everyone who nominated me for this wonderful honor. This award showcases the greatest appreciation for the humanities and a testament to the importance of community-engaged work, as we all work together to better understand our past and present for our future,” said Lambert, who is a fellow with MSU’s Cobb Institute of Archaeology. “Our community-engaged research and fieldwork at the Brush Arbor Cemetery would not have been successful without the dedication of our community partners, students and faculty research team, which has included Drs. Jesse Goliath, Anna Osterholtz, and Jordan Lynton-Cox. We are absolutely grateful for this award and so excited for the next phase of our research.”

Lambert received his Ph.D. in 2017 and master’s degree in 2013, both in anthropology, from the University of Oklahoma. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in 2011.

His primary research focuses on the early Mississippian period (ca. A.D. 800–1200). Lambert specializes in remote sensing and the analysis of ceramics, including design style, trace elemental analysis, and iconography to seek detailed histories of development, transformation, ritual integration, and movement of communities and interaction networks.

He has participated in recent projects in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana that focus on the role of ceramics in building and sustaining interregional community interactions. He was the recipient of a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation in 2020 in support of research aimed at preventing sexual harassment during undergraduate field-based courses.

For more details about MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences or the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, visit or

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024 - 4:57 pm