Steven M. Watts


Prehistorian Steve Watts directs the Aboriginal Studies and the Traditional Outdoors Skills Programs at the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia, North Carolina (since 1984).  There he offers a series of Native American and Early Human Cultures programs for school students and an annual series of primitive technology and Classic Camping workshops for museum professionals, teachers, archaeologists and other interested adults. His replicas of prehistoric tools and weapons are featured in museums throughout the US.

Steve serves as a research associate with the Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of South Carolina and is a founding board member and passed president of the international Society of Primitive Technology (1996-2007), which publishes a biannual journal, The Bulletin of Primitive Technology.

He has presented workshops, aboriginal technology demonstrations and classic camping skills trainings throughout North America and in Europe.   In the summers of 2005, 2006 and 2009 Steve received research grants to do research work at the Lejre Experimental Archaeology Centre in Denmark.

Between 1995 and 1999, he served as a consultant on the Twentieth Century Fox film Cast Away. He has also consulted for, and appeared in, several History Channel series--Extreme History(2003),  Digging For The Truth (2005) Modern Marvels (2008) and 101 Fast Foods That Changed The World (2013).

Steve is the author of many articles dealing with history, culture and technology.  A collection of his writings, Practicing Primitive: A Handbook of Aboriginal Skills was published by Gibbs Smith Publishers in 2005. He completed his undergraduate education at Appalachian State University in 1969 and received his master’s degree from Duke University in 1971.

“The learning and practice of aboriginal skills can help us all get in touch with our own roots, no matter what our particular heritage may be.  If we go back far enough into our own pasts, we discover that we are all aboriginal peoples at some time in some place.  The Stone Age is the great common denominator of humanness. ‘Primitive’ (‘first’) skills are our shared heritage”

                                                               Steve Watts 1985