Jeffrey L. Brown Institute of Archaeology

The Jeffrey L. Brown Institute of Archaeology (JBIA) is a non-profit archaeological research unit affiliated with the Department of Social, Cultural, and Justice Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. As a part of UTC, the JBIA is a non-profit institution and is supported through funding from contracts and grants; no University appropriations are expended on Institute operations or maintenance.

Mission Statement

As a non-profit research unit of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and part of the College of Arts & Sciences, the Jeffrey L. Brown Institute of Archaeology seeks to embody the highest standards of research and archaeological investigation for prehistoric and historic sites in the American Southeast and the Caribbean.

We seek to promote the understanding of human diversity in the historic and prehistoric past through academic scholarship, client-driven solutions, meaningful collaboration, and innovative research. The Institute of Archaeology maintains scholarly and public service commitments to scientific archaeology, and has performed sponsored research services for a wide variety of private sector firms as well as federal, state and local governments. Besides contributing to scientific and historical research, the Institute enhances UTC’s educational mission through professional development for students, staff, and faculty. The JBIA is also involved in a number of outreach efforts that increase awareness and appreciation of prehistoric and historic cultural heritage in the Southeast and the Caribbean, and we are committed to working on sites that matter to our community.

Our Services

The JBIA is equally committed to resource management and research, and we offer a range of services to our community partners and clients:

  • Phase I cultural resource surveys
  • Phase II testing and evaluation
  • Phase III Mitigation and Data Recovery
  • Section 106, NEPA Cultural Resource Compliance
  • Education and Public Workshops
  • Laboratory Analysis and Collections Management
  • Documentation of Historic Structures
  • Cemetery Delineation and Investigation
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping and database management
  • Cartography and digital mapping

If you are interested in working with the JBIA or are seeking archaeological services for a project that is not listed here, please contact the Director of the JBIA, Dr. A. Brooke Persons, RPA, at or 423-425-4325.

Jeffrey L. Brown Scholarship Fund

Established through an endowment in March of 1982 by Dr. Jeffrey Brown’s family, this memorial scholarship is awarded to outstanding students in anthropology or an allied field at UTC who show academic merit and who “advance the academic ideals of environmental conservation and preservation of man’s historical past.” The dollar amount awarded varies from year to year according to funds that are available. The student recipient traditionally is a junior or beginning senior and is recommended in the spring semester to receive the scholarship funds in the fall and spring by the faculty of the Department of Social, Cultural, and Justice Studies. There is no student application procedure for this scholarship.

History of the Jeffrey L. Brown Institute of Archaeology

The Institute was formed in 1975 by Dr. Jeffrey L. Brown to promote scientific inquiry in the areas of industrial, historical and prehistoric archaeology in the Chattanooga region.  Brown served as the first Director of the Institute until his death in December 1980.  Brown, a graduate of the University of Arizona (Ph.D. 1973), was a prolific researcher who specialized in industrial archaeology and the history of technology. To honor his contributions to the region's culture history, the Institute was named in his honor in 1981 and a student scholarship was established.  From 1980 through 2019, Dr. Nick Honerkamp expanded the Institute's geographical scope of operation to include the greater southeastern United States, with an emphasis on antebellum plantation archaeology. Under the current Director, Dr. A. Brooke Persons, RPA, the JBIA mission has again expanded to include the Caribbean, in addition to the American Southeast.

Director’s Introduction

Dr. Brooke Persons is an anthropological archaeologist, professor, and Director of the Jeffrey L. Brown Institute of Archaeology (JBIA), a non-profit research institute at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dr. Persons received both an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Alabama and previously served for two years as the Senior Territorial Archaeologist for the Virgin Islands State Historic Preservation Office (VISHPO). In addition, she has worked in both the public and private sectors as an archaeological consultant. Dr. Persons' experience includes archaeological survey, testing and evaluation, and cultural resources recovery of both prehistoric and historic sites, with a focus on heritage management, ceramic analyses, settlement pattern analysis, and the application of Geographic Information Systems in archaeology.

As the Director of the JBIA, Dr. Persons offers research-driven heritage management solutions for projects throughout the American Southeast, including Tennessee and Alabama, as well as the Caribbean and has 13 years of extensive experience in the US Virgin Islands and Cuba. Dr. Persons has authored, directed, and supervised numerous archaeological projects for federal, territorial, state, and private clients. Key projects include co-directing a multi-year collaborative project in Cuba, drafting the Statewide Preservation Plan for the Virgin Islands State Historic Preservation Office, and directing post-disaster archaeological projects in the USVI. Over the years, she has directed archaeological surveys and mitigation projects on a range of prehistoric and historic sites and is committed to finding unique solutions for heritage preservation and mitigation. She meets SOI qualifications, is a member of the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA), and serves on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Council of Professional Archaeology and the National Park Partners in Chattanooga.

Current Projects

We are constantly working on a range of projects, both in the lab and in the field. Check back soon for an update!