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John M. Connaway was born in New London, Connecticut, and grew up in Helena, Arkansas. He holds degrees in biology and anthropology (B.A.) and anthropology (M.A.) from the University of Mississippi, and has been employed as a field archaeologist by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History since 1968. Connaway has specialized in the prehistoric archaeology of Mississippi and has authored several books, monographs, and articles on the subject.
Fishweirs began when, in 1975, Connaway recognized and subsequently published upon the prehistoric Sturdivant Fishweir, the first such feature recorded from Mississippi. That discovery initiated an increasingly complex journey of exploration and discovery of what was, and was not, known about fishweirs globally. Fishweirs is the result of Connaway’s more-than-thirty-year search for the history of how humans have harvested freshwater and coastal saltwater fishes en masse.