Conkey graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1965. She is a professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is the director of the university's Archaeological Research Facility and holds a rare endowed chair (Class of 1960 Professor of Anthropology). Her work is mainly centered in the French Pyrenees, where she works on lithic dispersal in the Upper Paleolithic.
Professor Conkey was one of the first archaeologists to introduce feminist theory into archaeology, and is thus a pioneering figure in the subfields of gender archaeology and feminist archaeology. Her other recent field research includes an interpretive analysis of Paleolithic art of southern France dating to between 40,000 and 15,000 years ago. She has challenged the theory that cave art was primarily a male practice whose purpose was sympathetic magic to ensure success in big game hunting.
Professor Conkey became President of the Society for American Archaeology in 2009.
- Haviland, William; Walrath, Dana & Prins, Harald (2007) Evolution and Prehistory: The Human Challenge, Wadsworth, ISBN 978-0-495-38190-7, p. 210
- "Margaret Conkey, Professor", University of California Berkely, retrieved 2011-07-12
- Pringle, Heather (2011) "Smithsonian Shipwreck Exhibit Draws Fire From Archaeologists", Science, 10 March 2011, retrieved 2011-07-12
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