Robert Riordan grew up in New Jersey, received his BA from Colgate University, and his PhD in anthropology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He has worked at the Maryland Historical Trust and, since 1976, at Wright State, where he is currently Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He has conducted archaeological field schools every summer that he has been at WSU, with a focus on examining sites of the mound-building Hopewell culture. In 2003, as part of the Centennial of Flight celebration, his field school investigated the site of the Wright Cycle Co. shop on West Third Street in Dayton, where the Wright Brothers invented powered flight. He is currently working on a large ceremonial feature at the Fort Ancient earthwork in Warren County.