306 Battle Hall
Area of Interest:
Regional Focus: Southwestern United States; Chaco Canyon, New Mexico and the Chaco region.
Topical Interests: Ritual practice and cosmology, sociopolitical organization, legitimization and naturalization of power, public archaeology.
B.A. Anthropology and Biology, University of Virginia, 2006. Senior Honors Thesis: Precious Color, Primacy, and Fertility: The Role of Turquoise in Ritual and Political Authority and Legitimization in the Chacoan World.
Entered the program in 2007.
Qualifying paper, 2009. Charged Chaco: Exploring Organization and Power at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico (850-1150 C.E.) Through Variation in Small Kiva Ritual.
Research & Activities:
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at UNC Chapel Hill interested in the intersections of ritual practice and cosmology with power and sociopolitical organization, particularly in the prehispanic American Southwest. My dissertation focuses on the archaeology of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, a key area where clear indications of social differentiation in the Pueblo world first appeared during the 9th-11th centuries. Though research has been conducted at Chaco since 1896, many central questions, such as the distinct nature of Chacoan organization and leadership, have been difficult to solve. Recently, many scholars have argued convincingly for strong ritual components to Chacoan power and organization. One key question concerns the roles of dual organization (moieties) and ritual sodalities (non-kin groups) in Chacoan ceremonial-political organization. Current evidence for dualism is biological and architectural. Artifacts, especially details regarding their contexts (such as the shared contexts of different materials in caches) and what they may reveal about ritual and power, have been underemphasized in recent Chaco research. My research uses artifacts previously excavated from caches in a sample of Chacoan houses to investigate the nature of social differentiation in the canyon, specifically whether dualism was a key principle represented in Chacoan organization.
My work as a researcher with the Chaco Research Archive project (www.chacoarchive.org) has allowed me to gain an intricate understanding of the history of research and available data from Chaco Canyon, including unpublished excavation data from the earliest excavations which I utilize in my research.
Papers and Presentations:
2009. Charged Chaco: Exploring Organization and Power at Chaco Canyon Through Variation in Small Kiva Ritual. Invited paper presented at the 74th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Atlanta, Georgia.
2007. Precious Color, Primacy, and Fertility: The Role of Turquoise in Ritual and Political Authority and Legitimization in the Chacoan World. Paper presented at the 72nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin, Texas.
2005. (with Carrie C. Heitman and Phil R. Geib.) The Bluff Great House Platform and Mounds: Intentional Creations or Simply Disposal Areas? Invited poster presented at the 70th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Relevant Links: www.chacoarchive.org