Shanti Morell-Hart (Visiting Assistant Professor, 2013-2014)
I've worked with nineteen field projects spanning three continents and encompassing societies dating from the Late Pleistocene to Historic periods. The bulk of my academic research has been carried out in Honduras and Mexico, investigating ancient Maya, Zapotec, and Mixtec communities. Currently, I'm engaged with five projects addressing ancient Mesoamerican lifeways, including cuisine, plant domestication, ecological shifts, resilience, daily practice, and dynamic aspects of colonial encounters. Broader interests include archaeogastronomy, socioecology, and other strange conglomerate words that relate to ancient foodways and human-plant interactions. My methodological expertise is in paleoethnobotany, primarily macroremains (e.g. seeds) and microremains (e.g. starch grains). Thus far, my published work has addressed transformations in social complexity, gastronomic heritage, social paleoethnobotany, theoretical approaches to human-plant interactions, and human resilience under extreme conditions. I've taught courses at U.C. Berkeley, Colorado College, San Quentin State Prison, and most recently the College of William and Mary. At Stanford, I will teach courses on three of my favorite topics: Lifeways of the Ancient Maya,Landscape Archaeology and Global Information Systematics, and Peoples and Cultures of Ancient Mesoamerica. My plans also include paleoethnobotanical research at the Archaeology Center, where I hope to involve undergraduate and graduate students.