Maia Dedrick

Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate


I am an anthropological archaeologist who focuses on the daily lives and livelihoods of farmers, with a particular focus on those living in Yucatán, Mexico, during the Colonial period (ca. AD 1540-1820). Through my work, I seek to understand how people living modestly in rural areas influence historical trajectories by examining the struggles they face and the strategies they employ in the pursuit of well-being for their families and communities. I am committed to community collaboration and find myself increasingly drawn to the archaeology of the contemporary and recent past based on the openings such research provides for engaged and applied scholarship.

Research methods that I employ include archaeological excavation and survey, ethnographic interviews and oral history recordings, paleoethnobotanical analyses (plant surveys and identification of seeds, wood, starch grains, and phytoliths), as well as the study of historical documents. I also collaborate with scholars who specialize in the study of pollen, soil carbon isotopes, animal bones, ceramics, and other forms of evidence encountered through excavation. By integrating such diverse lines of evidence, I wish to better understand long-term landscape and food system dynamics as they relate to population fluctuations, economic systems, and political regimes.

My teaching areas include food and agriculture, colonialism, Latin America, engaged scholarship, and heritage.

ARKEO Courses - Spring 2024