Christine Hastorf, Professor

Closed (1) Imperial past foodways: working with plant distributions at the early imperial city of Huari in the central Andes

Applications for Spring 2018 are now closed for this project.

For this URAP experience, you will be working in the McCown Archaeobotany Laboratory with Dr. Christine Hastorf and PhD student Geoffrey Taylor, assisting with the analysis of carbonized plant remains for the Huari Urban Prehistory Archaeological Project. Huari is a large urban archaeological settlement in the central highlands of Peru, with occupations dating from approximately AD 400 – AD 1150. Huari is understood to be the capital of one of what is possibly the first empire of the Americas (the Wari Empire). Materials being analyzed are plant remains excavated from domestic compounds near the ceremonial core of the city in 2017. The project is attempting to understand the daily lives and foodways of the people at the center of the political, artistic, and ceremonial phenomenon of Wari.




Student will be working with the archaeological plant remains studying them under a microscope and what questions we can learn what they tell us about past food use, trade and cooking. The undergraduate researcher will learn about the archaeological sub-discipline of paleoethnobotany and get first-hand lab experience sorting and identifying carbonized plant remains under microscope. The appointment begins Spring 2018, but preference is for students who may be available or interested in continuing the following academic year.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Geoffrey Taylor, Ph.D. candidate

Qualifications: An interest in archaeology and or plants Some experience with microscopes

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Closed (2) Ancient Andean plants and their diversity

Applications for Spring 2018 are now closed for this project.

UC Berkeley's archaeobotanical laboratory completes a range of archaeological analyses and research. Holding a series of archaeological samples, plant type collections as well as visual images of plants used to help identify archaeobotanical material. This project will work on the laboratory archaeobotanical collections and our visual database, organizing them into curational order, recording them in our computer data base, with a focus on wild taxa


Organizing laboratory data sets, adding to and editing the filemaker pro database, scanning, and working with plant specimens within the UC Berkeley McCown Archaeobotanical Laboratory in the Anthropology Department.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Christine Hastorf

Qualifications: An interest in plants would be helpful to gain more from this experience.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs

Closed (3) Archaeological Obsidian Inventory

Applications for Spring 2018 are now closed for this project.

This research apprenticeship project involves cataloging a collection of ancient obsidian source samples from South America. The project will compare the extant inventory at UC Berkeley with the results of analyses that have been conducted on these samples and on artifacts from the region.






This project will involve pulling materials from a collection, running samples in an X-Ray Fluorescence machine, gathering and appending results into a database, and reviewing the patterns noted in the geochemistry of obsidian source samples and obsidian cultural artifacts.


Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Nicholas Tripcevich, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Attention to detail, familiarity with spreadsheets and database data entry.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs

Closed (4) The organization of a fire and its cultural impact discussion in the spring 2018

Applications for Spring 2018 are now closed for this project.

This spring project has a goal of organizing and completing a public speaking event about Fire and Cultural impacts. The Archaeological Research Facility is planning an event with a range of experts on fire and society. The URAP apprentice will work on the organization of this event with faculty within the Archaeological Research Facility, contacting the speakers the venue and other related people to create a successful event.

This apprenticeship will engage with and learn about how to organize a public event that focuses in on an important and timely topic.


Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Meg Conkey, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: An interest in planning public programatic events.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs