Christine Hastorf, Professor

Closed (1) Plant use in early agricultural societies in the Titicaca Basin, Bolivia.

Closed. This professor is continuing with Fall 2021 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Spring 2022.

On this project you will be working in the Anthropology Department's McCown Archaeobotany Laboratory with Dr. Christine Hastorf. You will be assisting with the analysis and quantification of carbonized plant remains from the Taraco Archaeological Project, located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. The project is attempting to understand the foodways of the residents during the process of local plant domestication, specifically potatoes and quinoa. This phase of the project is also working on refining the depositional through pulling samples to a date.




The chosen students will be working with the archaeological plant remains, studying them under a microscope and quantifying them to address our questions on. indigenous domestication. The undergraduate researcher will learn about the archaeological sub-discipline of palaeoethnobotany and get first-hand lab experience sorting, counting and identifying carbonized plant remains. Preference will be given to students who have attention to detail, are interested in plants, food, and long-term human change., Ph.D. candidate

Qualifications: An interest in archaeology and/ or plants. Some experience with microscopes is useful.

Weekly Hours: 3-5 hrs

Related website: https://archaeobotany.berkeley.edu

Closed (2) Visualizing the past: 3D visual display of archaeological material related to food from a Formative settlement in the Lake Titicaca Basin

Closed. This professor is continuing with Fall 2021 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Spring 2022.

UC Berkeley's McCown archaeobotany laboratory completes a range of archaeological analyses and research. This project will focus on visualizing the archaeological plant and animal remains that have been excavated across an early residential settlement using ARCGIS to create three dimensional distribution maps of the ecofacts to study past foodways and plant use. These images will visualize and help to better understand subsistence and resiliency in the early farming times at a core location of domestication in the Titicaca Basin.


Adding botanical and faunal data sets into a GIS database so that we can plot the excavated material into three-dimensional maps. This research hopes to generate heat map densities of archaeological materials through ARC GIS modeling. With this database, we will create a sequence of plots that will visualize the material across use areas. This research will take place within the UC Berkeley McCown Archaeobotanical Laboratory in the Anthropology Department.

Qualifications: Experience with ARC GIS is essential, in order to plot data counts and weights in three dimensions. An interest in archaeology, foodways, or plants and animals is appreciated but not essential.

Weekly Hours: 3-5 hrs

Related website: http://archaeobotany.berkeley.edu

Closed (3) Plant Foods and Firewood from the North American Southwest

Closed. This professor is continuing with Fall 2021 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Spring 2022.

This URAP project involves first-hand research experience with archaeological plant remains in the McCown Archaeobotany Laboratory with Dr. Christine Hastorf and PhD student Elizabeth Dresser-Kluchman. The student will assist with the analysis of carbonized plant remains from the Gallina area in Northern New Mexico. This area was occupied between 1000 and 1300 by a group of Ancestral Puebloan people whose lifeways and architecture diverged dramatically from their neighbors while they fed themselves and built their communities along forested, hilly areas. Understanding the plants that these people engaged with will allow for an understanding of the culinary traditions in this area. Understanding the trees and plant foods that were important on this landscape will allow us to consider how people managed successfully in this sometimes marginal Southwestern environment. The student will analyze plant samples from home structures that were excavated over the course of the 2019 and 2021 field seasons.








The URAP student will analyze archaeological flotation samples using a microscope, and may also participate in SEM (scanning electron microscope) analysis of firewood samples from the site. This will involve sorting of the samples along with identification and quantification of plant species. Preference will be for students who may be available and interested in continuing the work in subsequent semesters, as a full year commitment is ideal for training in archaeobotany.





Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Elizabeth Dresser-Kluchman, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: An interest in botany, archaeology, foodways, and/or the American Southwest, and the ability to work independently.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Open (4) Ancient Central American Plant Resources: Identification of Archaeological Wood Charcoal from Arenal, Costa Rica

Open. Apprentices needed for the spring semester. Enter your application on the web beginning January 11th. The deadline to apply is Monday, January 24th at 9 AM.

For this URAP experience, the student will get first-hand research experience with archaeological plant remains in the McCown Archaeobotany Laboratory with Dr. Christine Hastorf and PhD student Venicia Slotten. The student will assist with the analysis of carbonized plant remains from an archaeological site, La Chiripa, that was preserved by the eruption of Arenal Volcano in the northern highlands of Costa Rica around 1450 BC. Settlements in this area are known for their long-term stability and resilience, and archaeobotanical evidence could explain the adaptability of these past peoples in terms of their food and resource procurement strategies. The primary material the student will engage with is preserved wood charcoal.



Students will aide in the identification and analysis of preserved wood charcoal remains from an archaeological site in Arenal, Costa Rica. Students will learn about anatomical characteristics of wood and the most common tree species of Costa Rica. The majority of the work would be digital and could be completed remotely.

The undergraduate researcher will also have the opportunity to learn scanning electron microscopy, which will aid in the identification of the plant remains.



Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Venicia Slotten, Ph.D. candidate

Qualifications: An interest in botany, archaeology, foodways, and/or Latin America and the ability to work independently. Preference will be made for students who may be available and interested in continuing the work in subsequent semesters.

Weekly Hours: 3-5 hrs