Jun Sunseri

Spring 2013

My research in historical archaeology includes complementary lines of evidence of varied types and spatial scales. These include analysis of archaeological ceramic and faunal assemblages related to domestic foodways and GIS analysis of remote sensing, survey, and excavation data to reveal tactical, engineering, and ritual patterning of cultural landscapes. By placing these suites of data in dialogue with each other, I seek more robust explanations of the ways that communities expressed various aspects of their identities in different contexts and scales of social performance. Primary to such research is the study of systems of cross-cultural contact and the way they operated in structuring and mitigating social and ethnic boundaries during the proto-historic and colonial periods. Related to these research foci are the relationships between colonization and the historical transformation of indigenous landscape, foodways, and identity. As an archaeologist, I am especially interested in the potential for examining these issues through the analysis of material culture and technology.

I think it is important to approach research projects as multidimensional processes that are both archaeological and contemporary, necessitating collaboration with living communities in the narrative building process. Towards this end, I have recently conducted research in collaboration with local community members and agencies in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico; Mono County, California; and Limpopo Province, South Africa. I answer to the communities who trace their heritage to the sites where I work. As a guest, I value my partnerships with local descendants, residents, and teachers interested in including ethnohistory and archaeological science in political recognition, local curriculum, and land and water management endeavors.