About the Authors

Meet the Team

Kirk French - I’m an anthropological archaeologist whose primary interest is developing a better understanding of the relationships between humans and their environments.  I accomplish this through a combination of traditional archaeology and watershed modeling.  I have spent the last 15 years working at Palenque and will soon be dipping my toe into North Carolina to investigate illicit whiskey production in Appalachia.

Kirk Damon Straight - I have worked in the Classic Maya lowlands since 1993, at Caracol, Cayo, Belize; Tikal, Petén, Guatemala; and Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico. My primary focus remains ceramic analysis and the investigation of circulation patterns for ceramics of the Classic Period. Initially working at Palenque as part of the Proyecto Grupo de las Cruces, 1998-2002, I have recently shifted my focus back to the western Maya lowlands. Beyond working with Dr. Kirk French on the Palenque Pool Project, I began working with Dr. Ronald Bishop of the Smithsonian Institution this year to complete publication of the Palenque ceramic sequence initiated by the late Dr. Robert Rands. 
Reed Goodman - I am an anthropologist who studies changing land use practices in the ancient world. I am particularly interested in the relationship between natural resource intensification and growing networks of interdependency. Because I am trained in Mesopotamian archaeology, this is a great opportunity to develop a cross-comparative approach to early complex societies.

 Claire Ebert - I am an archaeologist interested in the development of social stratification in the Maya lowlands during the Preclassic Period. My dissertation research focuses on social and economic changes taking place between households. My research also employs archaeometric and spatial analyses using GIS to answer broader anthropological questions about socio-economic change though time.

Emily Zavodny - I am currently an archaeology doctoral candidate in the Anthropology Department at Penn State University. My doctoral project focuses on land use, mortuary practices, and warfare during the Balkan Bronze Age, specifically on the Iapodian culture centered in the Lika region of Croatia. I have done archaeological fieldwork in Croatia, Albania, Italy, and Portugal.

Elijah Hermitt - I am an anthropology undergraduate at Penn State University. The Palenque Pool Project has been my first extended experience in the field. This past year I performed research looking at the sand-like substance found on the floor of the Picota Pool. I have volunteered in the lab at the Pennsylvania State Museum in Harrisburg, as well as at the French & Indian War Era site of Fort Hunter. In the future, I aspire to be an anthropological archaeologist with a focus on the Maya civilization.