Kelsey Hanson

Kelsey Hanson

PhD Candidate
Kelsey Hanson

Southwest Archaeology Lab, Emil W. Haury Building, Room 402

About Kelsey Hanson

Kelsey E. Hanson is a Ph.D. Candidate specializing in the archaeology of the U.S. Southwest. Her work is dedicated to interdisciplinary and collaborative means of understanding and celebrating the human past.

In her current work, she is particularly interested in how specialized knowledge is cultivated and circulated in communities and how this is encoded in material culture. Drawing from anthropological archaeology, Indigenous philosophy, and conservation science, Hanson’s dissertation research problematizes paint technology to understand the circulation of specialized knowledge in the rise and fall of the Chaco World of northern New Mexico (A.D. 850–1300). By treating paint technology as a material proxy for specialized knowledge, Hanson uses the circulation of paint technology to understand changing power relations in the Chaco World. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, P.E.O. International, and the Getty Foundation, and others.

Selected Publications

Hanson, Kelsey E. 2023. Color and Chaco Performance: Spatial Histories of Blue-Green Paint Production at Pueblo Bonito. Kiva 89(2):117–138. Winner of the Julian D. Hayden paper award. DOI:

Hanson, Kelsey E., Steve Baumann, Theresa Pasqual, Octavius Seowtewa, and T. J. Ferguson. 2022. “This Place Belongs to Us”: Historic Contexts as a Mechanism for Multivocality in the National Register American Antiquity. DOI:

Hanson, Kelsey E. 2019. Constructing and Anchoring Waterscapes: Intersections of Post-Glacial Coastal Geomorphology, Archaeology, and Anishinaabe Ontologies in the Upper Great Lakes. The Wisconsin Archeologist 100(1&2):69–82. 

Hanson, Kelsey E., Paula L. Bryant, Autumn M. Painter, and James M. Skibo. 2019. Acorn Processing and Pottery Use in the Upper Great Lakes: An Experimental Comparison of Stone Boiling and Ceramic Technology. Ethnoarchaeology: Journal of Archaeological, Ethnographic, and Experimental Studies 11(2):1–16. DOI: 10.1080/19442890.2019.1642574


Courses Taught

Anthropology Field Instructor, Interdisciplinary Field Program, University of Georgia:

  • ANTH2120H: Honors Introduction to Anthropology, Summer 2022
  • ANTH4020: Indians of North America, Summer 2022

Instructor of Record, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona:

  • ANTH LAS MAS 334A: Mesoamerican Civilizations: Maya, Summer 2021
  • ANTH AIS 346: Clovis to Coronado: Ancient Peoples of the Southwest, Spring 2021
  • ANTH 160A1: World Archaeology, Summer 2020

Teaching Associate, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona:

  • ANTH 160A1: World Archaeology, Fall 2019
  • ANTH 265: Human Evolution, Spring 2017
  • ANTH AIS 346: Clovis to Coronado: Ancient Peoples of the Southwest, Fall 2016

Teaching Assistant, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Illinois State University:


2018–Present, Graduate Research Associate, cyberSW

2018–2019, Principal Investigator and Survey Director, Cave Creek Canyon Archaeological Cave SurveyFriends of Cave Creek Canyon

2019, Lithics Lab Director and Field Supervisor, Upper Gila Preservation Archaeology Field SchoolArchaeology Southwest

2017–2020, Graduate Research Associate, Inscription Rock Archaeological District National Register Nomination Team Lead, El Morro National Monument

2016–2017, Graduate Research Associate, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument National Register Nomrination Team Lead, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

2016, Field Intern, Basketmaker Communities Project, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

2014–2016, Graduate Research Assistant, Grand Island Archaeological Program, Illinois State University and Hiawatha National Forest

Research Interests

North American archaeology (regional emphasis in the U.S. Southwest); Critical analyses of archaeological praxis; Paint technology; Performance; Collaborative and community-oriented research and heritage management strategies; Technical skills in the analysis of mineral pigments and paint technology; GIS and geospatial analysis

Selected Fellowships, Grants, and Awards

2023–2024 Haury Dissertation Writing Fellowship, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona

2023 Hitachi Scholarship in Electron Microscopy, Kuiper Imaging and Characterization Facility

2022 Constance M. Filling Fellowship, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

2022 PaleoWest Foundation Scholarship Grant

2022 Carryl B. Martin-F. Lewis Jr. Orrell Research Award (with Maren Hopkins), Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society

2022 Julian D. Hayden Paper Prize, Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society and the Arizona Archaeological Council

2022 Matthew Tobin Cappetta Scholarship, Society for American Archaeology

2022 Fred Plog Memorial Fellowship, Society for American Archaeology

2022 Florence C. and Robert H. Lister Fellowship, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

2021 Cordell Prize, 93rd Annual Pecos Conference, Mancos, CO

2021 Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, National Science Foundation

2021 P.E.O. Scholar Award, International Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood