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Kelsey E. Hanson

About Kelsey E. Hanson

Kelsey E. Hanson ia a North American anthropological archaeologist with broad interests in craft specialization, traditional knowledge, power, performance, and paint technology. Operating at the disciplinary intersections of archaeology, conservation science, and ethnography, her doctoral research is centered on the development and eventual dissolution of the Chaco World through the analysis of paint technology. By focusing on paint technology as a proxy for traditional knowledge, her doctoral research treats the circulation of traditional knowledge as an alternative foundation of power. Beyond this, Kelsey is devoted to seeking creative solutions to heritage management and actively seeks to make archaeological praxis collaborative, restorative, and accessible to diverse communities. 

Interested in learning more about Kelsey's developing dissertation research? Watch Hanson's recent Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society lecture titled: "Technologies of Capturing Color: Paint Practice and its Analysis in U.S. Southwest Material Culture" on Youtube!

Additionally, she has conducted experimental archaeological research in the Laboratory for Traditional Technology exploring the role of ceramic technology in acorn oil rendering, a short description of which can be found here.

Selected Publications

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. PDF available on and

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. PDF available on and

Courses Taught

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

  • 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

2019–Present, Lithics Lab Director and Field Supervisor, Upper Gila Preservation Archaeology Field School, Archaeology Southwest

2018–Present, Principal Investigator and Survey Director, Cave Creek Canyon Archaeological Cave Survey, Friends of Cave Creek Canyon

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; Performance, especially analyses of performance venues; Craft specialization; Identity construction; Paint production; Ritual and religious practice; Karst landscapes; GIS and geospatial analysis; Landscape archaeology; Experimental archaeology

Kelsey E. Hanson's picture

Contact Information

Graduate Associate
Office: Southwest Archaeology Lab (Haury 402)


M.S. in Anthropology (Prehistoric Archaeology), Illinois State University, 2016
B.S. in Anthropology, Grand Valley State University 2014