Divergent Community Strategies During Classic Period Collapse: A View from Mexico's Gulf CoastIn this talk, Marcie Venter, assistant professor of archaeology and anthropology at Murray State University, will discuss the complexities of being resilient and how communities, even those living in close proximity to each other, affect their own outcomes during periods of marked stress. She will explore alternative strategies that the settlements Totogal and Matacanela, both located in the Tuxtla Mountains of Veracruz, Mexico, utilized during the Late Classic period--a time of widespread climatic, political, economic and religious system change throughout Mesoamerica.
About the Speaker
Marcie Venter received a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in anthropology from the University of Kentucky. She is an assistant professor of archaeology and anthropology in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Murray State University. Venter studies the dynamics of ancient states and empires through a focus on the transformation of political and economic networks within boundary regions, which are especially sensitive to periods of expansion, contraction and integration across space. Her methodological expertise includes ceramic analysis and historical research and also incorporates remote sensing and other cutting edge technologies. She is especially fascinated by changes that occurred in Mesoamerica after CE 800. Her interests also include how modern groups associate with and incorporate archaeological heritage into daily practice. Venter is the director of the Matacanela Archaeological Project (National Science Foundation, BCS-1358063), which is examining the transformation of political and economic relationships in the Gulf lowlands of Mesoamerica during a period of pronounced demographic, climatic and environmental change. She is also the director of the Spanish Oristan Archaeological Project on the southwest coast of Jamaica, where she and colleagues are searching for archaeological evidence for one of Spain's earliest colonial settlements on the island.