Rebecca Mendelsohn

Ph.D. Anthropology, University at Albany - SUNY [Expected May 2017] 
M.A. Anthropology, University at Albany - SUNY, 2011
B.A. Archaeology & Art History, Dickinson College, PA, 2008


Research Interests:
Development of Sociopolitical Complexity, Networks and Interregional Interaction, Early Urbanism, Construction of Memory, Museum Anthropology, 3D Methods for Cultural Heritage

Area of Study / Field site:
Izapa, Chiapas, Mexico

Academic Advisor & Subfield:
Dr. Robert Rosenswig; Archaeology

CV Link
Website Link
Institute for Mesoamerican Studies Profile

I am a Ph.D. candidate with a research emphasis in Mesoamerican archaeology. My research investigates how changes in economic and social networks affect the rise and fall of early urban centers. I work at the archaeological site of Izapa, famous for its many carved monuments and for the site’s reported link between the Olmec and Maya cultures. My dissertation combines economic data recovered from household excavations with religious and environmental data to explain why Izapa survived at a time when many early cities struggled or collapsed. I have also conducted archaeological fieldwork in Greece, Cyprus, Belize, and Costa Rica. In addition to my work with archaeology, I am interested in how ancient and contemporary peoples are represented in museum settings..


2016 Instructor of Record, Archaeology, Anthropology Department, University at Albany, SUNY
2009-2012 Teaching Assistant, Anthropology Department, University at Albany, SUNY
-Field Instructor: Costa Rica Field School, 2012
-Lab Instructor: Archaeology, 2010
-Grader: Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas, 2009

2014- 2015 - Principal Investigator, Izapa Household Archaeology Project, Soconusco Region, Mexico
2011-2015 - Izapa Regional Settlement Project, Soconusco Region, Mexico Principal Investigator: Robert M. Rosenswig, University at Albany, SUNY
-Laboratory Director, 2015
-Laboratory Assistant, 2013
-Suboperation Director, 2012
-Co-Survey Director, 2011 (2 seasons)
2013 - Researcher, Área de Prehistoria y Evolución, Institución de Investigaciones Antropológicas Principal Investigator: Guillermo Acosta, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
2010 - Suboperation Director, Actuncan Archaeological Project, Belize Principal Investigator: Lisa LeCount, University of Alabama
2008 - Collections Management Intern, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian,Cultural Resource Center, Suitland, MD
2007 - Field School Participant, Kalavasos Prehistoric Excavation in Cyprus, Kalavasos, Cyprus Principal Investigator: JoAnne Clarke, University of East Anglia
2006 - Field School Participant, Dickinson Field School, Mycenae, Greece Principal Investigator: Christofilis Maggidis, Dickinson College

2015-2016 - Junior Fellow, Pre-Columbian Studies, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection,Harvard University
2014-2015 - Co-PI, National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant #BCS-1349916, Izapa Household Archaeology Project
2013-2014 - Fulbright-García Robles Scholar, Mexico Project: Agriculture, Daily Life, and the Rise of Mesoamerican Civilization: View from Izapa
2010-2013 - National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow


-2016, Rosenswig, Robert R. and Rebecca R. Mendelsohn. Izapa and the Soconusco Region, Mexico, in the First Millennium A.D. Latin American Antiquity 27: 357-377.
-2016, Stark, Barbara L., Matthew A. Boxt, Janine Gasco, Rebecca B. González-Lauck, Jessica D. Hedgepeth-Balkin, Arthur A. Joyce, Stacie M. King, Charles L. F. Knight, Robert Kruger, Marc N. Levine, Richard G. Lesure, Rebecca Mendelsohn, Marx Navarro-Castillo, Hector Neff, Michael Ohnersorgen, Christopher Pool, L. Mark Raab, Robert Rosenswig, Marcie Venter, Barbara Voorhies, David T. Williams, and Andrew Workinger. Economic Growth in Mesoamerica: Obsidian Consumption in the Coastal Lowlands. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 41: 263-282.
-2013, Rosenswig, Robert M., Ricardo López-Torrijos, Caroline E. Antonelli, and Rebecca R. Mendelsohn. Lidar mapping and surface survey of the Izapa state on the tropical piedmont of Chiapas, Mexico. Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 1493-1507.