Dr. Macdonald’s current research explores hunter-gatherer aggregation through material culture to understand how individuals organized tasks at the Terminal Pleistocene site of Kharaneh IV, Jordan. Her other interests include method development for lithic microwear analysis and the applications of 3D microscopy for archaeological research. This research is developing new methods for the quantification of microwear traces through the use of microscopes developed for the field of surface metrology. Dr. Macdonald is currently the co-director of the Kharaneh IV excavation project in the Azraq Basin, Jordan.
Angela is a PhD candidate, and a graduate assistant of Dr. Macdonald. Her research interests include Mississippian archaeology, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, museum studies, public outreach, and Hopewell archaeology in the Illinois River Valley. Angela’s MA thesis, “Hopewell Community Interaction: A Study of Burial Offerings from Sites in the Illinois River Valley and Adjacent Mississippi River Valley,” analyzed burial goods from seven sites excavated by Gregory Perino. These sites included Joe Gay and Lawrence Gay in the Mississippi River Valley, and Montezuma, Bedford, Pilot’s Peak, Helm and Gibson in the Illinois River Valley. For her dissertation research, Angela will be examining museum visitors’ preconceptions of Native Americans and how museums address the mound builder myth and related stereotypes.
Ellica is a doctoral student, following the Museum Science Management track for her masters’ program, and a graduate assistant of Dr. Macdonald. Her research interests include artifact conservation, collections management, and community engagement in museums, as well as Arabic and the Middle East.