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Mallory A. Melton

"Feeding the Urban Experiment: Preclassic Agroforestry Systems of Pacific Guatemala (900 BCE–100 CE)"

Mallory A. Melton

Fellow, Pre-Columbian Studies

Mallory’s research uses food to study the origins of aggregated living at one of the earliest incipient cities in Mesoamerica. Her work analyzes macroscopic and microscopic plant remains from households at the Middle Preclassic archaeological site of La Blanca (900–500 BCE) on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. She proposes that the analysis of plant remains has potential to provide a non-binary perspective on social differentiation. Her statistical analysis of plant remains provides a novel perspective on issues of resource diversification and maize intensification during the expansion of La Blanca and the broader initial urbanization of the Pacific Coast.

Mallory A. Melton completed her PhD in Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara in June 2022. She also holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Bachelor’s degrees in Archaeology & Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has served as Archaeobotany Director for the La Blanca Project since the January 2016 field season. In addition to her work in Pacific Guatemala, she actively publishes and collaborates on projects related to the impacts of sociopolitical change on daily life in other parts of the Americas.