Traci Ardren


Traci is an anthropological archaeologist interested in New World prehistoric cultures. Her research focuses on issues of identity and other forms of symbolic representation in the archaeological record, especially the ways in which differences are explained through gender. Current preoccupations include the role of cuisine in identity formation in the later periods of Classic Maya culture and prehistoric southern Florida, as well as the ways we can read memories in ancient living spaces. Traci directs the Matecumbe Chiefdom Project looking at the political organization and environmental adaptation of the pre-Hispanic occupants of the Florida Keys and is a staff member of the Proyecto de Interacción Política del Centro de Yucatán, at the Classic Maya site of Yaxuna, in Yucatan, Mexico where she is investigating the ways ancient road systems allowed for the flow of information and ideas and how culinary tourism and modern foodways intersect. As Consulting Curator for Mesoamerican Art, Traci has curated a number of exhibits at the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami, including “The Jaguar’s Spots: Ancient Mesoamerican Art from the Lowe Art Museum” in 2010, “Flowers for the Earth Lord: Guatemalan Textiles from the Permanent Collection” in 2006, and most recently, “Kay Pacha: Reciprocity with the Natural World in the Ancient Art of the Andes” in 2016. She grew up in and around the Ringling Museum of Art and the many ways in which objects are allowed to convey our wants and needs is a lifelong fascination.

Some of Dr. Ardren’s recent publications include:

2016       Kay Pacha: Reciprocity with the Natural World. Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami: Coral Gables.

2015       Social Identities in the Classic Maya Northern Lowlands: Gender, Age, Memory, and Place. University of Texas Press.

2015       Prehistoric human impact on tree island lifecycles in the Florida Everglades. (Ardren, Lowry, Memory, Flanagan, Busot) The Holocene

2014       The Production of Space and Identity at Classic Period Chunchucmil, Yucatán, Mexico.  In Making Ancient Cities: Studies of the Production of Space in Early Urban Environments, K. Fisher and A. Creekmore, eds.: 145-180.  Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

2012       The Phalli Stones of the Classic Maya Northern Lowlands: Masculine Anxiety and Regional Identity.  In Power and Identity in Archaeological Theory and Practice: Case Studies from Ancient Mesoamerica, Eleanor Harrison, ed.:53-62.  University of Utah Press: Salt Lake City.

2011       Empowered Children in Classic Maya Sacrificial Rites.  Childhood in the Past 4:133-145.

2010       Cloth Production and Economic Intensification in the Area Surrounding Chichen Itza.  Latin American Antiquity21(3): 274-289.

2006       The Social Experience of Childhood in Ancient Mesoamerica. University Press Colorado.



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