Nathan Meissner

Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Ph.D. Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 2014

Research Interests
Dr. Meissner is an archaeologist interested in anthropological approaches to prehistoric and Contact-era economies and resource acquisition. His interests include long-distance exchange, cultural variability in technology, social network analysis, factionalism, archaeometry, and craft production. His geographical areas of specialty include the lowland Maya region (Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, and Mexico), and the central Mexican highlands (Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca). Since 2004, he has conducted fieldwork and excavations in these regions. In addition to working in the Maya area, Dr. Meissner has cultural resource management experience in the Southeast and Midwest United States. This research has focused on the material culture of the historic Sauk (Crawford Farm, IL), ground-penetrating radar of freed African American communities (Lick Creek, IN), and settlement surveys in the Shawnee and Hoosier National Forests. He is currently directing students in a long-term study of crafting and technological organization in the Copán Valley Lithic Project of Honduras and the Itza Archaeological Project of Guatemala.

Technological Systems of Small Projectile Weaponry of the Postclassic Lowland Maya (A.D. 1400 – 1697). Department of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale (2014)

Select Publications
Meissner, Nathan J. (in press, 2018) Small Projectile Points of Petén: Resources, Production, and Inter-Polity Variability. In Historical and Archaeological Perspectives on the Itzas of Petén, Guatemala. Prudence M. Rice and Don S. Rice (eds.), University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Forthcoming.

Rice, Prudence M., Arianne Boileau, Leslie G. Cecil, Susan D. deFrance, Carolyn Freiwald, Nathan J. Meissner, Timothy W. Pugh, Don S. Rice, and Matthew P. Yacubic (in press, 2018) Zacpetén Structure 719: Activities at a Contact-Period Popol Nah before Rapid Abandonment. Ancient Mesoamerica. Forthcoming.

Meissner, Nathan J. (in press, 2018) Review: Patron Gods and Patron Lords: The Semiotics of Classic Maya Community Cults by Joanne P. Baron. Journal of Anthropological Research. Forthcoming.

Meissner, Nathan J. (2017) A Social Network Analysis of the Postclassic Lowland Maya Obsidian Projectile Industry. Ancient Mesoamerica. 28(1):137-156.

McNeil, Cameron L., Edy Barrios, Nathan J. Meissner, and Antolin Velásquez (2017) Arqueología y medio ambiente en Río Amarillo, Copan: Avances de investigaciones multidisciplinarias. In XXX Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala. Barbara Arroyo, Luis Mendez Salinas and Gloria Aju Alvarez (eds.), Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, Instituto de Antropología e Historia, Asociación Tikal: 1069-1080.

Campbell, Ryan M. and Nathan J. Meissner (2016) Burial Detection Using Ground-Penetrating Radar in Southern Illinois: A Comparison of Historic Cemeteries. Illinois Archaeology 28:117-130.

Marino, Marc D., Lucas Martindale Johnson, and Nathan J. Meissner (2016) Postclassic Tool Production at Santa Rita Corozal: Implications for Domestic Craft Production and Regional Exchange of Flaked Stone. In Perspectives on the Ancient Maya of Chetumal Bay. Debra Walker (ed.), pp. 251-263, University of Florida Press.

Meissner, Nathan J. and Prudence M. Rice (2015) Postclassic Maya Bow-and-Arrow Use as Revealed by Immunological Analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science 64:67-76.

Meissner, Nathan J., Katherine E. South, and Andrew K. Balkansky (2013) Figurine Embodiment and Household Ritual in an Early Mixtec Village. Journal de la Société des Américanistes 99(1):7-43.

Duncan, William N., Andrew K. Balkansky, Kimberly Crawford, Heather A. Lapham, and Nathan J. Meissner (2008) Human Cremation in Mexico 3,000 Years Ago. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105 (14):5315-5320.

Courses Taught
ANT 101: The Human Experience
ANT 221: Introduction to Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology
ANT 231: Introduction to Archaeology and Physical Anthropology
ANT 301: History of Anthropology
ANT 439/539: Archaeology of the Maya and Mesoamerica
ANT 423/523: Economic Anthropology


More info on the Itza Archaeological Project: