Dr. Lee Panich had an exciting year. Beginning in the autumn of 2014 and extending through the summer of 2015, he conducted preliminary archival and field research for a new collaborative archaeological project with scholars from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and the University of California, Santa Cruz. This project expands Lee's previous work at Spanish mission sites to examine autonomous Native American villages that existed beyond the Spanish frontier in Marin County, California. He hopes to take students to the field with him in the summer of 2016!
In addition to his new project in Marin County, Lee spent time in Baja California conducting research with colleagues from the Mexican Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia for an ongoing project that examines the archaeological and geological distribution of obsidian (volcanic glass) across the northern Baja California peninsula. Dr. Panich also worked with several students, including Anthropology major Audrey Hiatt, to analyze obsidian artifacts from Mission Santa Clara using x-ray fluorescence spectrometry. In November, Lee traveled to the Caribbean island of Curaçao to present some of the findings from his Mission Santa Clara research at an international conference focused on archaeological investigations of slavery and colonialism.