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Amy Hirshman

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences 317 Knapp Hall
Dr. Amy Hirshman (Ph.D. Michigan State University) specializes in the ancient western Mesoamerican Tarascan state (AD 1350-1525). Her work has appeared in a number of edited volumes and journals such as Ancient Mesoamerica, Ethnoarchaeology, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, and Journal of Archaeological Science. Her broad interests in social complexity, material culture and political economy have been brought to bear on many multi-method research projects on the emergence of the Tarascan state and the interrelationship between states, households, and craft production. Her current research projects include contextualizing the contemporary ethnographic record of regional potters to better understand the organization of ceramic production in the archaeological record from the Lake Pátzcuaro Basin, Michoacán, México, the Tarascan state core. She is also conducting petrographic analysis of ceramics and ceramic resources from several sites within the basin in order to understand the complex nature of the long-lived and diverse ceramic paste recipes found in both pre-state and state contexts. Dr. Hirshman currently teaches courses on Mesoamerica, ancient states, biological anthropology and material culture.  She was instrumental to the development of the standalone major in anthropology at WVU. In addition to the research publications mentioned above, she has also published on pedagogy in Strategies in Teaching Anthropology.