Lisa Maher

Lisa Maher

Associate Professor
Dept of Anthropology
Research Expertise and Interest
archaeology, hunter-gatherers, prehistory, geoarchaeology, landscape use, stone tools technology, emergence of social complexity
Research Description

Dr. Maher's research focuses on hunter-gatherer societies in the Old World, specifically the Near East, North Africa and Arabia, with the aim of reconstructing human-environment interactions during the Late Pleistocene. She is interested in the 10,000-20,000 years leading up to farming, when dramatic changes in human social organization, economy, technological innovation, and ideology first appear in the archaeological record in the form of intensified plant use, increased sedentism and population aggregations, architecture, complex site organization, far-reaching social interaction networks, and elaborate mortuary practices. She explores these significant shifts in human behavior through the study of material culture and the interactions of people and the landscapes they live in.

In the News

March 14, 2019

What ancient poop reveals about the rise and fall of civilizations

The pre-Columbian city of Cahokia was once among the most populous and bustling settlements north of Mexico. But by 1400 A.D., Cahokia’s population had dwindled to virtually nothing. While theories abound about what happened to the indigenous people of Cahokia, AJ White, a Ph.D. student in anthropology at UC Berkeley, has studied ancient poop samples to connect the city’s 13th century population plunge – at least in part – to climate change.