Hannah Herrick

PhD Candidate, Francesco Berna

Areas of interest

Environmental impact of ancient/historic technologies; the “Anthropocene”, Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction, Archaeology of Ancient Technology, Production Materials, Micromorphology, Natural Resources Management, Niche Construction, Sudanese Archaeology, Dendrochronology, Anthropogenic Charcoal Analysis


  • MSc: (2018) Geosciences, University of Arizona, USA
  • BSc: (2012) Biological Anthropology, University of Arizona, USA
  • Other Qualifications: (2017) Graduate Certificate in Egyptian Archaeology, University of Arizona, USA

PhD Research

I investigate the materials and processes involved in the production of archaeological lime plaster. Using petrography, micromorphology, archaeobotany, and FTIR analysis, I evaluate raw materials, intermediate products, and finished plaster to address the following questions:

1. Which raw materials are preferred for this activity, and how are they acquired?
2. How do humans manipulate the production process to yield different plasters with varying energetic requirements?
3. What stresses does plastermaking place on local and global ecologies?

My research aims to better understand the element of human choice and innovation in a widespread technology, with emphasis on evaluating the resultant natural resource consumption. This line of inquiry also contributes to the discussion of the Anthropocene, and how humans began to impact the environment on a global scale.

MSc Thesis

87Sr/86Sr Analysis as a Method to Explore Human Ecology and Forest Resilience in Ancient Meroe, Sudan.


2019   Herrick, Hannah* and Christopher Baisan. “Dendrochronology at the Mission San Xavier del Bac convento (Tucson, Arizona, USA)”. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 25, 40-46.

2017   Creasman, Pearce Paul, Hayat Touchane, Christopher H. Baisan, Hussein Bassir, Rebecca Caroli, Noreen Doyle, Hannah Herrick*, Magdi A. Koutkat, Ramzi Touchan. "An Illustrated Glossary of Arabic-English Dendrochronology Terms and Names." PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology 14(3) (2017), 1-35. ISSN 1567-214X. 35 pages + 52 figures.

In revision   Pearl, J.K., J. Keck, W. Tintor, H Herrick*, L. Siekacz, C. Pearson, Frontiers in Multi-Proxy Tree Ring Research, in revision at The Holocene.

Conference Presentations 

Developing International Georchaeology 2019. “Best practices for analyzing archaeological lime plaster.” June 2019.

Frontiers in Archaeological Science 2, Simon Fraser University. "Applying Sr Geoprovenance to Anthropogenic Charcoal: In Theory & Practice." August 28, 2018.

GeoDaze 2018, University of Arizona Department of Geosciences “Applying Strontium Geoprovenance to Anthropogenic Charcoal”. April 12, 2018. 

Entmoot 2018: Graduate Tree-Ring Research Symposium, University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research “Human ecology & tree resilience in the acacia stands of Meroe, Sudan”. April 10, 2018. 

Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities Colloquium (Toronto, ON, Canada) “Using Cultural Interconnections to Investigate Meroitic Iron Smelting”. November 3, 2017. 

82nd Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (Vancouver, BC, Canada) “Building at Bac: Chronological Challenges in Conservation at Mission San Xavier” . March 30, 2017. 

EarthWeek 2017, University of Arizona School of Earth and Environmental Sciences “Building at Bac: Dendrochronology and Conservation at Mission San Xavier”. March 28, 2017. 

27th Annual University of Arizona Art History Graduate Symposium: Magic and Mechanic: Exploring the Interior Mysteries of Art and its Histories. “Metals and Magic in Ancient Nubia”. February 24, 2017. 

Invited Lecture

American Research Center in Egypt, Arizona Chapter (Tucson, AZ)
“Fantastic Trees and Where to Find Them: The Ancient Nubian Landscape and Fuel Procurement”. October 12, 2017.