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Dr. Melinda Leach
Ph.D., M.A., University of California - Los Angeles; B.A., University of California - Berkeley. Professor of Anthropology, North American Archaeologist
I am an archaeologist with expertise in the prehistory of the American Great Basin, Southwest, California, and ancient Britain. My broader interests and research foci concern the behavioral and evolutionary ecology of foraging societies, the development and expression of gender in prehistory, cultural identity in ancient textiles and rock art, and archaeological method and theory.
For decades, my most central research projects have taken me to northern Nevada and New Mexico to explore the 10,000 year record of foragers occupying arid deserts. I am currently studying the oldest twined textiles in North America to understand technological traditions in weaving, completing excavations at an Archaic Nevada rockshelter, and training students in archaeological assemblage analysis.
My teaching interests range from stone tool technology and women in the ancient world to Ice Age European cave art and the British Neolithic; and from field and lab methods and theory in archaeology to senior student transitions to the world of work.
Selected Publications and Presentations
2013, in press. Leach, Melinda, William Swearson, Amber Summers, and Katie Amundson "Good Luck in Making Unexpected and Fortunate Discoveries": Teaching and Learning at Serendipity Shelter." Nevada Archaeologist.
In prep. Leach, Melinda, Pat Barker and Richard Josephs "Technology, Rock Art and Geoarchaeology at Serendipity Shelter, Washoe County, Nevada" (preliminary title).
2011 Leach, Melinda "Technology and Mobility in the Archaic Northwestern Great Basin: a View from the High Rock Country." Poster, Society for American Archaeology Conference, Sacramento.
2010 Leach, Melinda "Quarry Pits and Hearth Fires: Balancing Work and Family at Tosawihi". Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Record, Special Edition on Gender.
2010 Leach, Melinda and Pat Barker "Technology and Tradition at Serendipity Shelter, Washoe County, Nevada." Paper, Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Layton, Utah.
2008 Leach, Melinda "Explorations in Technology, Gender and Mobility at Serendipity Shelter, , Washoe County, Nevada." Paper,Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Portland.
2008 Leach, Melinda "Explorations in Ancient Weaving: Rabbit Fur Robes and Blankets Across the Desert West." Paper, Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Portland.
2008 Leach, Melinda "Repurposing a Senior Capstone Seminar with an Eye Toward Thinking/Reasoning and Global Diversity: An Essential Studies Model Project." UND Essential Studies Summit. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
2008 Swearson, William and Melinda Leach "Breakage during Manufacturing and Use: Patterning on Hunting Implements from Serendipity Shelter, Washoe County, Nevada." Poster, Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver.
2007 Leach, Melinda. "Perspectives From a Pot: Introducing Archaeological Theory Through Visual Interpretation." In Archaeology to Delight and Instruct: Active Learning in the University Classroom. Heather Burke and Claire Smith (Eds.) Left Coast Press, One World Archaeology Series, volume 49. January 2007.
2007 Leach, Melinda "Three Reflections on Obsidian: Mobility, Population, and Gender Roles in the Massacre Lake Basin, Nevada," Nevada Archaeologist, Vol. 22, pp. 1-14.
MEMBERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES
Register of Professional Archaeologists (certified 2008-present)
Nevada Archaeological Association
Nevada Rock Art Association
Society for American Archaeology
Society for American Archaeology Public Education Committee
Society for American Archaeology Fiber Perishables Interest Group
Society for American Archaeology Women in Archaeology Interest Group
Great Basin Anthropological Association
North Dakota Archaeological Association