Research Archaeologist

Research Laboratories of Archaeology

Alumni Hall 107B •  (919) 962-3843 •

Curriculum Vitae •

Research Interests

My earliest research explores some reasons why seventeenth-century Native Americans living in the southern Appalachian Highlands initially participated in the historic deerskin trade. Changes in the archaeological record in deer hunting practices, deerskin production activities, and exchange patterns suggest certain Native American communities altered their economic strategies to produce deerskins for commercial trade, transforming sociopolitical systems in the process. I continue to pursue my interests in culture contact in a zooarchaeological research project in western North Carolina at the Berry site, the location of Spanish Fort San Juan (AD 1566-1568) and the native town of Joara. I am also studying animal economies in southern Mexico, particularly the social aspects of subsistence and differential access to animal resources  in the Valley of Oaxaca at Classic and Early Postclassic period Zapotec sites including El Palmillo and the Mitla Fortress, among others.

Current Research

To read more about my recent projects, check out the descriptions and links below. These studies are funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and other research grants.

Joara and Fort San Juan
Intercultural interactions, subsistence, and survival at the Berry site, a Catawba Indian village and the site of Spanish Fort San Juan (AD 1566-1568) in western North Carolina.

The Broad Reach Site
Subsistence and the role of domestic dogs at the Middle to Late Woodland (ca. AD 200-1500) Broad Reach site in eastern North Carolina.

Zapotec Zooarchaeology
Urban economies, animal specializations, and animal domestication at Classic to Early Postclassic (AD 200-1100) Zapotec sites in the Valley of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, including Cerro Danush, Lambityeco, Mitla Fortress, and El Palmillo.

Select Publications

(most available on

2017 • Lapham, H. A. Tracking the trade in animal pelts in early historic eastern North America. In The Oxford Handbook of Zooarchaeology, U. Albarella, H. Russ, K. Vickers, and S. Viner-Daniels (eds.), pp. 575-591. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

2016 • Lapham, H. A., G. M. Feinman, and L. M. Nicholas. Turkey husbandry and use in Oaxaca, Mexico: A contextual study of turkey remains and SEM analysis of eggshell from the Mitla Fortress. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 10:534–546.

2016 • Lapham, H. A. Fauna, subsistence, and survival at Fort San Juan. In Fort San Juan and the Limits of Empire: Colonialism and Household Practice at the Berry Site, R. A. Beck, C. B. Rodning, and D. G. Moore (eds.), pp. 271-300. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

2016 • Beck, R. A., Jr., G. J. Fritz, H. A. Lapham, D. G. Moore, and C. B. Rodning. The politics of provisioning: Food and gender at Fort San Juan de Joara, 1566-1568. American Antiquity 81(1):1-24.

2015 • Bolin, R. D., H. A. Lapham, and K. D. Floerchinger. An x-ray analysis of dog mandibles from the Black Earth site. Illinois Antiquity 50(3):11-13.

2014 • Lapham, H. A., G. M. Feinman, y L. M. Nicholas. Economías basadas en fauna en el sur de México en tiempos prehispánicos. En La Arqueología de los Animales de Mesoamérica, C. M. Götz y K. F. Emery (eds.), págs. 161-202. Lockwood Press, Atlanta.

2014 • Lapham, H. A., A. K. Balkansky, y A. M. Amadio. Aprovechamiento de animales en la Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca, México. En La Arqueología de los Animales de Mesoamérica, C. M. Götz y K. F. Emery (eds.), págs. 135-159. Lockwood Press, Atlanta.

2013 • Lapham, H. A, G. M. Feinman, and L. M. Nicholas. Animal economies in prehispanic southern Mexico. In The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals, C. M. Götz and K. F. Emery (eds.), pp. 153-190. Lockwood Press, Atlanta.

2013 • Lapham, H. A, et al. Animal use at Tayata, Oaxaca, Mexico. In The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals, C. M. Götz and K. F. Emery (eds.), pp. 129-151. Lockwood Press, Atlanta.

2011 • Lapham, H. A. Animals in southeastern Native American subsistence economies. In Subsistence Economies of Indigenous North American Societies, B. D. Smith (ed.), pp. 401-429. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington, D.C.

2010 • Zeder, M. A., and H. A. Lapham. Assessing the reliability of criteria used to identify postcranial bones in sheep, Ovis, and goats, Capra. Journal of Archaeological Science 37(11):2887-2905.

2010 • Lapham, H. A. A Baumer phase dog burial from the Kincaid site in southern Illinois. Illinois Archaeology 22(2):437-463.

2008 • Duncan, W. N., A. K. Balkansky, K. Crawford, H. A. Lapham and N. J. Meissner. Human cremation in Mexico 3,000 years ago. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(14):5315-5320.

2006 • Lapham, H. A. Southeast animals. In Environment, Origins, and Population, D. H. Ubelaker (ed.), pp. 396-404. Handbook of North American Indians Vol. 3. W. C. Sturtevant, general editor. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

2005 • Lapham, H. A. Hunting for Hides: Deerskins, Status, and Cultural Change in the Protohistoric Appalachians. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

2004 • Lapham, H. A. “Their complement of deer-skins and furs”: Changing patterns of white-tailed deer exploitation in the seventeenth-century southern Chesapeake and Virginia hinterlands. In Indian and European Contact in Context: The Mid-Atlantic Region, D. B. Blanton and J. A. King (eds.), pp. 172-192. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

2004 • Lapham, H. A. Zooarchaeological evidence for changing socioeconomic status within early historic Native American communities in Mid-Atlantic North America. In Behaviour Behind Bones: The Zooarchaeology of Ritual, Religion, Status and Identity, S. J. O’Day, W. Van Neer, and A. Ervynck (eds.), pp. 293-303. Oxbow Books, Oxford.

2003 • Wall, R. D., and H. A. Lapham. Material culture of the Contact period in the upper Potomac Valley: Chronological and cultural implications. Archaeology of Eastern North America 31:149-175.

2002 • Lapham, H. A., and W. C. Johnson. Protohistoric Monongahela trade relations: Evidence from the Foley Farm phase glass beads. Archaeology of Eastern North America 30:97-120.

2000 • Lapham, H. A. More than “a few blew beads”: The glass and stone beads from Jamestown Rediscovery’s 1994-1997 excavations. The Journal of the Jamestown Rediscovery Center 1.