Stephanie R. Simms

Solution Delivery Manager, Contentful

  • Title Solution Delivery Manager, Contentful
  • Education PhD Archaeology, Boston University, 2014

Areas of Interest

Foodways; Tropical forest ecology; Paleoethnobotany; Microbotanical methods (starch and phytoliths); Mesoamerican archaeology

Research Interests & Fieldwork

My doctoral research examined daily food practices in the New World tropics, especially in the Maya area. Maize is universally considered to be the basis of prehispanic Maya foodways and maize-beans-squash agriculture the primary means of food acquisition. This narrow view is attributable to a lack of direct evidence and an oversimplification of the ethnographic data. I employed microbotanical methods and traditional artifact analyses to recover evidence of both cultivated and wild foodstuffs, regional food preferences, techniques of preparation, production and procurement strategies, and symbolic associations of foods. By highlighting the tremendous variety of environments, foods, and food practices, I used the archaeological evidence to evaluate ancient Neotropical human-environment interactions.


I was a member of the Bolonchén Regional Archaeology Project (BRAP), directed by Tomás Gallareta Negrón, George Bey, and Bill Ringle. The BRAP is part of the Kaxil Kiuic Biocultural Reserve, a Mexican non-profit organization dedicated to research, conservation, and public outreach.


Simms, Stephanie R., Francesco Berna, and George J. Bey, III. 2013. A Prehispanic Maya Pit Oven? Microanalysis of Fired Clay Balls from the Puuc Region, Yucatán, Mexico. Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 1144–1157.

Simms, Stephanie R., Evan Parker, George J. Bey, III, and Tomás Gallareta Negrón. 2012. Evidence from Escalera al Cielo: Abandonment of a Terminal Classic Puuc Maya Hill Complex in Yucatán, Mexico. Journal of Field Archaeology 37: 270–288.


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