National Geographic Presents Community Archaeology and Historical Ecology

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Lucy Gill is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at UC Berkeley. Her research sits at the intersection of anthropological archaeology and historical ecology, focusing on indigenous stewardship of aquatic ecosystems in Central America and relations with fish and shellfish communities. She also explores the effects that natural disasters, such as volcanic events, have had on these ecosystems and the humans who lived with them in order to contemplate more sustainable ways of being in the wake of anthropogenic climate change. Her research innovates transdisciplinary methods that hold archaeology accountable to local community partnerships and braid Western scientific methods with traditional knowledge. She currently directs Darién Profundo, which takes a deep history approach to the Darién Province of Panama, a region that is often problematically portrayed as a primeval ‘gap’. This project currently partners with community members in Yaviza, El Real, Metetí, Mogue, La Palma, Punta Alegre, Chepigana and Garachiné, as well as a team of ecologists from the Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, to document the archaeological and ecological history of the threatened wetland ecosystem of Matusaragatí and advocate for its protection. In her spare time, she enjoys scuba diving, caving, playing classical piano, and dance of all kinds.




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