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Renee Bonzani [Rena] [Bon-zane] she/her/hers

Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 1995
M.A., Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 1990
Certificate of Advanced Study in Latin American Studies, Center for International Studies, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 1995
B.S., Archaeology and Biology, Tufts University, Medford, MA, 1984

Pedagogy of Undergraduate Students, Paleoethnobotany, South American Archaeology, Midwestern and Eastern US Archaeology, Ethnobotany, Origins of Agriculture, Transition to State-Level Societies

Research Interests:
South American Archaeology
Midwest and Eastern North American Archaeology
Origins of Food Production

Briefly, my research interests have been focused on the Paleoethnobotany of the eastern United States (all time periods, prehistoric and historic) and of various regions in South America (for instance Colombia, Venezuela, and Bolivia), South American Archaeology, Ethnobotany (mainly on food and medicinal use of plants), Origins of Agriculture, Reconstruction of Past Environments (through the use of macrobotanical remains such as carbonized wood), and the Transition to State-Level Societies as it relates to economic developments such as the trade or movements of food products.


Paleoethnobotany, South American Archaeology, Ethnobotany, Origins of Agriculture, Transition to State-Level Societies, Diet and the Environment in North American Archaeology

Selected Publications:



Bonzani, Renée M.

2019    Kinship and Imagined Communities. Kendall-Hunt Publishers, Dubuque, IA.


2016    Bare Backbones: A Brief Introduction to Anthropology. Cognella Academic Publishing,  



Bonzani, Renée M. and Michael B. Steenken

2020    Manual of Ethnobotany and Paleoethnobotany: Case Study from San Jacinto, Colombia. Rylan             Books, Ronkonkoma, NY.


Oyuela-Caycedo, Augusto and Renée M. Bonzani

2014    San Jacinto 1: Ecologia Historica, Origenes de la Ceramica, e Inicios de la Vida Sedentaria en el Caribe Colombiano. Spanish Edition. Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia.


2005    San Jacinto 1: A Historical Ecological Approach to an Archaic Site in Colombia. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.


Peer-reviewed Articles:

Dillehay, Tom D., Alan Kolata, Charles Ortloff, Patricia J. Netherly, John Warner, Herbert Eling Jr., and Renée Bonzani

2022    Chimú–Inka Segmented Agricultural Fields in the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru: Implications for State-Level Resource Management. Latin American Antiquity, pp. 1-19. Published online by Cambridge University Press.


Bonzani, Renée M., Katharine V.  Alexander, Alexander Metz, Jordon S. Munizzi, Bruce L. Manzano, Matthew J. Davidson, Grace Farish, and Andrea Erhardt

2021    Using Deer Stable Isotope Data to Test A Niche Construction Hypothesis for an Increase in Prehistoric Human Maize Consumption in the Eastern Woodlands of the United States. Environmental Archaeology, Journal of Human Palaeoecology.


Bonzani, Renée M.

2019    Botanical Evidence of Function, Status, Gender and Ethnicity in Historic Period Contexts: The Case of the Armstrong Farmstead Site (15 FA185) in Kentucky and the Argosy Sites (12D502, 12D520, and 12D508) in Indiana. In Current Archaeological Research in Kentucky, edited by Vanessa N. Harvey, Nicole Konkol, Charles D. Hockensmith, Kenneth Carstens, William A. Huser, and David Pollock, pp. 155-188. Kentucky Heritage Council, Frankfort, Kentucky.


Langlie, BrieAnna S, Christine A. Hastorf, Maria C. Bruno, Marc Bermann, Renée M. Bonzani, and William Castellón Condarco

2011    Diversity in Andean Chenopodium Domestication: Describing a New Morphological Type from La Barca, Bolivia 1300-1250 B.C. Journal of Ethnobiology 31(1): 72-88.


Bradbury, Andrew P., Brian G. Del Castello, Renée M. Bonzani, Flora Church, Linda Scott-Cummings, Sarah C. Sherwood, Chad Yost, and Melissa Logan

2011    Data Recovery Excavations of 11MG423: A Middle Archaic Upland Site in Morgan County, Illinois. Illinois Archaeologist 23: 23-63.


Bonzani, Renée M., George M. Crothers, Patrick Trader, Robert H. Ward, and Ronald R. Switzer

2007    Early Sunflower Head Remains from Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, U.S.A.  Journal of

Ethnobiology 27(1):73-87.


Dillehay, Tom. D., Mario Pino Q., Renée M. Bonzani, Claudia Silvia, and Johannes Wallner.

2007    Cultivated Wetlands and Emerging Complexity in South-Central Chile and Long Distance Effects of Climate Change. Antiquity 81: 949-960.


Bonzani, Renée M.

1999    Medicinal Use of Plants in the Peasant Community of San Jacinto, Northern Colombia. Caldasia 21(2): 203-218. Bogota.

1997    Plant Diversity in the Archaeological Record: A Means Toward Defining Hunter-Gatherer Mobility Strategies. Journal of Archaeological Science 24:1129-1139.


Bonzani, Renée M., Ronald C. Carlisle, and Frances B. King

  1.    Dendrochronology of the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal Lock Number Four, Pittsburgh. North American Archaeologist 12(1): 61-73.


Book Chapters and Appendices:


2021 Ancient Paria, Bolivia: Macrobotanical Remains Recovered from an Administrative Site on the Royal Inca Highway. In Andean Foodways: Pre-Columbian, Colonial, and Contemporary Food and Culture, edited by John E. Staller, pp. 137-186. Springer, NY. DOI 978-3-030-51629-1_6, © 2021


2014    Appendix G: Macrobotanical Remains from Gaván-complex Sites. In A Pre-Hispanic Chiefdom in Barinas, Venezuela. Excavations at Gaván-Complex Sites. Volume 2, by Charles S. Spencer and Elsa M. Redmond, pp. 862-896. American Museum of Natural History Anthropological Papers, Number 100. American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York.


2014    Macrobotanical Remains Recovered During the Archaeological Investigations of the Paria Basin. In Paria La Viexa: Prehispanic Settlement Patterns in the Paria Basin, Bolivia, and Its Inka Provincial Center, by János Gyarmati and Carola Condarco Castellón, pp. 119-132. Museum of Ethnography, Budapest, Hungary.


2014    Carbonized Botanical Remains from Sites in Purén and Lumaco. In The Teleoscopic Polity. Contributions to Global Perspectives in  Archaeology, Volume 38, edited by Tom D. Dillehay, Appendix 2, pp. 321-338. Springer international Publishing, Switzerland.


2013 Botanical Analysis from Flotation. In The Sun Fish Site: Archaeological Data Recovery at 46MR155, a Late Woodland Period Site in Franklin District, Marshall County, West Virginia, Vol. I: Text, by Jamie S. Meece, Stevan C. Pullins, Christopher L. Nelson, Todd Grote, and Renee Bonzani, pp. 306–336. Contract Publication Series WV11-061. Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Hurricane, West Virginia.


Jefferies, Richard W., Victor D. Thompson, George R. Milner, Renée M. Bonzani, and Tanya M. Peres

2007    Cypress Creek Villages Revisited: Archaic Settlement and Subsistence in the Cypress Creek Watershed. In Current Archaeological Research in Kentucky, Volume Eight, edited by Sarah E. Miller, David Pollack, Kenneth Carstens, and Christopher R. Moore, pp. 37-75. Kentucky Heritage Council. Frankfort.


Bonzani, Renée M. and Augusto Oyuela-Caycedo

2006    The Gift of the Variation and Dispersion of Maize: Social and Technological Context in Amerindian Societies. In Histories of Maize: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Prehistory, Biogeography, Domestication, and Evolution of Maize, edited by John Staller, Robert Tykot, and Bruce Benz, pp. 343-356. Elsevier/Academic Press, New York.


2002    Appendix: Botanical Analysis for the Ward Site (15McL11), Green River Valley, Western Kentucky. In Cyprus Creek Archaeological Project: Archaic Adaptive Strategies in West Central Kentucky, by Richard W. Jefferies, Victor D. Thompson, and George R. Milner, pp. 158-174. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington.


2002    Botanical Analysis. In An Archaeological Assessment of Site 12Fl-73 in Floyd County,

Indiana, by Sheldon R. Burdin, pp. 113-120. Indiana Department of Natural Resources,

Department of Historic Preservation and Archaeology and the National Park Service.


1998    Learning from the Present: The Constraints of Seasonality on Foragers and Collectors. In Advances in the Archaeology of the Northern Andes, edited by Augusto Oyuela-Caycedo and J. Scott Raymond, pp. 20-35. Monograph 39, The Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles.


1990    Territorial Boundaries, Buffer Zones, and Socio-Political Complexity: A Case Study of the Nuraghi on the Island of Sardinia. In Sardinia in the Mediterranean: A Footprint in the Sea. Studies in Sardinian Archaeology Presented to Miriam S. Balmuth, edited by Robert H. Tykot and Tamsey K. Andrews, pp. 210-220. Monographs in Mediterranean Archaeology 3. Sheffield Academic Press, Sheffield.




Bonzani, Renée M.

2017    Teaching Tips for Large Lectures.

Faculty Learning Community on Large Lectures. CELT, University of Kentucky.