Professor, Anthropology Profile Image
Professor, Anthropology Women's & Gender Studies

Wandsnider's areas of specialization includes archaeological method and theory, archaic-late prehistoric of the North American high plains, traditional food preparation, spatial analysis, quantitative methods (GIS, EDA), formation of the archaeological landscape, and pastoralist land use systems.

Dr. Wandsnider's research has three main themes. The first of these is concerned with the Late Prehistoric time period on the High Plains. In Northwestern Nebraska, her research has focused on the appearance and disappearance of pit hearth technology, which was widely used from AD 250 through AD 1000. The ability of the this material record to comment on gender systems, land tenure, subsistence strategies, and so forth is the subject of her research here.

A second emphasis is that of the formation, documentation, and analysis of archaeological landscapes. She has worked in southern India, using ethnoarchaeological methods to monitor land parcels that participate in an agropastoral land use system. Other recent methodological work is concerned with spatial analysis of archaeological distributions that relies on results from actualistic studies. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and associated technologies (GPS, remote sensing) play an important role in this work.

Most recently, she has initiated work to understand the relationship between traditional cooking systems, food biochemistry, and nutrition. This work ties directly into understanding significant subsistence shifts documented archaeologically and genetically in the human genome.