Department of Anthropology, The Field Museum of Natural History
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
I am a historic archaeologist, and my research interests and current projects revolve around the aftermath of conflict. My dissertation research is exploring 19thcentury Maya refugees who settled at the ancient ruins of Tikal, and the effects their engagement with global capitalism (globalization) had on their identity and daily lives. Closer to home I have been involved with the historic archaeology of WWII German Prisoner of War Camps in the Chicago suburbs. Lastly, I have the honor of participating in the archaeological recovery of missing US military personnel (MIA) from conflicts in Vietnam and Europe.
I was trained as an archaeologist at the ancient Maya site of Chan, in west central Belize (directed by Cynthia Robin, Northwestern University), and have also worked at the Wari mountain fortress of Cero Baúl in southern Peru (directed by Ryan Williams of the Field Museum). Fostering connections with the Field Museum, I was able to participate and help publish several scholarly papers on the elemental sourcing of ancient obsidian artifacts in Mesoamerica. Previous projects have included Archaeological Surveys at Battlefield sites relating to the Black Hawk War of 1832, and I have worked extensively through northern Illinois and the Midwest with various Cultural Resource Management (CRM) firms.
Wenner-Gren Foundation, Dissertation Research Grant, Historic Tikal: Refugee Exploitation of the Last Maya Frontier, Principal Investigator
Explorer's Club, Explorer's Club Grant: The Historic Settlement at Naranjo, Guatemala. , Principal Investigator
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chancellor's Award: Historic Tikal, Principal Investigator
University of Illinois at Chicago, Provost's Award: Historic Tikal, Principal Investigator
Meierhoff, James (2019) “The Final Frontier, Nineteenth Century Maya Refugees at Tikal, Guatemala” In Coloniality in the Maya Lowlands: Archaeological Perspectives. Chp 8. Edited by Kasey Diserens Morgan and Tiffany C. Cain. University of Colorado Press- In production
Meierhoff, James (2018) “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Refugee; Consumer Culture in the Nineteenth Century Refugee Village at Tikal, Guatemala.” In Archaeologies of the British in Latin America. Ed. Charles Orser jr. Pp 157-178. Springer Publishing.
Moholy-Nagy, Hattula, James Meierhoff, Mark Golitko, Caleb Kestle. (2013) An analysis of pXRF obsidian source attribution from Tikal, Guatemala. Latin American Antiquity 24(1), pp. 72-97
Meierhoff, James, Mark Golitko, Jim Morris. (2012).” Changing procurement patterns of obsidian at Chan, Belize; Sourcing analysis using p-XRF”. In, Chan, an Ancient Maya Farming Community. Ed. Cynthia Robin. Pp. 271-288. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Meierhoff, James, Mark Golitko, Gary Feinman, Patrick Ryan Williams. (2012). Chemical characterization of obsidian from the Maya site of San José, Belize. Antiquity. Vol. 86, No. 332: Online Supplement, http://antiquity.ac.uk/ant/086/ant0860507.htm.
Golitko, Mark, James Meierhoff, Gary Feinman, Patrick Ryan Williams. (2012). “Complexities of Collapse: the evidence of Maya obsidian as revealed by social network graphical analysis” Antiquity. Vol. 86, No. 332: Pp 507-523.
Robin, Cynthia, James Meierhoff, Caleb Kestle, Chelsea Blackmore, Laura Kosakowsky, Anna Novoty. (2012). “Ritual in a Farming Community”. In, Chan, an Ancient Maya Farming Community. Ed. Cynthia Robin. Pp 271-288. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Meierhoff, James. (2011). The Historic Settlement at Naranjo, and Other Colonial Sites of Guatemala and Belize. Explorer’s Club Grant Report; https://explorersclub.org/expeditions/grant_expeditions/grant_reports/category/year_2011
Meierhoff, James, Mark Golitko, and Jim Morris. (2010). “Sourcing of obsidian from the ancient Maya farming village of Chan, Belize using portable-XRF”. SAS Bulletin, Volume 33, pp 5-8.
Golitko, Mark, James Meierhoff, and John Edward Terrell. (2010). “Chemical Characterization of sources of obsidian from the Sepik Coast [PNG]”. Archaeology in Oceania. Volume 45 No. 3. pp 120-129.
Service to Community
2018 Invited Lecturer, “Jackrabbits and Blue Whales. The Kicks on Route 66 (And Why They are Important” Niles Historical Society (4/22/18)
2018 Invited Archaeologist/ Tour Guide, “What’s in the Woods?; an Introduction to Archaeology in Cook County Forest Preserves”. University of Illinois Master Naturalist Program. Organizer Paula Bryant, ISAS. (9/14/18).
2017 Invited Archaeologist/ Tour Guide, “Camp Skokie Valley, Civilian Conservation Corps through German POW’s- an archaeological tour”. Invited by Forest Preserve of Cook County (FPCC) and Illinois State Archaeology and Survey (ISAS) under the Natural and Cultural Resources Master Plan program.
2016 Archaeologist Presenter, “Young Scientists Conference”, District 97 schools, Mann Elementary School, Oak Park IL., grades K-1, (3/9/16)
2015 Invited Lecturer, “How to be an Archaeologist”; Sheboygan North High School, Sheboygan Wi. (1/23/15)
2015-2018 Invited Lecturer, “Finding Illinois’s Last Battlefield; Kellogg’s Grove and the Black Hawk War of 1832”; Niles Public Library (10/4/15), North Shore Men’s Club (2/22/16), Niles Historical Society (6/26/16), Palos Heights Public Library (1/14/18), LaGrange Public Library (1/22/18), Jewish War Veterans Post 29, Highland Park (3/20/18).
2014-2017 Invited Lecturer, “German WWII POW camps of Chicago; an archaeological perspective”; Des Plaines Public Library (4/8/14), Chicago Archaeological Society, (10/11/14), North Shore Senior Center (3/3/15), Wood Ridge Public Library (8/28/15), Glen View Public Library (11/10/15), LaGrange Public Library (1/25/16), Glen View Senior Center (4/13/16), Lockport Library (12/2016), Romeoville Branch Library (2/19/17), Niles Historical Society (2/26/17), Palos Heights Public Library (9/19/17), Lemont Public Library (11/6/2017).
2016 Invited Scientist, “Hop to it at the Field”. Presented research and artifacts relating to the Cerro Baúl Brewery site for the release of “Wari Ale” by Off Color Brewery event, Field Museum, Chicago. (3/3/16) 6
2015 Invited Scientist, “Field on Ice- Archaeology and the Black Hawk War of 1832” Field Museum fundraising event hosted by the Chicago Blackhawks Hockey Team. United Center, Chicago. (11/11/15).
2012, 2013 Guest Lecturer, “Introduction to Archaeology”, Ideal Elementary (6th graders), Countryside, Il. Coordinator Lisa Rodkey, librarian. (9/13/12), (10/18/13).
2012 “The Ancient Maya and 2012”. Palatine Public Library. Organizer Phil Skeltis, Adult Programming Coordinator. (12/11/12).
2008 Invited Judge 6th, 7th, 8th grade school History Fair, Haines Jr. High, Chicago Illinois, (3/23/08).
Co-Organizer, Co-Chair, 2017, 50th Annual Meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology, Ft. Worth, Texas
Chair, 2013, General Session, 78th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archaeology
2018, Certificate of Appreciation, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Department of Defense
2008 MA University of Illinois at Chicago; Chicago. Anthropology.
2004 BA University of Illinois at Chicago; Chicago. Cum Laude, Anthropology.
2018 “More than just beer? A behind the scenes view of the excavation of the Cerro Baúl Brewery” presented to the Field Museum Board of Trustees Research Committee. (24/9/18).
2018 “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Refugee; Consumer Culture at the 19th century Maya refugee site at Tikal, Guatemala” Maya at the Lago Conference, Davidson Day School, Davidson, NC, April 26-29
2018 “Provisioning a 19th Century Refugee village; Consumer Culture at Tikal, Guatemala. 51st annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology, New Orleans, Jan 5.
2017 “A Tale of Two Carmichaels; Nineteenth Century Exploration of Tikal, Guatemala”. 40th Midwest Conference on Mesoamerican Archaeology and Ethnohistory, Wayne State University. March, 11.
2015 “Las aldeas de Tikal, Guatemala”. Lorena Paiz, James Meierhoff, Sergio Garzona. Guatemalan symposium. XXIX Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueologicas. Guatemala City. July 27.
2013 “American Home Front and World War II; Archaeology of German P.O.W.s in the Chicago suburbs”. 78th annual meeting of the Society of American Archaeology, Honolulu, Hi. 4 April.
Research Currently in Progress
Where Voices are Heard- the 19thcentury refugee village at Tikal. Guatemala. PhD dissertation
Artistic and Professional Performances and Exhibits
UIC Graduate College 1st annual “Image of Research” Photo Contest; 2nd place; Entry: “Abandoned Sugar Mill at Lamanai, Belize”- 2008