Postdoctoral Fellows

Prospective Post-docs

The Archaeology Center from time to time appoints post-doctoral researchers to work in specific areas of archaeological research. These last from 1 to 3 years and the post-docs are provided space in the Archaeology Center. The positions are advertised when available.


Neil A. Duncan (Stanford Archaeology Center & Dept. of East Asian Languages & Cultures)

I am an archaeologist and paleoethnobotanist. My research has explored the ritual use of food in pre-ceramic coastal Peru, changes associated with the emergence of agriculture in coastal Ecuador, and the application of microfossil analysis (starch grains and phytoliths) in the search for early archaeological sites in Colombia. At the Stanford Archaeology Center, I will be shifting my focus toward Neolithic China and working closely with Dr. Li Liu. I will help complete the setup of an archaeobotany laboratory that will include facilities for the analysis of phytoliths (opal silica from plant tissues) and starch grain, as well as plant macro-remains. I look forward to working with students and other researchers who are interested in learning how to include archaeobotany in their own research and I will be teaching a course on archaeobotany this Winter. I completed my doctorate at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2010. My doctoral research explored the use of food plants and other plants in a ritual context associated with feasting at a 4000-year-old monumental site, Buena Vista, just north of Peru’s capital city, Lima. After finishing my doctorate, I received a Fulbright Specialists grant to work with Ecuador’s Institute for Cultural Patrimony.


Alan F. Greene (Stanford Archaeology Center & Dept. of Anthropology)

I specialize in the sociobiography of material objects as well as compositional and structural methods of materials analysis, tracing artifacts through habitual production regimes, spheres of exchange, and consumption trends in ancient societies. I am co-director of the Making of Ancient Eurasia Project (MAE), an analytical collaboration between anthropologists and material scientists at Argonne National Laboratory ( The methods utilized by MAE focus on minimally-destructive X-ray analyses of archaeological materials, including digital radiography, X-ray computed tomography, portable X-ray Fluorescence, and synchrotron-based small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering. I earned my Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology at the University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology in 2013.  My dissertation "The Social Lives of Pottery on the Plain of Flowers" draws out the relationship between mundane aspects of the material economy like ceramic containers, and the macro-scale political-economies of emergent complex polities in the Late Bronze Age South Caucasus. At the Stanford Archaeology Center, I plan to offer classes in pottery analysis, archaeological science, data management, and the political and economic aspects of craftmaking.



Gertjan Plets (Stanford Archaeology Center)

I am a postdoctoral researcher with a PhD in archaeology from Ghent University (Belgium). During the first part of 2014 I was a visiting researcher at the Archaeology Center and from January 2015 onwards I will continue my research at the Center as a postdoc.  My interests lay in heritage ethics, cultural landscapes, memory politics, 3D modeling and GIS. My postdoc at Stanford will focus on the heritage and identity politics of newly developing economies and the evolution of archaeological practice and ethics in those countries. Drawing on continuing anthropological fieldwork in Siberia (Altai Republic) and completed research in Xinjiang (northwest China) I will specifically focus on the use of the past in the present in the (former) Soviet/socialist world. Issues as difficult heritage, world heritage activism, cultural diplomacy, indigenous rights, post-Soviet theory and representational practices are some of the cornerstones of my research. This year I will also teach a post-Soviet heritage class, which from an anthropological perspective will explore memory practices in the (former) Soviet world. Besides providing a basic introduction in Soviet/Russian anthropology this class also attempts to contextualize current geopolitical issues (Ukraine and EU activism) using heritage as an analytical tool.