Dr.Dessa E. Lightfoot is a project archaeologist at the William & Mary Center for Archaeological Research. She earned her BA in English and Textual Studies from Syracuse University, her MA in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico, and her Ph.D. in Anthropology from William & Mary in 2018.
Dr. Lightfoot’s research focuses on environmental archaeology, animal butchery and foodways reconstruction, and colonial provisioning in Native-, Anglo-, and African-American populations in Eastern North America. Notable projects include zooarchaeological analyses of The South Grove Midden and House for Families faunal reassessments for Mount Vernon, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage Plantation enslave cabins and Poplar Forest South Wing, a large-scale oyster shell analysis of several sites within Colonial Williamsburg, and large-scale surveys of the Colonial Parkway and Fort Pickett. Dr. Lightfoot also has a strong commitment to public archaeology, and extensive experience teaching archaeological methods and theories on the university level, as a museum educator, and as part of public engagement programs.