Julie K. Wesp
PhD in Anthropology, UC Berkeley

UC MEXUS residency from April 2014 to June 2015
Julie K. Wesp

I am a bioarchaeologist specializing in the region of Mesoamerica, with experience working in Honduras, Central Mexico, and the Yucatan Peninsula. I am interested in understanding the daily life of people in the past through a close examination of human remains as a kind of archive of lived experiences. My research focuses on bioarchaeological methods of examining changes that result from everyday activities and how these changes can help distinguish different ways that labor was organized in the past. As a resident scholar, I focused on a skeletal population from one of the earliest colonial hospitals established in New Spain for the indigenous population. This research highlights how many different intersecting aspects of identity, such as gender, biological heritage, or age, influence the kind of activities people perform and the way it becomes materialized in the skeleton. My on-going research focuses on how the Spanish colonial power influenced people’s lives in more rural parts of New Spain as well as how enslaved Africans and their descendants played an important role in colonial society.

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Please contact Dr. Wesp at juliewesp@berkeley.edu.