Judith Habicht-Mauche's Biography

Judith A. Habicht-Mauche is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1990. Prof. Habicht-Mauche’s research interests include the study of the technology, organization of production and exchange of ancient pottery from the American Southwest and Southern Plains. She is an expert in the archaeological application of mineralogical, chemical, and isotopic techniques for sourcing artifacts and reconstructing ancient trade routes and patterns of cross-cultural interaction. She earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University in 1988. Her doctoral research on interaction between Pueblo farmers of the Southwest and bison-hunting nomads of the Southern Plains won the Plains Anthropological Society Student Paper Competition and was awarded the Society for American Archaeology Dissertation Prize.

In 1993, she published The Pottery of Arroyo Hondo: Tribalization and Trade in the Northern Rio Grande, based on three years of archaeological research at the School of American Research (now School for Advanced Research) in Santa Fe. This monograph has become a standard reference on Rio Grande pottery. Her more recent work has focused on studies of the production and exchange of glaze-painted pottery from the Rio Grande area of New Mexico. In 1996, she received a multi-year NSF grant to explore the application of lead isotope analysis to the sourcing of Southwestern glaze-painted ceramics. A poster based on this research was awarded an Outstanding Poster Award at the 1998 Meetings of the Society for American Archaeology.

Over the last decade, Prof. Habicht-Mauche and her lab group have published a series of papers in the Journal of Archaeological Science outlining the successful results of this innovative research effort. In 2006, with her colleagues Suzanne Eckert and Deborah Huntley, she edited the volume, The Social Life of Pots: Glaze Wares and Cultural Dynamics in the Southwest, AD 1250-1680 (University of Arizona Press), which highlighted the work of a number of young scholars engaged in cutting edge research on the technology of the Southwestern Glaze Wares. She is currently working with Linda Cordell on another related volume, Potters and Communities of Practice: Glaze Paint and Polychrome Pottery in the American Southwest, A.D. 1250 to 1700 (Anthropological Papers Series, University of Arizona Press), which is due out in November 2012.

In 2009, the Society for American Archaeology presented Prof. Habicht-Mauche with its Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis, which honors an archaeologist whose “innovative and enduring research has made a significant impact on the discipline.” This award highlighted Prof. Habicht-Mauche’s specific contributions to the field of ceramic materials analysis in archaeology. Prof. Habicht-Mauche currently has an NSF grant to study the pottery from Tijeras Pueblo, with particular attention to what can be learned from that site about the early development and spread of glaze paint technology to the Rio Grande pueblos from the Western Pueblo region around the turn of the fourteenth century. She recently spent six months as a Visiting Researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico where she began analyzing the extensive ceramic collections from Tijeras Pueblo that are housed at the Maxwell Museum.