Latin American Studies

Kirk D. French

Kirk D. French
Associate Teaching Professor of Anthropology


Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University (Anthropology), 2009
M.A., University of Cincinnati (Anthropology), 2002
B.A., Texas State University (Anthropology), 1998


I am a broadly trained anthropological archaeologist whose primary interest is utilizing remotely sensed data to analyze the multiscalar relationships of landuse and climate as related to water availability of both prehistoric and historic sites.

The overarching theme of my research is to develop a better understanding of the interplay between humans and their environments, both in the past and present. The goal of my projects are to provide views of what landscape alteration can and has done to the environment through archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork and documentary film.

Mexico (Chiapas and the Basin of Mexico), Guatemala, Belize, Mongolia, Denmark, Scotland, Arctic Canada (Nunavik), Texas, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania

Courses Taught:

  • Introduction to Anthropology (ANTH001)(lecture and web)
  • Introduction to Archaeology (ANTH002)
  • Introduction to North American Archaeology (ANTH011)(web)
  • North American Indians (ANTH146)(web)
  • Archaeological Method and Theory (ANTH428)
  • Anthropology of Alcohol (ANTH140)
  • Ancient Brews (Special Topics)


2019 French, K.D., Straight, K.D., and Hermitt, E.J.
Building the Environment at Palenque: The Sacred Pools of the Picota Group. Ancient Mesoamerica.

2019 French, K.D.
A Round for All My Friends: Understanding the Economic Impact of Moonshine Production. In Shadow Capitalists? Historical Archaeologies of Intimate Economies, edited by James A. Nyman, Kevin R. Fogel, and Mary Beaudry. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

2016 French, K.D. and Duffy, C.
Measuring the Impact of Landcover Change at Palenque. In Human Adaptation in Ancient Mesoamerica, edited by Nan Gonlin and Kirk D. French.  Published by University of Colorado Press, Boulder, Colorado.

2016 Gonlin, N. and French, K.D. (editors)
Human Adaptation in Ancient Mesoamerica. Published by University of Colorado Press, Boulder, Colorado.

2014 French, K.D. and Duffy, C.
Understanding Ancient Maya Water Resources and the Implications for a More Sustainable Future. Invited article for WIREs Water.

2013 French, K.D., Duffy, C., Bhatt, G.
Urban Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering at the Classic Maya Site of Palenque. Water History Journal, 5(1):43-69.

2012 French, K.D., Duffy, C., Bhatt, G.
The Hydroarchaeological Method: A Case Study at the Maya Site of Palenque. Latin American Antiquity, 23(1):29-50.

2010 French, K.D. and Duffy, C.
Prehispanic Water Pressure: A New World First. Journal of Archaeological Science, 37(5):1027-1032.

2010 Milner, G.R., Hammerstedt, S.H., and French, K.D.
Chert Hoes as Digging Tools. Antiquity, 84(323):103-113.

2007 French, K.D.
Creating Space through Water Management at the Classic Maya Site of Palenque, Chiapas. In Palenque: Recent Investigations at the Classic Maya Center, edited by D. Marken. Altamira Press, Lanham, Maryland.

2006 French, K.D., Stuart, D. and Morales, A.
Archaeological and Epigraphic Evidence for Water Management and Ritual at Palenque. In Precolumbian Water Management: Ideology, Ritual and Power, edited by Barbara Fash and Lisa Lucero. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.

2002 Estrada, A., Luecke, L., Van Belle, S., French, K., Muñoz, D., García, Y., Castellanos, L., and Mendoza, A.
Population of the Black Howler Monkey (Alouatta pigra) and Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoggroyi) in the Mayan Site of Yaxchilan, Chiapas, Mexico: A Preliminary Survey. Neotropical Primates, 10(2):89-95.

Kirk French