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Department of Anthropology


Chelsea Fisher

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: Gambrell Hall, 416
Photo of Chelsea Fisher

Dr. Fisher is an Assistant Professor of anthropological archaeology at the University of South Carolina. She earned her PhD in anthropology from the University of Michigan in 2019. Prior to joining the faculty at USC in 2023, she also was an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Washington and Lee University.


ANTH 101 Primates, People, and Prehistory 

ANTH 319: Principles of Archaeology 


Dr. Fisher’s research explores how community-engaged archaeology can help us understand, mitigate, and resolve environmental justice conflicts. Since 2013 she has worked in and with the community of Yaxunah, Yucatán, Mexico, using archaeology to document the deep histories of Maya ecological knowledge and agriculture. Having recently completed a long-term project on celebrity chefs, land grabbing, and ancient Maya farmers, Dr. Fisher is now developing new research on colonial and modern cattle farming in Yucatec Maya communities.

Selected recent publications

Fisher, C. (2023) Monumentality as traditional ecological knowledge in the northern Maya lowlands. Antiquity 97(392): 386-402. DOI: 

Fisher, C. (2020) Archaeology for sustainable agriculture. Journal of Archaeological Research 28:393-441.

Fisher, C. and T. Ardren. (2020) Partaking in culinary heritage at Yaxunah, Yucatán during the 2017 Noma Mexico pop-up. Maya Anthropological Archaeology, special issue of Heritage, edited by C. Fisher and A.F. Chase 3(2): 474-492.

Fisher, C. (2020) Maize politics and Maya farmers’ traditional ecological knowledge in Yucatán, 1450-1600. Human Ecology 48(1): 33-45.

Recent Accomplishments

Dr. Fisher’s first book, Rooting in a Useless Land: Ancient Farmers, Celebrity Chefs, and Environmental Justice in Yucatán, was published by the University of California Press in October 2023.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.