Dr. Lara Homsey-Messer

  • Lara Homsey Messer is an environmental archaeologist who is interested in how changes in the physical environment (such as geologic resources, natural hazards, and climate change) affected prehistoric populations.

    Lara Homsey-Messer

    Messer received an MS in Geology (2003) and a PhD (2004) in Archaeology, both from the University of Pittsburgh. She is returning to her home state of Pennsylvania after teaching for nine years in the Geosciences Department at Murray State University.

    Ongoing research projects include coring and soil analysis to reconstruct the ancient environment at the Monongahela village site of Squirrel Hill in western Pennsylvania, using soil micromorphology to understand mound-building technologies and prehistoric engineering at the Coles Creek Raffman Site in Louisiana, and GIS and remote sensing applications to look at settlement patterning and river migration in the Cache Valley of Illinois.

    She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in journals such as American Antiquity, Geoarchaeology, and Ethnoarchaeology and has published a monograph of her dissertation through ArchaeoPress. In addition, she serves as the associate editor of the Journal of Kentucky Archaeology and recently served as a guest editor for volume 35 of Southeastern Archaeology, a thematic issue on microartifact analysis.

    Messer has wide array of experience in applied archaeology, having worked in both the private and public sectors, including serving as a cultural resource manager for the US Army Environmental Center at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. She is a member of the Register of Professional Archaeologists, Society for American Archaeology, and the Geological Society of America.

    Messer currently teaches Contemporary Anthropology, Geoarchaeology, Environmental Archaeology, Cultural Resource Management, and Public Archaeology.

    Many of Messer’s publications can be read here.