Adjunct Associate Professor in Anthropology
Joyce White specializes in multi-disciplinary investigation of the human past in Thailand and Laos, especially in the middle reaches of the Mekong River Basin. She is interested in the Holocene period, particularly the Middle Holocene, roughly 6000 B.C. and 2000 B.C. when agriculture and metallurgy first appeared in Southeast Asia. Her research endeavors have included analysis and publication of Penn’s excavations at Ban Chiang in Thailand undertaken in the mid 1970s; ethno-ecological field research at Ban Chiang in 1978-1981 where she investigated how local people identified and used indigenous edible plants; lake coring and ecological mapping for palaeoenvironmental research in several parts of Thailand during the 1990s; and since 2001, survey and excavation in northern Laos, especially in Luang Prabang Province.
Over the years, White’s research has been funded by National Science Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, National Geographic Society, Wenner Gren Foundation, The Friends of Ban Chiang, and other foundations and individuals. Her research has been published in the American Anthropological Association’s AP3A series, Asian Perspectives, Journal of World Archaeology, among other venuses. Currently she is collaborating with other scholars in writing two monographs incorporating science in archaeology, one on archaeometallurgy of prehistoric Thailand, and another on the renowned ceramics collection from Ban Chiang.