Research & Publications

Hit a paywall trying to access some of my work? Send me a direct message @nmathwich on Twitter or email, and I’ll send you a copy.

Recent publications

Mathwich, Nicole M., and Evan Giomi. “Order on the Edge of Empire: Social Network Analysis of Colonial Mission Landscapes in Nuevo México and the Pimería Alta.” International Journal of Historical Archaeology, August 26, 2021.

ihja network image

Mathwich, Nicole M. “Colonialism and Historical Ecology: Livestock Management as a Case Study in the American Southwest.” In The Routledge Handbook of the Archaeology of Indigenous-Colonial Interaction in the Americas. Routledge, 2021.

Mission Dolores de Cosarí

Faunal analysis

As part of colonial efforts to incorporate O’odham lands into New Spain, missionaries in the Pimería Alta built a system of religious agro-pastoral communities where their conversion efforts were contested, adapted, and mitigated by O’odham groups. One of the earliest sites in this system was Mission Dolores de Cósari. The O’odham village of Cósari was first visited by Father Kino in 1687. The site subsequently became the local cabecera, known as Misión de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Cósari, and became the administrative center of the Pimería Alta missions, to which all the missionaries operating in the region reported.  Dolores became an important source of cattle herd for Kino’s expansion north, and laid the foundations for other missions in the region.

My research at this site has been based on the faunal analysis of materials recovered from INAH Sonora excavations of this site in 2006. Three of my undergraduate students worked on digital analysis of the data as part of a research assistantships assigned during the Spring 2021 pandemic restrictions. Research and writing is ongoing.

Pimería Alta Isotope ProjectCow tooth sampled for tooth enamel

2014-Present: Exploration of range management using colonial livestock tooth enamel and bone collagen

With Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman and Alexander Ruff

Check out our new article out from Journal Archaeology Science: Reports:

Media coverage

Mission Guevavi Archaeological Field School

Nicole Mathwich in field

2013-2015: Excavations of the mission midden, ranching features, historic adobe structures, and Hohokam pithouses in partnership with the National Park Service, University of Arizona, and Desert, Inc.

Teaching Assistant and Faunal Analyst

Mathwich, Nicole and Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman. (2018) “Bureaucratic Reforms on the Frontier: Zooarchaeological and Historical Perspectives on the 1767 Jesuit Expulsion in the Pimería Alta.” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 10.1016/j.jaa.2018.07.002

Mathwich, Nicole. “Prehistoric and Historic Vertebrate Faunal Remains from Mission Los Santos Angeles de Guevavi, AZ EE:9:1(ASM), Santa Cruz County, Arizona.” In Archaeology at the Mission of Sorrows: Archaeological Test Excavations at the Guevavi Mission, AZ EE:9:1(ASM), Santa Cruz County, Arizona, 103–25. Technical Report 2015–12. Tucson, Arizona: Desert Archaeology, Inc., 2016.

Slade Ruin [AZ Q:15:1(ASM)]


Faunal analysis of excavations of a Pueblo III site near Eager, Arizona.

Faunal analyst

Mathwich, Nicole (2017), “Zooarchaeological Analysis of Slade Ruin.” Technical report, on file, Arizona State Museum.

School of Anthropology Centennial Project

As part of the celebration of the University of Arizona Anthropology’s Centennial year in 2015, I created and distributed an online survey to UA Anthropology  Alumni and from the survey, I created a social network model showing the many links between the faculty and graduates of University of Arizona Anthropology and organizations, businesses, governments, and universities from around the world in a project called Centennial Connections.


Santa Clara Historical Archaeological Field School


2012 Excavations of  Mission Santa Clara’s neophyte quarters.

Teaching Assistant and Faunal Analyst

Panich, Lee M., Helga Afaghani, and Nicole Mathwich. “Assessing the Diversity of Mission Populations through the Comparison of Native American Residences at Mission Santa Clara de Asís.” International Journal of Historical Archaeology 18, no. 3 (2014): 467–88. doi:10.1007/s10761-014-0266-1.
%d bloggers like this: