Daniel Seinfeld


Dan Seinfeld was born and raised in Queens, New York. He grew up fascinated with archaeology and loved visiting the MET as a young child and reading illustrated books about the ancient Americas. Dan remained blissfully unaware that one could actually be paid to do archaeology until he began working on an excavation of a 19th century almshouse cemetery as a sophomore at SUNY at Albany. Dan quickly was hooked by the joy of the mud, camaraderie, and the thrill of discovery on archaeological sites. After doing a field school in Belize he decided that he wanted to study ancient Mesoamericans. Under the guidance of FSU alum Marilyn Masson, Dan delved deeper into his study of archaeology and was accepted to graduate school at FSU. As a student of Mary Pohl, Dan studied the ancient Olmec and Maya. His research explores on the relationship between agriculture and the rise of sociopolitically complex systems in Mesoamerica. His thesis and dissertation work focused on the relationship between early elites and the use of maize as a subsistence crop and feasting food (and beer). Working with faculty in FSU's Chemistry and Geochemistry departments, Dan developed new techniques for tracking maize use in ancient ceramics. Dan completed his Master's Degree in 2007 and his doctorate in 2011. He now works for the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, overseeing unmarked burials and archaeology on public lands. He is also researching trade beads from the expedition of Hernando De Soto, who happened to camp right in front of Dan's office window in 1539. In addition to his work for the State, Dan is an adjunct instructor at Tallahassee Community College and continues to collaborate with Mary Pohl and other researchers in studying the origins of Mesoamerican Civilization.


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