Our museum and library is closed today in celebration of Juneteenth.

Samantha Nadel, smiling, wearing glasses, maroon and off-white top, blue lanyard

Samantha Nadel

Cain Dissertation Fellow

Samantha Nadel is an interdisciplinary archaeologist and current PhD candidate at Boston University. Her dissertation research examines the chemical evidence for cochineal production tools in the central Mexican state of Tlaxcala during the Late Postclassic and Early Colonial periods (1200–1630). She is particularly interested in the ways in which non-textual sources like ground stone and ceramic tools can provide insight into the daily lives and economic practices of Indigenous commoners. As a dissertation fellow at the Beckman Center, she will examine European dyeing manuals from the 15th to 19th centuries for traces of Mesoamerican cochineal production methods. This work will contribute to scholars’ understanding of the ways in which Indigenous technological knowledge contributed to the emerge of modern scientific fields.

Before joining the Science History Institute, Samantha conducted field and laboratory work in Mexico in collaboration with scholars at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Her dissertation research has been supported by a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation and multiple grants from Boston University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Latin American Studies, and Archaeology Program. She holds a BA in Chemistry (Honors) and Archaeology (Individualized) from Cornell College.