Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

You are here: Home People Kirk French

Kirk French

Kirk French


120 Carpenter Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-1142


  1. 1998 B.A., Texas State University (Anthropology)
  2. 2002 M.A., University of Cincinnati (Anthropology)
  3. 2009 Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University (Anthropology)



I began working at the Classic Maya site of Palenque in 1998, and was immediately impressed by the remains of the hydrological system, which had long been famous among archaeologists.  I have since spent my time developing a better understanding of the interplay between humans and their environment.  My research aims to provide views of what landscape alteration can and has done to the environment through archaeology, watershed modeling, and ethnographic/documentary film.

My research interests include Maya water management, Mesoamerican culture history, urbanization, public space, human water usage, paleoclimate, human responses to climate change, and documentary film.



Mexico (Chiapas and the Basin of Mexico), Guatemala, Belize, Texas, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania



ANTH 002 - Introduction to Archaeology

ANTH 011 (online) - Introduction to North American Archaeology
ANTH 146 (online) - North American Indians

ANTH 428 - Archaeological Method and Theory



French, K.D. and Duffy, C. (In Press). Prehispanic Water Pressure: A New World First. Journal of Archaeological Science.

Milner, G.R., Hammerstedt, S.H., and French, K.D. ( In Press). Chert Hoes as Digging Tools. Antiquity.

French, K.D. and Duffy, C. (In Press). Presión Hidráulica Entre los Antiguos Mayas de Palenque: La Primera en el Nuevo Mundo. InEl agua en la historia y la arqueología, edited by Alonso, Hernández, and Fuentes. Published by La Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico.

French, K.D. (2009). The Hydroarchaeological Approach: Understanding the Ancient Maya Impact on the Palenque Watershed. Ph.D. Dissertation, Pennsylvania State University.

French, K.D. (2007). Creating Space through Water Management at the Classic Maya Site of Palenque, Chiapas. In Palenque: Recent Investigations at the Classic Maya Center, edited by D. Marken. Altamira Press, Lanham, Maryland.

French, K.D., Stuart, D. and Morales, A. (2006). Archaeological and Epigraphic Evidence for Water Management and Ritual at Palenque. In Precolumbian Water Management: Ideology, Ritual and Power, edited by Barbara Fash and Lisa Lucero. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.

Estrada, A., Luecke, L., Van Belle, S., French, K., Muñoz, D., García, Y., Castellanos, L., and Mendoza, A. (2002). Population of the Black Howler Monkey (Alouatta pigra) and Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoggroyi) in the Mayan Site of Yaxchilan, Chiapas, Mexico: A Preliminary Survey. Neotropical Primates, 10(2):89-95.

French, K.D. (2002). Creating Space through Water Management at the Classic Maya Site of Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico. MA Thesis, U of Cincinnati.

French, K.D. (2001). The Precious Otulum of Palenque. The PARI Journal, Vol. II, No. 2.

French, K.D. (2000). Lakam Ha is Big Water. Mundo Maya, Year 8, No. 22.

French, K.D. (2000). Managing Lakam Ha. An Exploration of Palenque’s Diverse Water Systems. The PARI Journal, Vol. I, No.1.

Personal tools
Log in