Jonathan Hdez. Arana
I was born in Mexico City 24 years ago, but my family decided to move to Veracruz city after the 1985 earthquake. Fortunately, Mexican families are used to visiting archaeological sites on Sunday morning. This tradition marked my interests very early in my life. I consider my childhood as a mixture of extreme heat, beach, sports, archaeological tours and the early development of a deep observational skill, which defined my career decisions. I studied Archaeology at Universidad Veracruzana, located in Xalapa, Veracruz. My main interest lies on lithic materials, especially the ones created, used, and discarded by early societies, such as pre-ceramic ones. Thus, as soon as I graduated from university, I spent six months working in Sonora, a northern state in Mexico, where I gained experience with this type of cultures and their evidence. However, my links to the state of Veracruz (not only with the territory, but also with its archaeological past, as well as family and friends) made me return and start a project with my college co-student, Natalia. Our plans include working at El Carrizal focusing on the Mesoamerican cultural phases for some years and, at some point, start a special project on the preceramic groups of the area.
Natalia R. Donner
Born in Argentina in 1981, I spent my early life in Rosario, a city that opened its gates to many immigrants during the great wars in Europe. My family came from Russia and Poland, so they were always grateful to the country that received them. My whole education was based on the valorization of the past in order to understand the present, so it was not a surprise for my parents when I communicated them that I had decided to become an archaeologist. I entered the Universidad Nacional de Rosario, but as soon as I discovered that my main interest was in the cultures of the Mexican Gulf Coast, I decided to move to Xalapa, Veracruz and finish my studies at Universidad Veracruzana. As soon as I graduated, I started gaining experience in archaeological projects around the area, in sites such as San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan (the earliest Olmec capital), Catemaco (in the Tuxtla Mountains), and La Joya (near Veracruz city), among others. Currently, I’m a graduate student at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), in the Mesoamerican Studies Program. My main goals lie in Formative and Classic Cultures in south and central Veracruz, not only in studying these two cultural periods but also in understanding the transitions between them. For that reason, I’m now in charge of the Proyecto Arqueológico El Carrizal together with my friend and fellow archaeologist Jonathan. We would like to contribute to the regional archaeology through our work, including many different aspects such as lithics, ceramics, settlement patterns, ecological and geological studies, physical anthropology, etc. in order to try to tackle our evidence from as much angles as possible and be able to explain some aspects of the regional past.
Additional team members
Local high-school students collaborating as part of their community service