Mary Malainey

Mary Malainey is the MAS Treasurer. She is a Northern Plains/Parkland archaeologist with degrees from the Universities of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as years of CRM work in Saskatchewan. A strong interest in archaeological science led her out of the field and to her residue analysis laboratory at Brandon University. By using gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to analyze the lipid components of residues extracted from archaeological materials, she can characterize the former contents of Aboriginal pottery vessels, foods prepared using hot rock cooking techniques or ground with milling stones. Mary’s study of archaeological residues provides the opportunity to analyze material from across North America and other parts of the world, including South Africa, Tunisia, the Balkans and Tierra del Fuego. Her primary research involves Western Canadian Late Precontact pottery, its function and implications for settlement and subsistence patterns. She uses computer-assisted design software to transform partially reconstructed vessels into whole pots, which are more suitable for morphological studies. Mary is currently working with American archaeologists to determine the function of burned rock features found throughout the Central and Southern Plains states. Her book “A Consumer’s Guide to Archaeological Science: Analytical Techniques,” published by Springer, was written to help archaeologists better understand the scientific techniques available for the analysis of their materials.