Madelynn is an archaeobotanist who uses botanical macrofossils to examine the reciprocal relationship between humans and plants. Particularly interesting to her is how environmental conditions and climate change impact agricultural systems and how changes in the human–environment relationship can foster cultural resilience in both ancient and modern populations. She works in the Eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia.
Madelynn received her Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in 2018. Her thesis examined seeds and other plant parts from Late Chalcolithic Çadır Höyük, a site in North Central Anatolia. This study focused on the changes in plant use before and after the 5.2 kya rapid climate event and how those changes contributed to cultural resiliency at Çadır Höyük.
From 2018 to 2020, Madelynn was a Research Fellow at the Harvard University Herbaria where she developed and implemented a workflow that used a high-resolution medical scanner to digitize slides of wood thin sections from the Bailey-Wetmore Wood collection. The images will allow remote researchers from a variety of disciplines like anthracology, botany, ecology, and conservation to access this unique collection for the first time.
Madelynn’s current work is part of the FEDD research group led by Robert N. Spengler. She is examining the wood charcoal from various sites along the Silk Road for evidence of the spread of fruit trees, particularly from the Rosaceae family, and for woodland management practices.
von Baeyer, M., A. Smith, S. R. Steadman. 2021 "Expanding the plain: using archaeobotany to examine adaptation to the 5.2 kya climate change event during the Anatolian Late Chalcolithic at Çadır Höyük.” Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2021.102806
von Baeyer, M., and J. M. Marston. 2020. “Best Practices for Digitizing a Wood Slide Collection: the Bailey-Wetmore Wood Collection of the Harvard University Herbaria.” Quaternary International. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2020.08.053
Steadman, S. R., L. D. Hackley, S. L. Selover, B. Yıldırım, M. von Baeyer, B. S. Arbuckle, R. Robinson, A. Smith. 2019. “Early Lives: The Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age at Çadır Höyük.” Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 7(3): 271–298.
Ross, J. C., G. McMahon, Y. Heffron, S. E. Adcock, S. R. Steadman, B. S. Arbuckle, A. Smith, M. von Baeyer. 2019. “Anatolian Empires: Local Experiences from Hittites to Phrygians at Çadır Höyük.” Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 7(3): 299–320.
Cassis, M., A. J. Lauricella, K. Tardio, M. von Baeyer, S. Coleman, S. E. Adcock, B. S. Arbuckle, A. Smith. 2019. “Regional Patterns of Transition at Çadır Höyük in the Byzantine Period.” Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 7(3): 321–349.
Steadman, S. R., G. McMahon, B. S. Arbuckle, M. von Baeyer, A. Smith, B. Yıldırım, L. D. Hackley, S. Selover, and S. Spagni. 2019. “Stability and Change at Çadır Höyük in Central Anatolia: A Case of Late Chalcolithic Globalisation?” Anatolian Studies 69: 21–57.
Smith, A., K. Dotzel, J. Fountain, L. Proctor, and M. von Baeyer. 2015. “Examining Fuel Use in Antiquity: Archaeobotanical and Anthracological Approaches in Southwest Asia.” Ethnobiology Letters 6: 192–195.
FEDD: Fruits of Eurasia: Domestication and Dispersal