Universiteit Leiden

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Natalia Donner


N.R. Donner Ph.D.
+31 71 800 950

Natalia Donner is a lecturer at the Faculty of Humanities (International Studies, Latin America area specialization) and a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Archaeology.

More information about Natalia Donner

Office hours

Faculty of Humanities: Monday 17.00-18.00 hours

Faculty of Archaeology: Thursday afternoon


Natalia's work interweaves archaeological theory, methods, and practice, questioning the epistemological and colonial foundations of the discipline as well as stressing its deep anthropological roots. She has explored the contributions of philosophers such as Bachelard, Foucault, and Agamben to analyze the construction of discourses in archaeology. She also studies materiality, seen as the embodiment of socially learned practices and power relationships, and how these gestural traces, especially incorporated in fired clay, can aid in the construction of chronological narratives.
Her current postdoctoral research mainly focuses on exploring the deep history of the Darien province of Panama, the only land bridge of the Americas, from the population of the continent through to the present.

Teaching activities

Natalia is a lecturer at the Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University, and also collaborates with the Faculty of Archaeology building content and as a guest lecturer.

Curriculum vitae

Natalia Ruth Donner (Rosario, August 27th, 1981) is an Argentinian-Mexican archaeologist who has worked in Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, and Argentina for over 15 years.  Donner obtained a BA in Archaeology (2006) at Universidad Veracruzana (Mexico) and then a Masters in Mesoamerican Studies (2015) at UNAM, Mexico. Since 2003, she participated in several archaeological projects, particularly in the Mexican Gulf Coast; and between 2008 and 2011 she directed Proyecto Arqueológico El Carrizal, in South-Central Veracruz. Through that project, she made contributions to the regional ceramic sequence, settlement patterns history, as well as implemented a public archaeology program. In addition, her team excavated and conserved the earliest ball court in Veracruz, dated to the end of the Proto-Classic (100 BCE – 100 CE) and the beginning of the Early Classic (100–300 CE). Later, she collaborated with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and then joined the Education Department at Frank Gehry’s Biodiversity Museum, also in Panama City, where she engaged in the teacher training program and focused on developing school materials related to archaeology.
Since 2014, she has actively collaborated with the Proyecto Arqueológico Centro de Nicaragua (PACEN), directed by Alexander Geurds (Leiden University). The main results of her work with PACEN culminate within her doctoral thesis, entitled "The potter's perspectives: A vibrant chronology of ceramic manufacturing practices in the valley of Juigalpa, Chontales, Nicaragua (cal 300 CE - present)".

Currently, she co-directs the multidisciplinary project Darien Profundo, which investigates the deep history of human-environmental entanglements in the land bridge of the Americas, the Isthmus of Panama.


  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Faculteitsbureau
  • International Studies

Work address

Schouwburgstraat 2
2511 VA The Hague


Researcher 4

  • Faculteit Archeologie
  • World Archaeology
  • Caribbean and Amazonia

Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number A2.01



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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