Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., Yale University, 1975
Office: McGraw 225
Research Interests: archaeology; emergence of social stratification and states; settlement archaeology, household archaeology; identity; history and archaeology; writing, iconography; Mesoamerica, Olmec, Maya
My research interests center on early complex societies and how archaeology can explore the processes through which they develop. How do distinctions in status, wealth, and authority emerge within and between communities? Under what circumstances do these distinctions intensify into stratification? How does stratification relate to the centralization of political power, to the emergence of kings and states?
Another set of interests revolves around notions of identity. How are the groups with which people associate themselves, the categories to which they see themselves as belonging, reflected in material remains? How do these categories relate to the analytical categories archaeologists use?
I explore these issues in Mesoamerica, especially in the Maya world. A long-term commitment to survey and excavation in the lower Ulúa valley in Honduras has produced a rich data set from a region in which the cultural affiliations of the ancient population and the emergence of social stratification are salient issues. Recreating the Past http://fitdev.cit.cornell.edu/archaeology presents some of the results of the Ulúa valley work in schematic form.
- Being Olmec in Formative Honduras. Ancient Mesoamerica (with Rosemary Joyce)
- Forming Mesoamerican taste: cacao consumption in Formative Period contexts. In John E. Staller and Michael Carrasco (eds.), Food and Feasting in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica: Interdisciplinary approaches to Foodways Past and Present. (with Rosemary Joyce)
- From feasting to cuisine: implications of archaeological research in an early Honduran village. American Anthropologist 109(4): 642-653. (with Rosemary Joyce)
- Chemical and archaeological evidence for the earliest cacao beverages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) 104(48):18937–18940. (with Rosemary Joyce, Gretchen R. Hall, W. Jeffrey Hurst, and Patrick E. McGovern)
- Brewing distinction: the development of cacao beverages in Formative Mesoamerica. In Cameron L. McNeil (ed.), Chocolate in Mesoamerica: A Cultural History of Cacao, pp. 140-153. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. (with Rosemary Joyce)
- The plunder of the Ulua Valley, Honduras and a market analysis for its antiquities. In Neil Brodie, Morag Kersel, Christina Luke, Kathryn Walker Tubb (eds.), Archaeology and the Commodification of Material Culture, pp. 147-172. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. (with Christina Luke)
- Beginnings of village life in eastern Mesoamerica. Latin American Antiquity 12(1):5-23. (with Rosemary Joyce)
- World of the Ancient Maya. 2nd ed. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
- Configurations of Power: Holistic Anthropology in Theory and Practice. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. (co-edited with Patricia J. Netherly)
- Pottery of Prehistoric Honduras: Regional Classification and Analysis. UCLA Institute of Archaeology, Monograph 35. (co-edited with Marilyn P. Beaudry-Corbett)
- Variations on a theme: a frontier view of Maya civilization. In Elin C. Danien and Robert J. Sharer (eds.), New Theories on the Ancient Maya, pp. 161-171. Philadelphia: University Museum.
- Elites and ethnicity along the southeastern fringe of Mesoamerica. In D.Z. Chase and A.F. Chase (eds.), Mesoamerican Elites: An Archaeological Assessment, pp. 157-68. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
- Atopula, Guerrero, and Olmec Horizons in Mesoamerica. Yale University Publications in Anthropology, Number 77.