Keith Malcolm Prufer
Department of Anthropology - University of New Mexico

RESEARCH
INTERESTS

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PUBLICATIONS &
PRESENTATIONS

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CURRENT PROJECTS

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COURSES


PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Publications

BOOKS

Brady, James E. and Keith M. Prufer (editors) 2005
In The Maw of the Earth Monster: Studies of Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use.  Linda Schele Series in Precolumbian Art and Archaeology, University of Texas Press.

Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady (editors) 2005
Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context. David Carasco Series Mesoamerican Worlds, University Press of Colorado.

JOURNAL ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS

Nazaroff, Adam J. Keith M. Prufer, and Brandon L. Drake 2009
Assessing the Applicability of Portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry for Obsidian Provenance Research in the Maya Lowlands.  Journal of Archaeological Science In Press

Prufer, Keith M. and Peter S. Dunham 2009
A Shaman’s Burial from an Early Classic Cave in Maya Mountains, invited contribution to special issue of World Archaeology edited by Joao Zilhao 41(2)

Brandon L. Drake, Adam J. Nazaroff, Keith M. Prufer 2009
Error Assessment of Portable X-Ray Florescence Spectrometry in Geochemical Sourcing. Society for Archaeological Sciences Bulletin 32(3): 14-17

Geoffrey Braswell and Keith M. Prufer 2009
Political Organization and Interaction in Southern Belize, Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 6: 43-55

Moyes, Holley and Keith M. Prufer 2009
The Archaeology of Kayuko Naj Tunich Cave. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 6: 191-199

Prufer, Keith M, Andrew Kindon, and Douglas Kennett 2008
Uxbenká and the Foundation of Sedentary Communities in Southern Belize.  Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 5: 241-250.

Prufer, Keith M. and W. Jeffrey Hurst 2007
Chocolate and the Underworld Space of Death:  The Recovery of Intact Cacao from an Early Classic Mortuary Cave. Ethnohistory 54(2):  273-303.

Bethany Myers and Keith M. Prufer 2007
A Maya Canoe from Kayuko Cave in Southern Belize. Mexicon

Prufer, Keith M., Andrew Kindon, and Phillip Wanyerka 2006 
Mapping Uxbenká: Site Settlement in the Rio Blanco Valley, Belize.  In Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology, 2006, J. Morris and J. Awe, editors. Institute of Archaeology, Belmopan, Belize.

Prufer, Keith M. and Phil Wanyerk 2006
A New Early Classic Monument from Uxbenká. Mexicon   

Prufer, Keith M. 2005
The Early Classic in Southern Belize: A Regional View from Uxbenká and Ek Xux. In Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology:  Investigations in the Eastern Lowlands.  J. Morris and J. Awe, editors. pp.169-178, Institute of Archaeology, Belmopan, Belize.          

Prufer, Keith M. 2005
Shamans, Caves, and the Roles of Ritual Specialists in Maya Society.  In: In The Maw of the Earth Monster: Studies of Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use, James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, editors, pp.186-222, University of Texas Press, Austin.

Prufer, Keith M. and James E. Brady 2005
Introduction: Religion and the Role of Caves in Lowland Maya Archaeology.  In Keith M. Prufer and James Brady, editors Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

Prufer, Keith M. and James E. Brady 2005
Concluding Comments.  In: In The Maw of the Earth Monster: Studies of Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use, James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, editors, pp. 403-412, University of Texas Press, Austin.

Prufer, Keith M. and Andrew Kindon 2005
Replicating the Sacred Landscape: The Ch’een at Muklebal Tzul.In Keith M. Prufer and James Brady, editors Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context, University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

Brady, James E. and Keith M. Prufer 2005
Introduction: A History of Mesoamerican Cave Interpretation.  In: In The Maw of the Earth Monster: Studies of Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use, James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, editors, pp. 1-18, University of Texas Press, Austin.

Brady, James E. and Keith M. Prufer 2005
Synthesis and Concluding Comments. In Keith M. Prufer and James Brady, editors Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context, University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

Morehart, Christopher, David Lentz, and Keith M. Prufer 2005
Wood of the Gods: The Ritual Use of Pine (Pinus sp.) by the Ancient Lowland Maya. Latin American Antiquity 16(3): 255-274

Saul, Julie, Keith M. Prufer, and Frank Saul 2005
Osteobiographical Studies of a Skeletal Population from Settlement Rockshelters in the Ek Xux Valley, Belize. In Keith M. Prufer and James Brady, editors Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

Prufer, Keith M., Phil Wanyerka, and Monica Shah 2003
Wood Figurines, Manikin Scepters, and Religious Specialists in Ancient Maya Society.  Ancient Mesoamerica 14(2): 218-236.

Halperin, Christina T., Sergio Garza, Keith Prufer and James E. Brady 2003
Evidence for the Ritual Use of Jute by the Ancient Maya. Latin American Antiquity 14(3): 207-219.

Brady, James E. and Keith M. Prufer 1999
Caves and Crystalmancy: Evidence for the Use of Crystals in Ancient Maya Religion.  Journal of Anthropological Research 55(1): 129-144.

Dunham, Peter S. and Keith M. Prufer 1998
En la Cumbre del Clásico: Descubrimientos Recientes en la Montaña Maya en el Sur de Belice. In XI Simposio de Investigationes Arqueológicas en Guatemala. (Juan Pedro Laporte and Héctor L. Escobedo, editors), pp. 165-170. Guatemala City: Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, Instituto de Antropología e Historia y Asociación Tikal.

 

Recent Presentations

 

Symposia Organized
Symposium Pa Li Eb'il Tzul: Recent Archaeological and Epigraphic Investigations at Uxbenká And Pusilhá, co-organized with Geoffrey Braswell, (73rd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin TX), 2008

Cave Perspectives on Mesoamerican Politics and Religion. (72nd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin TX), 2007

The Intersection between Archaeology and Community in the Developing World, co-organized with Shoshaunna Parks (105th Annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Jose, CA.), 2006 

Caves and Settlement: The Socio-Religious Context of Mesoamerican Cave Use (70th annual meetings of the Society for American Archaeology, Salt Lake City, UT), 2005

The Importance of Ritual Space in Subterranean Mesoamerica (69th annual meetings of the Society for American Archaeology, Montreal Quebec), 2004

Reconstructing Maya Ritual and Cosmology in the Cave Context, with James Brady (67th annual meetings of the Society for American Archaeology, Denver Co.), 2002

The Maya Mountains Archaeological Project with Rebecca Hays (66th annual meetings of the Society for American Archaeology, New Orleans, LA), 2001

New Directions in Mesoamerican Cave Archaeology with Patricia Austin (The 62nd annual meetings of the Society for American Archaeology, Nashville, TN), 1997

Conference Papers and Published Abstracts
Modeling Complex Human Behavioral Responses to Climate Change in the Eastern Periphery of the Maya Lowlands.  Keith Prufer, Brendan Culleton, Bruce Winterhalder, Jaime Awe and Douglas Kennett (74th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Atlanta GA), 2009

Examining the Validity of PXRF for Obsidian Sourcing in the Maya Lowlands.  Adam Nazaroff, B. Lee Drake, and Keith Prufer.  (74th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Atlanta GA), 2009

Uxbenká Settlement Survey: Mapping Architecture in the Eastern Periphery of the Maya Lowlands. Ethan Kalosky and Keith M. Prufer.  (poster presented at the 74th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Atlanta GA), 2009

Discussant:  What is New in Mesoamerican Cave Archaeology: The Implications of New Field Discoveries for Method and Theory, Part II.  (74th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Atlanta GA), 2009

Archaeometry at Uxbenká:  How Science is Improving Our Understanding of the Rise and Fall of Polities in Southern Belize.  Keith M. Prufer, Brendan Culleton, and Valorie Aquino.  (Belize Archaeology Symposium: Archaeological Investigations in the Eastern Lowlands, Belize City, Belize), 2009

Settlement Organization at Uxbenká:  Survey Results of the 2008 and 2009 Field Seasons.  Ethan Kalosky and Keith M. Prufer.  (Belize Archaeology Symposium: Archaeological Investigations in the Eastern Lowlands, Belize City, Belize), 2009

Rethinking early settlements in southern Belize: a view from Uxbenká. Keith M. Prufer, Douglas Kennett, and Brendan Culleton (107th Annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco CA), 2008

What do we really know about the archaeology of Southern Belize?  New perspectives on 100 years of survey and excavation (73rd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin TX), 2008

Discussant:  Electronic Symposium: Recent Advances in Mesoamerican Cave Archaeology, (73rd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin TX), 2008.

Classic Maya Landscape Modification in Southern Belize: Potential Soil and Water
Management Features at Uxbenká, Keith M. Prufer, Brendan Culleton, and Douglas Kennett.  (73rd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin TX), 2008.

Kayuko Naj Tunich: A Preclassic Mountain Shrine in Southern Belize.  Holley Moyes and Keith Prufer (73rd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin TX), 2008.

In the Shadows of the Big Houses: Non-Elite Settlements at Uxbenká.  Amber Schrag, Willa Trask and Keith Prufer, (73rd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin TX), 2008.

The Foundations of Uxbenká and Sedentary Communities in Southern Belize.  (Belize Archaeology Symposium: Archaeological Investigations in the Eastern Lowlands, San Ignacio, Belize), 2008

Learning the Past and Valuing the Present:  Educational Initiatives at Uxbenká.  Rebecca Zarger, Keith M. Prufer, and Shoshaunna Parks (Belize Archaeology Symposium: Archaeological Investigations in the Eastern Lowlands, San Ignacio, Belize), 2008

Kayuko Naj Tunich: The Foundational Cave at Uxbenká.  Holley Moyes and Keith M. Prufer (Belize Archaeology Symposium: Archaeological Investigations in the Eastern Lowlands, San Ignacio, Belize), 2008

Political Structure and History in Southern Belize.  Geoffrey Braswell and Keith M. Prufer (Belize Archaeology Symposium: Archaeological Investigations in the Eastern Lowlands, San Ignacio, Belize), 2008

Classic Period Colonization of Southern Belize and the Implications of a Multiethnic Cultural Landscape. (106th Annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington DC), 2007

2007 Contributions of Cave Archaeology to a Generalized and Comparative Understanding of Mesoamerican Societies. (72nd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin TX).

2007 Andrew Kindon and Keith M. Prufer
The Emergence of Sociopolitical Complexity in Southern Belize: A Case Study from the Site of Uxbenká, Toledo District, Southern Belize. (72nd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin TX).

2007 Holley Moyes, Keith M. Prufer, and Bethany Myers
The Canoe in the Cave: A Case for a Burial Shrine in Southern Belize. (72nd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin TX).

2006 Prufer, Keith M. and Rebecca Zarger
Introduction to the Intersection between Archaeology and Community in the Developing World (105th Annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Jose, CA.). 

2006 Prufer, Keith M. and Andrew Kindon
Settlement and Architecture in Southern Belize: Temporal and Spatial Variation in a Well Defined Region. (71st annual meetings of the Society for American Archaeology, San Juan Puerto Rico).

2005 Prufer, Keith M., Andrew Kindon, and Phillip Wanyerka. 
Mapping Uxbenká: Site Settlement in the Rio Blanco Valley, Belize.  (Belize Archaeology Symposium: Archaeological Investigations in the Eastern Lowlands, San Ignacio, Belize). 

2005 Sacred Geography and Mountain Caves in the Highlands of the Lowlands (70th annual meetings of the Society for American Archaeology, Salt Lake City, UT).

Media and Video

2005 Featured in Chocolate: Pathways to the Gods, documentary film by ArcheoProductions, Inc. (released August 2005)

2002 Featured in National Geographic Television’s “Tales from Belize: Paradise in Peril” NGS TV (aired August 2002).

2001Featured in ‘Openings to the Underworld’ Science News Vol. 161 (20) 

1998 Featured inSacred Secrets of the Caves: Archaeologists go Underground for Enlightenment on the Ancient Maya’ Science News Vol. 153 (18).

1998 Featured in ‘Caves the Door to the Beyond: Underground Life of the Maya’ ABC News Online http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/science/dailynews/maya0218.html

1995-6 Consultant for National Geographic Television “The Mountains of the Maya” National Geographic Explorer (originally aired 1997).