primary research interests:
archaeometry, coupled socionatural systems, isotope dating techniques, maya, mesoamerican archaeology
Located in Santa Cruz, a Mopan Maya village in southern Belize, the archaeological site of Uxbenká spanned from ≈100 BC-AD 900 (Late Preclassic-Terminal Classic periods). My dissertation focuses on the intersections of political strategies and climate perturbations through time at Uxbenká in order to explore the resilience (or rigidity) of agrarian-based social institutions. To do this, I am developing high-resolution sequences of the civic-ceremonial built environment, potential dynastic lineage through direct dating of remains and the local paleoclimate record. Together with data collected by the larger Uxbenka Archaeological Project, such as information from carved stone monuments (stelae) and domestic groups, I will compare multi-scalar analyses to explore the relationships among political power, rainfall reductions and unpredictable agricultural seasons.
Building an accurate chronology of site core building programs is of utmost priority to my research. By that, I mean the measurement of time using various proxies and subsequent statistical analyses to order construction events and landscape modifications into a coherent, detailed historical sequence. Similarly, I am involved with high-resolution speleothem (cave deposits) paleoclimate reconstructions by anchoring these multi-proxy records to calendrical time using the uranium-series dating method.
This work is conducted under the auspices of the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Uxbenká Archaeological Project, which operates within a collaborative six-institution project that is funded by Alphawood Foundation and the National Science Foundation Human and Social Dynamics Program:
Maya Socioeconomic Dynamics Project