Padlock, Str T29, Tayasal

Project Director

Dr. Timothy W. Pugh                        Curriculum Vitae

My current archaeological research focuses upon urbanization at the site of Nixtun-Ch’ich’ in Petén, Guatemala. My previous work at the site encountered an urban grid that appears to have been constructed before 400 BCE. It may be the earliest such grid in the Americas. Urban grids were previously unknown among the ancient Maya and the timing of this grid’s construction correlates with the emergence of “states” in the region. Since this urban form does not occur in the Maya region before the construction of Nixtun-Ch’ich’, I believe that it was an innovation by Maya elites to organize and rule the larger population. Hence, it appears to have been an administrative innovation association with an early Maya state centered at Nixtun-Ch’ich’. My current work at the site is seeking to more precisely define the form and chronology of the grid through intensive excavations. I am also searching for the settlement form(s) that preceded the grid’s construction. Like the implementation of the grid upon Manhattan in the 19th century, that of Nixtun-Ch’ich’ involved extensive demolition.

Research Interests

archaeology, Maya, urbanization, cultural contact

Current Positions

Professor, Department of Anthropology, Queens College of CUNY

Professor, Department of Anthropology, Graduate Center of CUNY

Affiliated, Department of Art History, Graduate Center of CUNY


Ph.D. Anthropology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 2001

M.A. Anthropology, University of Memphis, 1991

B.S. Sociology and Anthropology, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1988


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