Ancient Maya Diets

M4034S-4211
Pyramid of the Magician at the Maya site of Uxmal in southern Mexico

The ancient Maya were a collection of city states located in modern day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and southern Mexico. They were active from approximately 1000 BC until the Spanish Conquest around 1519, but the Maya Classic Period dates from ~AD 150 to 900. A major goal of my research is to better understand the social and political organization of Maya societies by reconstructing patterns of food production, distribution, and consumption.

My collaborative projects on the Maya include:

Somerville, Andrew D., Margaret J. Schoeninger, Geoffrey Braswell. Political alliance, residential mobility, and diet at the ancient Maya city of Pusilhá, Belize. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 41: 147-158.

Somerville, Andrew D., and Geoffrey E. Braswell. The life, death, and afterlife of an ancient Maya king: a study of Pusilha Ruler G. In: Into the underworld: archaeological and anthropological perspectives on the afterlife in the pre-Columbian Americas. Issue edited by Jarosław Źrałka and Christophe Helmke. Institute of Archaeology. Contributions in New World Archaeology, vol. 10.

Somerville, Andrew D., Mikael Fauvelle, Andrew W. Froehle. Applying new approaches to modeling diet and status: isotopic evidence for commoner resiliency and elite variability in the Classic Maya lowlands. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40(3) 1539-1553.