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About Timothy W Pugh

For the past 20 years, I have studied the form, meaning, and formation processes of ancient Maya architecture. My new archaeological project at the site of Nixtun-Ch’ich’ in Petén, Guatemala seeks to understand the significance of clearly planned urban forms dated to before 500 BC. In particular, I am interested in how the extensive planning at the site related to the emergence of the state. As I begin my new research project, I am completing another. This work addresses how Spanish contact and colonialism impacted Maya settlements and systems of value. Based upon my research at Nixtun-Ch’ich’ and two other sites (Tayasal and Zacpetén), I explore how the Spaniards reconfigured Maya communities in order to dominate them and control their labor. This work emerged from my earlier research defining pre-contact Maya architectural patterns and their meanings at Zacpetén and the city of Mayapán in Yucatan, Mexico. In sum, my research has largely concerned various aspects of city planning including the orthogonal grid, repeated ceremonial group patterns, and residential forms. I am also interested in material patterns left by ritual performances.


Present professor, Queens College, City University of New York
Present professor, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Curriculum Vitae

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Contact Information

Department of Anthropology
Queens College
Flushing, NY 11367


Preclassic Maya (2)

Historic Archaeology (11)

Postclassic Period Maya (12)