Julie A Hoggarth

Julie A Hoggarth
Baylor University | BU · Department of Anthropology

Ph.D.

About

55
Publications
20,122
Reads
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630
Citations
Citations since 2017
41 Research Items
584 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
Introduction
Julie received her PhD at the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. Julie's current research focuses on developing high-precision AMS radiocarbon chronologies for the Belize Valley and the Central Maya Lowlands to understand the relationship between the political and demographic collapse of regional polities at the end of the Classic period (AD 750-900) and drought.
Additional affiliations
August 2015 - present
Baylor University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
August 2005 - December 2012
University of Pittsburgh
Field of study
  • Anthropology
August 2000 - June 2004
University of California, San Diego
Field of study
  • Anthropology (Conc. Archaeology)
August 2000 - June 2004
University of California, San Diego
Field of study
  • Latin American Studies

Publications

Publications (55)
Article
Full-text available
Many humans live in large, complex political centers, composed of multi-scalar communities including neighborhoods and districts. Both today and in the past, neighborhoods form a fundamental part of cities and are defined by their spatial, architectural, and material elements. Neighborhoods existed in ancient centers of various scales, and multiple...
Article
Full-text available
The influence of climate change on civil conflict and societal instability in the premodern world is a subject of much debate, in part because of the limited temporal or disciplinary scope of case studies. We present a transdisciplinary case study that combines archeological, historical, and paleoclimate datasets to explore the dynamic, shifting re...
Article
Full-text available
Production and consumption of pottery tempered with fresh volcanic ash peaked in the Late to Terminal Classic periods in the Maya lowlands. Differences in the type of volcanic inclusion and vessel form indicate that the pottery was produced in multiple locations by different groups of potters. In this article, we characterize pottery from household...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeologists increasingly use large radiocarbon databases to model prehistoric human demography (also termed paleo-demography). Numerous independent projects, funded over the past decade, have assembled such databases from multiple regions of the world. These data provide unprecedented potential for comparative research on human population ecolog...
Article
Full-text available
The Mesoamerican Radiocarbon Database (MesoRAD) compiles radiocarbon dates from the archaeological literature of Mesoamerica. The inaugural data set, ‘Lowland Maya Dates’, includes 1846 radiocarbon dates from 132 sites in 21 distinct environmental zones in the Maya lowlands. These data span the Paleoindian to Colonial Periods (11,670 to 190 uncal B...
Article
Archaeologists and demographers increasingly employ aggregations of published radiocarbon (¹⁴C) dates as demographic proxies summarizing changes in human activity in past societies. Presently, summed probability densities (SPDs) of calibrated radiocarbon dates are the dominant method of using ¹⁴C dates to reconstruct demographic trends. Unfortunate...
Article
The role of seasonality is indisputable in climate and ecosystem dynamics. Seasonal temperature and precipitation variability are of vital importance for the availability of food, water, shelter, migration routes, and raw materials. Thus, understanding past climatic and environmental changes at seasonal scale is equally important for unearthing the...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines 187 distinctive ceramic artifacts excavated from peri-abandonment deposits at the site of Baking Pot, Cayo, Belize between 2013 and 2017. These ceramic figurines and morphologic instruments were analyzed in an effort to better understand ritual acts in different spaces in Group B of the site core at Baking Pot. These artifacts w...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents a review of the earliest known skeletal remains in the Maya area, which are found in submerged caves in Mexico and rock shelters in Belize and date to the Paleoindian and Archaic periods. While few in number, several of these individuals have been the focus of intensive analyses, providing an emerging picture of life in the re...
Article
Full-text available
Maya archaeologists have long been interested in understanding ancient diets because they provide information about broad-scale economic and societal transformations. Though paleodietary studies have primarily relied on stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopic analyses of human bone collagen to document the types of food people consumed, s...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching impacts in all segments of life worldwide. While a variety of surveys have assessed the impacts of the pandemic in other fields, few studies have focused on understanding the short- and long-term impacts of the pandemic for archaeology. To assess these trends, we asked survey respondents (n = 570) if they...
Article
Full-text available
Ancient Maya societies experienced a period of reorganisation and change in settlement patterns associated with social and climate instability at the end of the Classic period (750-1000 CE) and the subsequent Postclassic period (1200-1500 CE). Although it has been proposed that severe droughts and the breakdown of Classic political systems caused a...
Article
Full-text available
Deposits linked to abandonment have been widely recorded across the Maya lowlands, associated with the final activities occurring in ceremonial areas of Classic Maya centers. Various models have been applied to explain the activities that lie behind the formation of these contexts, including those linked to rapid abandonment (e.g., warfare) and oth...
Article
Full-text available
Since its inception in 1988, the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance (BVAR) Project has had two major foci, that of cultural heritage management and archaeological research. While research has concentrated on excavation and survey, the heritage management focus of the project has included the preservation of ancient monuments, the integrati...
Preprint
Full-text available
Archaeologists and demographers increasingly employ aggregations of published radiocarbon (14C dates) as demographic proxies summarizing changes in human activity in past societies. Presently, summed probability densities (SPDs) of calibrated radiocarbon dates are the dominant method of using 14C dates to reconstruct demographic trends. Unfortunate...
Article
Non-elite populations in the Maya lowlands interacted with one another across spatial boundaries. However, documenting this interaction at the local level is difficult because households are often constructed of similar materials and contain a similar suite of locally produced artifacts. This paper focuses on stylistic and technological analysis of...
Article
Full-text available
The Belize Valley figures prominently in the history of Maya archaeology as the birthplace of settlement pattern surveys, where Gordon R. Willey and his colleagues conducted their pioneering research project, from 1954 to 1956. Six decades on, settlement surveys are an integral part of archaeological research strategies not only across the Maya are...
Article
The discovery of cultural remains on or above the floors of rooms and courtyards at several Maya sites has been interpreted by some archaeologists as problematic deposits, squatter's refuse, as evidence for feasting, termination rituals, de facto refuse, or rapid abandonment as a result of warfare. Investigations by the Belize Valley Archaeological...
Article
Archaeological research in the Maya lowlands has identified special deposits that offer essential information about the abandonment of Classic Maya centers. We argue that some of the “problematical deposits” associated with terminal architecture may be more accurately described as peri-abandonment deposits since they temporally and behaviorally rel...
Article
Archaeological investigations by the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project at Cahal Pech uncovered several Terminal Classic ( a.d. 750–900) peri-abandonment deposits and activity areas at this Belize River Valley center. The deposits contained a diverse assemblage of cultural remains located above and between collapsed architecture, a...
Article
Interpreting middens, feasting events, ritual, or terminal deposits in the Maya world requires an evaluation of faunal remains. Maya archaeologists consistently evaluate other artifact classes, but often offer simply number of identified specimens values for skeletal elements recovered from these deposits. To further understand their archaeological...
Article
The term “problematical deposits” was coined decades ago at Tikal to refer to special deposits that were neither burials nor caches. Since that time, the term has been expanded to refer to a range of deposits that have puzzled archaeologists. In this paper we review the various interpretations that have been offered for these deposits including de...
Article
The Belize Valley figures prominently in the history of Maya archaeology as the birthplace of settlement pattern surveys, where Gordon R. Willey and his colleagues conducted their pioneering research project, from 1954 to 1956. Six decades on, settlement surveys are an integral part of archaeological research strategies not only across the Maya are...
Article
Intermediate elites played pivotal roles in the political dynamics of ancient complex societies across the world. In the Classic period (CE 250–900/1000) Maya lowlands, intermediate elites acted as mediators between apical rulers and lower status commoners. These individuals and the political strategies they employed, however, have rarely taken cen...
Article
The long-term response of ancient societies to climate change has been a matter of global debate. Until recently, the lack of integrative studies using archaeological, palaeoecological and palaeoclimatological data prevented an evaluation of the relationship between climate change, distinct subsistence strategies and cultural transformations across...
Poster
Full-text available
The quantification of wealth and inequality in archaeological contexts has been a subject of significant debate, with wealth items and architectural investment emerging as typical measures for economic differentiation. The divergent results of both inequality measures for two neighborhoods of the Late Classic Maya polity of Lower Dover, in modern-d...
Poster
Full-text available
The Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project is an archaeological field school operating in the Cayo District of Western Belize, and has excavated at multiple sites in Belize annually since 1988. In the past five years, the project has focused on excavation of peri-abandonment deposits, or deposits of artifacts built up during and after...
Book
Full-text available
The discovery of a hieroglyphic vase bearing one of the longest Classic Maya texts uncovered in the Maya lowlands of Central America is offering important new clues into the breakdown in Classic Maya civilization between AD 750-1000. Excavations in 2015 by the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance project uncovered a dense deposit of artifact...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the function of E Groups, proposed as astronomical observatories by researchers at Uaxactún. Other functional hypotheses suggested include the scheduling of agricultural or trade activities, marking solar cycles and celebratory katun endings, use in geomantic systems by the Maya, use as settings for agricultural ritual, and...
Presentation
Full-text available
Sedentary agricultural villages, ceramic technology, and evidence for institutionalized socio-economic inequality first appeared in the Maya lowlands during the Preclassic Period (1200 cal BC – cal AD 300). The chronological details of these significant cultural developments between different regions of the lowlands remain unclear in many cases bec...
Presentation
Full-text available
Chronology-building in Maya archaeology has long been dominated by relative ceramic typologies based on excavations conducted in the 1950s, with date ranges temporally grounded by long-count calendar dates and a small number of imprecise radiocarbon dates. Higher-precision chronologies based on more recent methodological innovations in radiocarbon...
Article
Full-text available
In 2015 and 2016 the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance (BVAR) project recovered a remarkable polychrome vase through its excavations of artifact-rich deposits besides stairside outsets and within corners of courtyards and plazas, both within the royal palace and adjoining plaza of Group B, at the site of Baking Pot in western Belize. Wher...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing evidence supports the role of climate change in the disintegration of regional polities in the Maya lowlands at the end of the Classic Period (750–1000 CE). However, the demographic effects of drought remain largely unknown in the absence of Classic Period textual evidence indicating declines in agricultural productivity and population o...
Article
Accurate and high-resolution airborne light detection and ranging (lidar) data have become increasingly important for the discovery and visualization of complete archaeological settlement systems in the Maya Lowlands. We present the results of systematic quantitative analysis of lidar data and ground verification for the major centers of Cahal Pech...
Article
Full-text available
The ancient Maya community of Lamanai, Belize, is well known for its span of occupation from the Early Preclassic (before 1630 BC) to the present. Although most centers in the central and southern Maya Lowlands were abandoned during the Terminal Classic period (AD 750–1000), ceramic and stratigraphic evidence at Lamanai has shown continuous occupat...
Presentation
Full-text available
Archaeological evidence in the Belize Valley indicates that some polities in the region, including the major center of Cahal Pech, experienced an earlier end to monumental construction and political activity prior to the ninth to tenth century “collapse”. These data contrast with other sites in the area, including at Baking Pot, where Terminal Clas...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeological research investigating prehistoric water management in the Maya lowlands has identified the diversity and complexity of ancient human adaptations to changing environments and socioeconomic landscapes. Our research at the medium-sized Maya center of Baking Pot, located in the Belize River Valley, has explored a water management system...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Archaeological research at the site of Baking Pot has focused on the development of a high-precision radiocarbon chronology in order to assess the timing and nature of the ‘Classic Maya collapse’ since the 2013 field season (Hoggarth et al. 2014a, 2014b; Hoggarth and Sullivan 2015; Walden 2016). These efforts are primarily aimed towards building an...
Article
Full-text available
Chichén Itzá dominated the political landscape of the northern Yucatán during the Terminal Classic Period (AD 800–1000). Chronological details of the rise and fall of this important polity are obscure because of the limited corpus of dated hieroglyphic records and by a restricted set of radiocarbon dates for the site. Here we compile and review the...
Book
Full-text available
The Maya. The Romans. The great dynasties of ancient China. It is generally believed that these once mighty empires eventually crumbled and disappeared. A recent trend in archaeology, however, focusing on what happened during and after the decline of once powerful societies has found social resilience and transformation instead of collapse. In Beyo...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeologists working in the Belize Valley have argued for the persistence of Maya populations from the Classic (AD 300-900) through Postclassic (AD 900-1500) periods since Gordon Willey's groundbreaking settlement survey and excavation work in the 1950s. This is contrary to the trajectory recorded in some parts of the Maya region where there is c...
Article
Full-text available
This study focuses on the adaptations of households to the processes of social reorganization due to the collapse of institutionalized rulership at Baking Pot, located in the upper Belize River Valley of western Belize. Breaking from the strict social hierarchies of the Classic period, households were increasingly participating in mercantile exchan...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Beginning with Gordon Willey’s settlement pattern study at Barton Ramie more than half a century ago, continuous settlement research in the Belize River Valley makes this area one of the most intensively studied sub-regions of the Maya Lowlands. Recent analysis of this rich database now indicates that in spite of differences in their histo...
Thesis
This dissertation focuses on the adaptations of ancient Maya households to the processes of social reorganization in the aftermath of collapse of Classic Maya rulership at Baking Pot, a small kingdom in the upper Belize River Valley of western Belize. With the depopulation of the central and southern Maya lowlands at the end of the Late Classic per...
Article
Full-text available
In the 2007 field season, the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance project (BVAR) commenced its second phase of settlement survey in the Belize River Valley, building upon the pioneering settlement research undertaken by Gordon Willey in 1956 and continuing the BVAR survey conducted by Jim Conlon in the 1990's. This paper discusses the resul...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
- Developing high-precision records of paleoclimate, human population, and energy consumption over the last 3000 years. - Comparing changes in population, energy consumption, and social complexity from region to region. - Identifying regionally comparative patterns in order to explain relationships between variation in ecosystem change, subsistence and social diversity, and the severity of social-ecological reorganization
Project
Although one of the central goals of anthropological archaeology is to understand the origins of social, economic, and political inequality and its long-term effects, the emergence of complex society in many parts of the ancient world is poorly understood. Archaeological survey and excavations will be conducted in collaboration with the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance (BVAR) Project to examine the emergence of sociopolitical and economic inequality between households during the Middle and Late Formative Periods (ca. 900 BC - 350 AD) at the ancient Maya site of Cahal Pech in the Belize Valley. In the Maya lowlands, the Formative Period represents a critical transition for domestic, social, economic, and political organization, and previous research has focused on the growth of large regional centers and the strategies used by the ancient Maya elite to gain, maintain, and legitimize their power during this time. This project considers the role of hinterland households in influencing status differentiation. Archaeological studies of households, the most fundamental socio-economic unit in ancient societies, provide a long-term perspective on the complex processes that influence domestic transformation, that in turn affect broader cultural patterns at the regional level. Understanding resource distribution between households can shed light on the social and economic contexts that led to the emergence of institutionalized socio-economic inequality. Differences in architecture and artifacts between households occupied during the Middle to Late Formative at Cahal Pech will be measured to determine the types of activities that the households performed (e.g., food procurement and preparation, tool manufacture, craft production, exchange) and how access to raw materials, subsistence resources, and exchange networks varied over time. Two primary questions are addressed: 1) Did differential social status exist between households during the Middle and Late Formative Periods, and is it visible in the material record (artifacts and architecture)? 2) Was there a relationship between domestic craft production, inter-household exchange, and social status? The project combines traditional archaeological survey and excavation of ancient settlements with innovative applications of spatial analyses using high-resolution Lidar data, AMS 14C dating, trace element analysis of ceramic and obsidian artifacts, and statistical analyses to understand changing ancient Maya domestic organization.
Project
Building high-precision radiocarbon chronologies to assess the nature and timing of political and demographic collapse in the Belize River Valley, central Maya lowlands. Full project information (including funding): 2015-2017 Examining the Disintegration of Maya Polities and Demographic Decline in the Central Maya Lowlands. Funded by the National Science Foundation (BCS-1460369, $103,058, PIs: J.A. Hoggarth, D.J. Kennett, B.J. Culleton).