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Jon Spenard

Jon Spenard

Jon Spenard
jspenard@csusm.edu
SBSB 2221

I am an anthropological archaeologist whose work focuses on the intersection of religion, landscape, space and place, community identity, memory, and politics, in Mesoamerica, particularly, among the Classic Period (AD 250-900) Maya. Since 1998, I have worked at numerous Maya sites in Belize, Guatemala, and Chiapas Mexico. Beginning in 2010, I have been studying the ritual landscape (caves, rockshelters, and other cave-like landmarks) of the pre-Hispanic Maya site of Pacbitun, located in central western, Belize. I earned my M.A. in Anthropology from Florida State University in 2006, and my Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside in 2014. In my doctorial dissertation, Underground Identity, Memory, and Political Spaces: A Study of the Classic Period Maya Ceremonial Karstscape in the Pacbitun Region, Cayo District, Belize, I investigated the various ways the people Pacbitun ritually interacted with a series of caves and a hill-top bedrock outcropping near the site, and the social significance of these interactions. My current research is focused on identifying if specific communities used specific ritual landmarks within the greater Pacbitun region and if others were used as geopolitical boundary markers.

In addition to my research in Mesoamerica, I have worked as a contract archaeologist for several private companies, and in archeological and museum positions for the Federal Government (National Park Service and Forest Service). This work has taken me throughout the US, including most of the Southeast, from caves in northern Georgia, to massive artificial shell islands in the 10,000 Islands near the Everglades in Florida, to surveying pre-Columbian and historic sites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and along the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi. I have also worked with, studied, and taught classes on Ancestral Puebloan cultures of New Mexico and the greater Southwest, the pre-Hispanic Andes civilizations in South America, and have been actively involved in California contract archaeology for the past five years.