Scott Hutson

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Ph.D., California-Berkeley, 2004


Since 1996, I have been doing archaeology in the Maya area, working briefly in Belize and Guatemala before settling down in Yucatan, Mexico, in 1998. Prior to focusing on eastern Mesoamerica, I found my footing as an archaeologist through several projects in Oaxaca, Mexico. I currently direct the Ucí-Cansahcab Regional Integration Project (UCRIP), which I started in 2008.

The UCRIP explores the ways in which the integration of several archaeological sites in the Northern Maya lowlands transformed political, economic, social, and ritual life. Integration took place at the beginning of the Classic period (250-550 AD) when an 18km long stone causeway connected the regional center of Ucí with the site of Cansahcab as well as other sites in between. We are currently focusing on large and small sites along the path of the causeway as well as sites not connected by the causeway. We seek to gauge both the impact of regional integration on the people of these hinterland sites as well as the ways in which these people recursively shaped the process of integration. By investigating sites both on and off the causeway, this research assesses the degree to which regional integration penetrated the hinterlands, thus providing a sense of the scale and intensity of the historical transformation. Investigating both large and small sites highlights the degree to which more powerful and less powerful local interest groups may have negotiated different terms of interaction, introducing unevenness and heterogeneity in the process of integration.

Archaeology in the vicinity of Ucí builds on research from a second project in Yucatan that I co-directed with Travis Stanton and Aline Magnoni (in 2007 and 2008). This research focused on settlement dynamics along the 100km sacbe connecting Yaxuna and Coba, and has permitted discussions of memory and archaeological semiotics.

While working at the site of Chunchucmil, Yucatan, between 1998 and 2006, I developed an interest in dwelling and identity. Getting at these processes in the archaeological record requires close attention to daily practices and their spatial contexts. The many years of interdisciplinary fieldwork and analysis that my colleagues and I devoted to Chunchucmil has contributed to relational theories of subjectivity in archaeology and to a reorientation of our understanding of Classic period Maya political economies.

Other research topics that I have written about include the history of Maya archaeology, the disciplinary structures that shape archaeologists as subjects (a topic I have studied through analysis of citations), the processes of subjectification as inferred from children's graffiti at Tikal, spiritual transformations in rave subcultures, and the role that archaeological ruins play in the identity of contemporary farmers in Yucatan.


Political and Social Organization, Household Archaeology, Statistics, Identity, Practice Theory, Mesoamerica, Public Archaeology, Soil Chemistry.

Courses Taught

  • Anth 240: Introduction to Archaeology
  • Anth 242: Origins of New World Civilization
  • Anth 350: The Ancient Maya
  • Anth 650: Archaeological Theory
  • Anth 652: Demographic Archaeology
  • Anth 770: Space Place and Landscape
  • Anth 770: Archaeology of Identity
  • Statistics in Anthropology
  • Rise of Social Complexity
  • Archaeology of Mesoamerica
Selected Publications: 
  • 2010 Dwelling, Identity, and the Maya: Relational Archaeology at Chunchucmil. Altamira Press,   Lanham, MD.
  • 2009 Phosphate Fractionation and Spatial Patterning in Ancient Ruins: A case study from Yucatan (with Aline Magnoni, Richard Terry, Tim Beach, Bruce Dahlin, and Mary Jo Schabel). Catena 78:260-269.
  • 2008   City, Site, and Community: Nucleation and Dispersion at Chunchucmil and Classic Period Maya Urban Centers (with David Hixson, Aline Magnoni, Daniel Mazeau, Bruce Dahlin). Journal of Field Archaeology 33(1):19-40.

  • 2007  Cultural Logic and Practical Reason: The Structure of Discard in Ancient Maya Houselots (with Travis Stanton). Cambridge Archaeological Journal 17(1):123-144.
  • 2007  Beyond the Buildings: Formation Processes of Ancient Maya Houselots and Methods for the Study of Non-architectural Space (with Travis Stanton, Aline Magnoni, Richard Terry, and Jason Craner). Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 26:442-473.
  • 2007  Tourism in the Mundo Maya: Inventions and (Mis)Representations of Maya Identities and Heritage (with Aline Magnoni, Traci Ardren). Archaeologies 3(2):353-383.
  • 2006  Recovering Social and Cultural Dynamics from Plaster Floors: Chemical Analyses at Ancient Chunchucmil, Yucatan, Mexico (with R. Terry). Journal of Archaeological Science 33(3): 391-404.
  • 2006  Self-Citation in Archaeology: Age, Gender, Prestige, and the Self. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 13(1):1-18.
  • 2006  The Social Experience of Childhood in Ancient Mesoamerica (ed. with Traci Ardren) Boulder: University Press of Colorado.
  • 2006  The Archaeology of Urban Houselots at Chunchucmil, Yucatan, Mexico. (with A. Magnoni, D. Mazeau, and T. Stanton). In Lifeways in the Northern Lowlands: New Approaches to Maya Archaeology, ed. by J. Mathews and B. Morrison, pp 77-92. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
  • 2003 Reading the Past, 3rd Edition (with I. Hodder). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge



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