Dr. Claire Ebert

BVAR Assistant Director

Dr. Claire Ebert is an anthropological archaeologist interested in the role of human-environment interactions in the emergence of cultural complexity among the ancient Maya. She has been a member of the BVAR Project since 2012, and received her PhD from The Pennsylvania State University in 2017 based on her research in Belize. She is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University.

Claire’s research integrates methods including archaeometry (radiocarbon, stable isotopic, and geochemical methods) and spatial analysis with approaches from environmental archaeology to examine the role of economic practices in resilience to changing ecological, climatic, and social conditions during the Preclassic period (~1200 BC-AD 300). Claire also oversees field and lab research conducted at the site of Cahal Pech. Current investigations at the site are focused on excavating a Middle Preclassic E-Group assemblage and ground-truthing recent GPR analyses in the plazas at Cahal Pech. Claire is also working on a new research project to examine the intensification of food production in relation to evolving tropical forest environments and climatic change. While fluctuations in climate are often associated with societal collapse, instead this project examines the role of climate in the intensification of food production, permanent sedentism, and the development of societal ranking.


Claire is also co-instructor of the BVAR summer field school, and leads several ongoing projects in collaboration with other BVAR researchers that provide students with opportunities to engage in different forms of archaeological analysis. Current projects include:


  • Analysis of Early Preclassic (1200-1000 BC) Cunil pottery

  • Belize Valley obsidian geochemical sourcing project

  • Belize Valley LiDAR project

A list of her recent publications with other BVAR Project members can be found here.

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