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John Walden
BVAR Project Assistant Director

Dr. John Walden is an anthropological archaeologist who is interested in the ways in which relationships of inequality were created and perpetuated between Classic Maya rulers, intermediate elites, and commoners. John is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. His research employs aDNA and archaeological data to reconstruct Classic Maya marriage alliances by examining genetic relatedness and social kinship. The project seeks to understand the kinship networks which existed between the rulers of the Baking Pot, Cahal Pech, and Lower Dover polities, their intermediate elite clients, and their subject commoner populations. The research develops new approaches for understanding the agency of actors, urban integration, and issues of identity and political affiliation. 


John holds a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh (2021) and undergraduate and Master’s degrees in archaeology from the University of Manchester. John has worked in Belize since 2012, and has previously worked in the Andes, Turkey, and the UK. John has experience conducting regional survey, household archaeology, excavations of monumental architecture, mortuary archaeology, ceramic analysis, lithic analysis, and cave archaeology. John is willing to mentor students interested in these areas.