Elizabeth Paris

Visiting Assistant Professor

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Ph.D. 2012, Anthropology, University at Albany, SUNY


Dr. Paris is a Mesoamerican archaeologist with a regional focus on the Maya civilization. The central goal of her research is to investigate the ways that wealth and power were expressed at the community scale, focusing particularly on the manipulation of high-value commodities and materials. Her research employs a bottom-up perspective on archaeological method and theory, with a focus on the lived experiences of ancient peoples.
Her ongoing research projects in highland Chiapas explore the influence of exotic, high-value goods on household economic organization among the hilltop kingdoms of the Jovel Valley, Chiapas, Mexico, and the sociopolitical relationships between these kingdoms. A second project at Mayapan, Yucatan, Mexico, investigates the role of sub-royal elites in interregional exchange networks and luxury craft industries, focusing particularly on metalworking activities. Analyses of ancient craft technologies focus on metal, lithic, and ceramic materials, and employ compositional analysis using x-ray fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy, and neutron activation analysis. Her research interests also include experimental flintknapping and usewear analysis.
Dr. Paris’ projects in Mayapan and the Jovel Valley have received grant support from the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, and P.E.O. International. The results of her projects have been published in journals such as The Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, The Journal of Archaeological Science, Ancient Mesoamerica, and Lithic Technology.


Selected Publications

  • 2015   Paris, Elizabeth H., Eric Taladoire, and Thomas A. Lee Whiting.  Return to Moxviquil: Form and Function in a Small Maya City.  Ancient Mesoamerica  26(1):81-112.
  • 2015  Paris, Elizabeth H. Early Use of Chipped Stone at Tlacuachero.  In An Archaic Mexican Shellmound and its Entombed Floors, Barbara Voorhies, editor and principal author, pp. 127-143. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, University of California, Los Angeles.
  • 2014   Paris, Elizabeth H.  Cross-Valley Communities: Identity and Interaction in Postclassic Period Highland Chiapas.  Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 34:78-99.
  • 2013   Meanwell, Jennifer, Elizabeth H. Paris, Wilberth Cruz Alvarado, and Carlos Peraza Lope.  Metallurgical Ceramics from Mayapán, Yucatán, Mexico. Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 4306-4318. 
  • 2013   Paris, Elizabeth H. and Carlos Peraza Lope. Breaking the Mold: The Socioeconomic Significance of Metal Artifacts at Mayapan.  In Archaeometallurgy in Mesoamerica: Current Approaches and New Perspectives, edited by Aaron N. Shugar and Scott E. Simmons, pp. 161-201.  University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
  • 2013   Paris, Elizabeth H. and Roberto López Bravo. Mercancías, riqueza y redes de intercambio en el Valle de Jovel, Altos de Chiapas.  In La Arqueología Reciente de Chiapas: Contribuciones de la conferencia en honor del 60º Aniversario de la Fundación Arqueológica del Nuevo Mundo, edited by Lynneth W. Lowe and Mary E. Pohl, pp. 145-160. Papers of the New World Archaeological Foundation No. 72, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.
  • 2012   Paris, Elizabeth H.  Cohesion and Diversity in Middle Formative Period Maya Lithic Tools and Techniques: A View from San Estevan, Belize.  Lithic Technology 37(2):111-140.
  • 2008   Paris, Elizabeth H.  Metallurgy, Mayapan and the Postclassic World System.  Ancient Mesoamerica 19(1):43-66.