Francisco Estrada-Belli

Research Assistant Professor of Archaeology


PhD, Boston University, 1998
Areas of interest: early emergence of state society in the Maya Lowlands, settlement patterns studies, GIS & Remote Sensing, and (occasionally) underwater archaeology.

Excavations & Field Work

Holmul and its minor centers (Cival, La Sufricaya, K’o, T’ot, Hamontun, Hahakab etc.) This project investigates the rise and fall of political institutions in the Maya Lowlands. At Cival and Holmul we are focusing on the earliest ritual practices and iconography that mark the beginning of the political institution of the ajaw in the Preclassic and how it transitioned into the Classic period. Another subject of investigation is what political changes occurred at the end of the Preclassic period and what role Teotihuacan played in the Maya Lowlands in the Early Classic period. In this rispect, the evidence from La Sufricaya and Holmul is providing new clues. Finally, we are investigating the relationship of the Late Classic Holmul elite with that of peripheral centers such as K’o and Hamontun and what was the political milieu in NE Peten as Holmul ended its path as a Classic Maya city.