My research is broadly based in material geoarchaeology. I am interested in using geochemistry to identify exchange routes used by the ancient Maya of Belize to move granite tools, specifically manos and metates. During my doctoral work, I developed an outcrop database of the granites available in Belize using pXRF. The three plutons that make up the Maya Mountains can be distinguished using pXRF. I then analyze archaeological artifacts made of these granites and trace them back to their source pluton.
By analyzing where the artifact was discarded versus where it formed, I can begin to piece together which granite was being used most often to make tools. As my work continues I hope to determine how the Maya were moving these heavy tools (i.e. on foot or by river) as well as how exchange was governed. In the future I hope to expand my work into Guatemala and Mexico to create a more synthetic picture of where the Maya Mountain granites were moving.