Boundary End Center announces the appointment of Dr. Jillian M. Jordan as a George Stuart Residential Scholar. Jill is an archaeologist who recently received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Her research focuses on how people acquire and transmit knowledge, and the relationships between interaction networks and spatial/social boundaries.
At the BEC, Jill is working on publications based on her dissertation research and beginning a new project funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research that builds on her dissertation work at Baking Pot in Belize. Looking closely at the compositions of clays, ceramic slips and paints, the project aims to evaluate how the ancient Maya responded to the collapse of political and economic institutions in the 9th century AD, which resulted in extensive migration and the transformation of lifeways that had been in place for centuries.
In her dissertation, entitled Pottery and Practice in the Late to Terminal Classic Maya Lowlands: Case Studies from Uxbenká and Baking Pot Belize, Dr. Jordan addresses how interaction networks go beyond spatial units like the neighborhood or polity boundaries, and why social organization differs between coeval polities located in different regions. This study reveals personal and economic interactions among the Maya that could not be detected using spatial data alone, and considers the impact of unique historical trajectories on social organization, which reduces homogenization in comparative studies.
The appointment was announced by Dr. David Stuart and Dr. Ann Stuart whose late father, Dr. George Stuart founded Boundary End Center as a scholarly retreat, library and meeting space. BEC reflects George Stuart’s passion for the study of America’s ancient past.