Dr. Timothy Pugh
Dr. Timothy Pugh is an Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department at CUNY Queens. His interests include the Maya, architecture, spatial analysis, ritual, social memory, and cultural contact. His archaeological research focuses upon reconstructing the political geography of 15th to 17th century central Petén, Guatemala. Dr. Pugh obtained is PhD in Anthropology in 2001 at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. His dissertation examined how the Kowoj of Petén utilized ritual architecture and performances as foundations of ethnic identity. He conducted excavations at Zacpetén, a site that lies in the former Kowoj region, and found that in the mid-15th century, the ceremonial architecture of Zacpetén was reconstructed to resemble that of Mayapán. He compared the architecture and activity areas of Zacpetén with those of sites both inside and outside Petén to understand how ritual practices and architecture helped to differentiate the Kowoj from other ethnic groups in Petén. This project is significant beyond the clarification of historical facts as it adds to the understanding of how ritual performances contribute to the construction of ethnic boundaries; how history is used as a foundation of social identity; and the processes of ethnogenesis that follow the collapse of complex societies.