Julie A. Hoggarth, PhD

Julie A. Hoggarth, PhD
Associate Professor
High Res Photo
Research in Progress

My research applies an interdisciplinary approach that integrates history, demography, archaeology, and climate research to understand the impacts of abrupt climatic change from the Classic to Colonial Periods in the Maya Lowlands. Over the past several years, I have worked to compile archaeological and historic datasets from across the region to understand the effects of prehistoric and historic drought episodes on agricultural production and health for Maya populations. My new project (funded by the National Science Foundation) focuses on building lake core vegetation reconstructions for the Belize River Valley and comparing those data to archaeological information on resource allocation strategies of rulers. The project will explore the impacts of drought on agricultural production, demography, and political decision-making processes.

Please visit the following websites:


PhD in Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, 2012

BA in Anthropology (Archaeology) & Latin American Studies, University of California, San Diego, 2004


As an anthropological archaeologist, my teaching seeks to cultivate an understanding of the distinct ways of life of ancient populations, identified through a lens of cultural process. My teaching integrates interdisciplinary approaches and examples to highlight the diverse information and tools that archaeologists use in their research, including paleoenvironmental reconstructions, historical texts, art history, geoscience studies, and biochemistry and associated analytical methods.

My teaching emphasizes students learning practical critical thinking skills through an exploration of real archaeological datasets and examples. In this manner, students learn the steps to conduct archaeological research, construct their own archaeological research designs, analyze data, and interpret archaeological contexts to describe results of their own and others’ analyses. These skills include basic archaeological field and laboratory methods, such as setting up archaeological units, drawing profile and plan view maps, using a compass, and classifying artifacts (Introduction to Archaeology). More advanced skills include developing basic quantitative methods to answer distinct research questions about cultural change. For example, students in Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica analyze real archaeological datasets on artifact totals to tabulate the artifact counts, and use those data to answer questions about the origins of social inequality in Formative Mesoamerica. In the same course, students examine maps on settlement patterns to reconstruct settlement hierarchies, answering questions about the nature of state formation. Students in Environmental Archaeology use information from paleoecological and archaeological databases to explore questions on the nature of human-environmental relationships across time and space. Together, these examples highlight my commitment to actively engage students, to challenge them to explore real empirical datasets, and to integrate information from a variety of different fields to answer questions about the human past through an anthropological lens.

I believe that all students interested in archaeology should participate archaeological field school training. I have mentored dozens of students for more than a decade through my archaeological field school in Belize, with many former students going to on graduate school and employment in Cultural Resource Management. Students interested in gaining archaeological field experience in Belize can find additional information at the website above. I am especially interested in working with students with interests in Mesoamerican archaeology, societal collapse, paleoclimate and ancient civilization, environmental archaeology, radiocarbon dating, and human paleoecology. 

Recent Publications

In Press/Accepted

Hoggarth, J.A., C. Freiwald, C.E. Ebert, C. Helmke, J.J. Awe, K. Green, P. Powess, J.P. Walden, R.A. Guerra, and A.H. McKeown. (Accepted) As the b’ak’tun turned: Reconstructing Classic to Postclassic population dynamics in the Belize River Valley. Accepted in Power, Politics, Violence, and Identity: 3,000 Years of War and Peace in Central America, edited by G. Braswell. Routledge Archaeology of the Ancient Americas series.


Bermingham, A., B.S. Whitney, N.J.D. Loughlin, and J.A. Hoggarth. (2021) Island resource exploitation by the ancient Maya during periods of climate stress, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 37:103000.

Ebert, C.E. A. Rand, K. Green-Mink, J.A. Hoggarth, C. Freiwald, J.J. Awe, W.R. Trask, C. Helmke, R.A. Guerra, M. Danforth, and D.J. Kennett. (2021) Applying Sulfur Isotopes to Paleodietary Reconstruction and Human Mobility from the Preclassic through Colonial Periods in the Eastern Maya Lowlands. PLOS ONE. e0254992. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0254992

Helmke, C., J.A. Hoggarth, and J.J. Awe. (2021) Deciphering the collapse: An account of kingship in the Terminal Classic. In T. Okoshi, A. Chase, P. Nondedéo & M.-Charlotte Arnauld (eds.), Rupture or Transformation of Maya Kingship? From Classic to Postclassic Times, pp. 106-130. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Hoggarth, J.A., S. Batty, V. Bondura, E. Creamer, C.E. Ebert, K. Green-Mink, C.L. Kieffer, H. Miller, C.V. Ngonadi, S.E. Pilaar Birch, C. Pritchard, K. Vacca, T.B. Watkins, Emily Zavodny, and A.R. Ventresca Miller. Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women and Early Career Researchers. Heritage 4: 1681–1702. https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4030093

Hoggarth, J.A., B.J. Culleton, J.J. Awe, C. Helmke, S. Lonaker, J.B. Davis, and D.J. Kennett. Building high-precision AMS 14C Bayesian models for the formation of peri-abandonment deposits at Baking Pot, Belize. Radiocarbon 63(3):977-1002.

Hoggarth, J.A., C. Freiwald, and J.J. Awe. Classic and Postclassic Population Movement and Cultural Change in the Belize River Valley. In C. Arnauld, G. Pereira, and C. Beekman (eds.), Ancient Mesoamerican Cities: Populations on the Move, pp. 43-58. University of Colorado Press, Boulder.

Hoggarth, J.A., C. Freiwald, C.E. Ebert, C. Helmke, J.J. Awe, K. Green, P. Powess, and A.H. McKeown. (2021) Classic and Postclassic Population Movement and Cultural Change in the Belize River Valley. Accepted in Ancient Mesoamerican Cities: Populations on the Move, edited by C. Arnauld, G. Perera, and C. Beekman. University of Colorado Press, Boulder.

Aimers, J.J., J.A. Hoggarth, and J.J. Awe. (2020) Archaeological Significance of Terminal “Problematical” Deposits in the Maya Lowlands. Ancient Mesoamerica 31(1):67-75.

Awe, J.J., J.A. Hoggarth, J.J. Aimers, C. Helmke, J. Stemp. (2020) Knocking on Heaven’s Door: Applying Regional, Contextual, Ethnohistoric and Ethnographic Approaches for Understanding the Significance of Peri-Abandonment Deposits in Western Belize. Ancient Mesoamerica 31(1):109-126.

Awe, J.J., J.A. Hoggarth, C.E. Ebert, and J.J. Aimers. (2020) The Last Hurrah at Cahal Pech: Examining the Nature of Peri-Abandonment Deposits and Activities in a Belize Valley Center. Ancient Mesoamerica 31(1):175-187.

Burke, C.C., K.K. Tappan, G.B. Wisner, J.A. Hoggarth, J.B. Davis, and J.J. Awe. (2020) To eat, discard, or venerate: Faunal remains as proxy for human behaviors in Lowland Maya peri-abandonment deposits. Ancient Mesoamerica 31(1):127-137.

Helmke, C., C.E. Ebert, J.J. Awe, and J.A. Hoggarth. (2020) The lay of the land: A political geography of an ancient Maya kingdom in west-central Belize. Contributions in New World Archaeology 12:9-54. DOI: 10.33547/cnwa.12.01

Hoggarth, J.A. J.B Davis, C. Helmke, and J.J. Awe. (2020) Reconstructing the Formation of Peri-abandonment Deposits at Baking Pot, Belize. Ancient Mesoamerica 31(1):139-149.

Hoggarth, J.A., J.J. Awe, C.E. Ebert, R.A. Guerra, A. Beardall, T.B. Watkins, and J.P. Walden. (2020) Thirty-Two Years of Integrating Archaeology and Heritage Management in Belize: A Brief History of the BVAR Project’s Research and Public Archaeology Outreach Programs. Heritage 3(3):699-732.

Jordan, J.M., J.A. Hoggarth, and J.J. Awe. (2020) Pottery, Practice, and Place: A Communities of Practice Approach to Commoner Interaction in the Late to Terminal Classic Belize River Valley. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 58:101148.

Akers, P.D., G.A. Brook, L.B. Railsback, A. Cherkinsky, F. Lian, C.E. Ebert, J.A. Hoggarth, J.J. Awe, H. Cheng, and R.L. Edwards. (2019) Integrating U-Th, 14C, and 210Pb methods to produce a chronologically reliable isotope record for the Belize River Valley Maya from a low-uranium stalagmite. The Holocene 29(7):1234-1248.

Ebert, C.E., J.A. Hoggarth, J.J. Awe, B.J. Culleton, and D. J. Kennett. (2019) The role of diet in resilience and vulnerability to climate change among early agricultural communities in the Maya lowlands. Current Anthropology 60(4):589-601.

Ebert, C.E., J.A. Hoggarth, and J.J. Awe. (2019) The Climatic Context for the Formation and Decline of Maya Societies in the Belize River Valley. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 16:75-89.

Gregorio de Souza, J., M. Robinson, S.Y. Maezumi, J. Capriles, J.A. Hoggarth, U. Lombardo, V. Felipe Novello, J. Apaéstegui, B. Whitney, D. Urrego, D. Travassos Alves, S. Rostain, M.J. Power, F.E. Mayle, F. William da Cruz Jr.,H. Hooghiemstra, J. Iriarte. (2019) Climate change and culture in late Pre-Columbian Amazonia. Nature Ecology and Evolution 3:1007-1017.

Walden, J.P., C.E. Ebert, J.A. Hoggarth, S.M. Montgomery, and J.J. Awe. (2019) Modeling variability in Classic Maya intermediate elite political strategies through multivariate analysis of settlement patterns. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 55:101074.

Ferraro, J.V., J.A. Hoggarth, D. Zori, K.M. Binetti, and G. Stinchcomb. (2018) Integrating human activities, archaeology, and the paleo-Critical Zone paradigm. Frontiers in Earth Science 6(84):1-4.

Helmke, C., J.A. Hoggarth, J.J. Awe. (2018) A reading of the Komkom Vase discovered at Baking Pot, Belize. Monograph 3. Precolumbia Mesoweb Press, San Francisco.

Hoggarth, J.A., M. Restall, J.W. Wood, and D.J. Kennett. (2017) Drought and its Demographic Effects in the Maya Lowlands. Current Anthropology 58(1):82-113.

Helmke, C., J.A. Hoggarth, J.J. Awe, S. Bednar, A. Lopez Johnson. (2017) Some Initial Comments on the Komkom Vase and its Discovery at Baking Pot, Belize. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 14:227-240.

Awe, J.J., J.A. Hoggarth, and J.J. Aimers. (2017) Of Apples and Oranges: The Case of E-Groups and Eastern Triadic Architectural Assemblages in the Belize River Valley. In D.A. Freidel, A.F. Chase, A. Dowd, and J. Murdock (eds.), Early Maya E Groups, Solar Calendars, and the Role of Astronomy in the Rise of Lowland Maya Urbanism, pp. 412-449. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Hanna, J.A., E.A. Graham, D.M. Pendergast, J.A. Hoggarth, D.L. Lentz, and D.J. Kennett. (2016) A New Radiocarbon Sequence from Lamanai, Belize: Two Bayesian Models from One of Mesoamerica’s Most Enduring Sites. Radiocarbon 58(4):771-794.

Ebert, C.E., J.A. Hoggarth, and J.J. Awe. (2016) Integrating Quantitative Lidar Analysis and Settlement Survey in the Belize River Valley. Advances in Archaeological Practice 4(3):284-300.

Ebert, C.E., J.A. Hoggarth, and J.J. Awe. (2016) Classic Maya Water Management and Ecological Adaptation in the Belize River Valley. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 13:109-119.

Hoggarth, J.A., S.F.M. Breitenbach, B.J. Culleton, C.E. Ebert, M.A. Masson, and D.J. Kennett. (2016) The Political Collapse of Chichén Itzá in Cultural and Climatic Context. Global and Planetary Change 138:25-42.

Hoggarth, J.A. and J.J. Awe. (2016) Household Adaptation and Reorganization in the Aftermath of the Classic Maya Collapse at Baking Pot, Belize. In R.K. Faulseit (ed.) Beyond Collapse: Archaeological Perspectives on Resilience, Revitalization, and Reorganization in Complex Societies, pp. 853-886. Occasional Paper 42, Center for Archaeological Investigations. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.