Bruce Bachand

Bruce Bachand is a Research Affiliate with the New World Archaeological Foundation of Brigham Young University and Director of the Chiapa de Corzo Archaeological Project since 2008. A recent Fulbright fellow, Bruce has received grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society for his research on early Mesoamerican societies. He holds degrees in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (B.A. 1993), Brigham Young University (M.A. 1997), and the University of Arizona (Ph.D. 2006). Prior to his Chiapas investigations, Bruce supervised fieldwork in the Petén rainforest of Guatemala at the Maya sites of Nakbe, Aguateca, and Punta de Chimino. He describes himself as “an anthropologist who happens to dig in the dirt” and a student of cultural history. His scholarly interests range widely from anthropological theory to pottery analysis and Bayesian radiocarbon dating–subjects that articulate well in archaeological storytelling. He has authored a variety of essays and articles, but his most prized effort remains a dissertation chapter summarizing ten years of research on Preclassic Lowland Maya civilization. He is currently working on an essay that clarifies the material practices of Zoque culture through time. Bruce’s fascination with the symbolic dimensions of human life, both modern and ancient, has led him to spend prolonged periods of time in Japan, Europe, the American West, Mexico, and Central America. He vividly recalls starting his archaeological endeavors by promptly impaling his finger with a trowel while digging a Jōmon pit house alongside three well-trained and obliging elderly Japanese women. His most wretched archaeological memory is the excavation of a prehistoric lithic scatter underneath a partly decomposed, stinking sheep carcass ridden with rat feces outside a southern Utah rock shelter. As an anthropologist he has been influenced greatest by the writings of Marshall Sahlins, Michael Jackson, and Antonio Gramsci. In archaeology, he finds a certain affinity with the writings of Richard Bradley, Ian Hodder, and Julian Thomas. In Mesoamerican archaeology, Gordon Willey, Gareth Lowe, Michael and William Coe, and Kent Flannery have left indelible impressions. Raised in southeastern Massachusetts, he is married with two children and resides in the Salt Lake City area.