James Doyle, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology, has been awarded a junior fellowship in pre-Columbian studies at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library in Washington, D.C., an institute of Harvard University dedicated to supporting scholarship internationally in Byzantine, garden and landscape, and pre-Columbian studies. Doyle’s research project, titled “The First Maya ‘Collapse:’ The End of the Preclassic Period at El Palmar, Petén, Guatemala,” will use spatial and archaeological analysis to explore the origins of sociopolitical complexity and political authority in the Maya lowlands. An archaeological case study at the site of El Palmar, Guatemala, will then test hypotheses about possible sociopolitical and ecological factors that led to the widespread abandonment in the preclassic-classic transition. Doyle will be in residence at Dumbarton Oaks for the 2011-12 academic year.

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