We can learn a lot about people by studying what they throw away. Detectives and forensic specialists look through trash to gather evidence for building cases. To better understand the lives of ancient peoples, archaeologists excavate the trash pits of discarded household and community waste. Yale graduate student David McCormick will explain how the accumulation of trash offers clues to the activities of ancient artisans and sheds light on their role in the prehispanic society on the Pacific coast of Guatemala.
David Rafael McCormick is a PhD candidate in the Yale Department of Anthropology and a museum assistant in the Peabody’s Division of Anthropology. He works on obsidian to study how trade and craft production can reconstruct political and economic systems in prehispanic Mesoamerica.