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Halperin, Christina

Assistant Professor


  • Telephone 514-343-6111 #1532 Pav. PAV.M.CARON-L.GROULX-3200 J.B. \ Ext. C3108
Halperin, Christina

Research expertise

Christina Halperin’s research examines ancient Maya politics from the perspectives of household political-economies, gender, materiality and everyday life.  She has published extensively on topics such as Classic Maya textile production, ceramic figurines, chemical analysis of polychrome pottery, and landscape archaeology. Her book, Maya Figurines: Intersections between State and Household (University of Texas Press, 2014), examines the relationship between households and the state through the perspective of small ceramic figurines recovered from household contexts. She is also co-editor of the book, “Mesoamerican Figurines: Small-Scale Indices of Large-Scale Social Phenomena” (2009), which was awarded a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title.  More recently, her interests in household archaeology have led her to edit and contribute to the book, Vernacular Architecture of the Pre-Columbian Americans (2017, Routledge, edited with Lauren Schwartz), which showcases the diversity of more modest architecture in the Ancient Americas with case studies from the Andes, Mesoamerica, the U.S. Southwest and the U.S. Southeast.  


Halperin has conducted archaeological field investigations, laboratory analysis, and museum research at numerous sites in Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize since 1997.  Currently, she is directing the Proyecto Arqueológico Ucanal in Petén, Guatemala to investigate cosmopolitan interactions during the wake of Classic Maya political collapse. 

Areas of expertise


Bibliographie sélective:



Halperin, Christina T. and Lauren Schwartz (editors)

2017 Vernacular Architecture of the Pre-Columbian Americans. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, New York.


Halperin, Christina T.

2014  State and Household: The Sociality of Maya Figurines. University of Texas Press, Austin.


Halperin, Christina T., Katherine A. Faust, Rhonda Taube, and Auore Giguet (editors)

2009  Mesoamerican Figurines: Small-Scale Indices of Large-Scale Social Phenomena. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.


Articles de journaux et chapitres de livres :


Halperin, Christina T.

2017 Anthropological Archaeology in 2016: Cooperation and Collaborations in Archaeological Research and Practice. American Anthropologist 119(2):284-297.


2017 Textile Techné: Classic Maya Translucent Cloth and the Making of Value. In Making Value, Making Meaning: Techné in the Pre-Columbian World, edited by Cathy Costin, pp.433-467. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C.


Halperin, Christina T. and Antonia E. Foias

2016  Household Garbage: Classic period (ca. 300-900 CE) Maya Practices of Discard. Palethnology/Palethnologie. Household Archaeology – A Transatlantic Comparative Approach, Proceedings of the International Symposium, October 24-25 2014, edited by Claude Chapdelaine, Adrian L. Burke, and Karim Gernignon 8: 126–145.


Halperin, Christina T. and Ron L. Bishop

2016 Chemical Analysis of Late Classic Maya Polychrome Pottery Paints and Pastes around western Lake Petén Itzá, Guatemala. Journal of Archaeological Science 69(2016):118-129.


Halperin, Christina T.

2014 Ruins in Pre-Columbian Maya Urban Landscapes. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 23(4):1-24.


2014  Circulation as Place-making: Late Classic Maya Polities and Portable Objects.  American Anthropologist 116(1):110-129.


2012  The Political Economy of Motul de San José Figurines.  In Motul de San Jose: Politics, History, and Economy in a Classic Maya Polity, edited by Antonia E. Foias and Kitty F. Emery, pp.139-166. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.


2011 Late Classic (ca. AD 600-900) Maya Textile Political Economies: An Object History Approach.  In Weaving Across Time and Space: The Political Economy of Textiles, edited by Walter Little and Patricia McAnany, pp. 125-145. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, CA.


Halperin, Christina T. and Antonia E. Foias

2010    Pottery Politics: Late Classic Maya Palace Production at Motul de San José,

Petén, Guatemala. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 29:392–411.


Halperin, Christina T., Ronald L. Bishop, Ellen Spensley, and James M. Blackman

2009 Late Classic (A.D. 600-900) Maya Market Exchange: Modal, Petrographic, and Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis of Figurines from the Motul de San José Region, Guatemala. Journal of Field Archaeology 34(4):457-480.


Halperin, Christina T.

2008  Classic Maya Textile Production: Insights from Motul de San José, Petén, Guatemala. Ancient Mesoamerica 19:111-125.


2008  Economic Representations in Archaeology: Cultural Evolution, Gender, and Craft Production. In Economic Representations: Both Academic and Everyday, edited by David F. Ruccio, pp. 125-138. Routledge, New York.


2005 Social Power and Sacred Space at Actun Nak Beh, Belize. In Stone Houses and Earth Lords: Maya Religion in the Cave Context, edited by Keith M. Prufer and James E. Brady, pp. 71-90.  University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

Courses given in the Department this term



ANT1213 Les grandes civilisations

ANT3260 Théorie archéologique

ANT3285 Céramiques en archéologie: théories et techniques

ANT3881 Mésoamérique ancienne

ANT6881 Mésoamérique ancienne