Daniela Triadan

About Daniela Triadan

My research interests focus on the study of the sociopolitical development of small sedentary societies and societies that were more hierarchically organized, as well as prehistoric economic systems. Methodologically I specialize in ceramic technology, provenance studies, and the integration of material analyses into archaeological research. To pursue my research interests, I have been conducting extensive field and laboratory research in the American Southwest and Mesoamerica.

My projects in the Southwest include two large-scale studies on late prehistoric polychrome production and distribution, one centered on White Mountain Red Ware from east-central Arizona and the other on Chihuahua Polychrome from the Casas Grandes region in Chihuahua, Mexico. My research in the Maya area included work in Belize and I have been co-directing the Aguateca Archaeological Project in Guatemala. Our research there was geared toward examining social, political, and economic organization and its change through the analysis of domestic assemblages. Excavations of elite residential structures at the epicenter of this rapidly abandoned city revealed the richest in situ floor assemblages found to date at a Classic Maya site, providing a unique opportunity for reconstructing Classic Maya household organization. I am currently the Co-director of a project at the site of Ceibal where my colleagues and I are investigating the processes that led to the development of sedentism and social complexity during the Early Middle Preclassic, as well as the political disintegration during the Terminal Classic. This research is providing new information of the foundation of Maya Civilization as well as the so-called Maya collapse.

Selected Publications

Inomata, Takeshi, Jessica MacLellan, Daniela Triadan,Jessica Munson, Melissa Burham, Kazuo Aoyama, Hiroo Nasu, Flory Pinzon, and Hitoshi Yonenobu (2015) Development of sedentary communities in the Maya lowlands: Coexisting of mobile groups and public ceremonies at Ceibal, Guatemala. PNAS 112(14):4268-4273.

Inomata Takeshi, Daniela Triadan, Kazuo Aoyama, Victor Castillo, and Hitoshi Yonenobu (2013)  Early Ceremonial Constructions at Ceibal, Guatemala, and the Origins of Lowland Maya Civilization. Science 340:467-471.

Inomata, Takeshi, and Daniela Triadan (editors) (2014)  Life and Politics at the Royal Court of Aguateca: Artifacts, Analytical Data, and Synthesis. Aguateca Archaeological Project First Phase Monograph Series, Volume 3. Takeshi Inomata and Daniela Triadan, series editors. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.

Triadan Daniela (2013) Compositional and Distributional Analyses of some 14th Century Ceramics from Kinishba Pueblo: Implications for Pottery Production and Migration Processes. In Unsilencing Kinishba: James B. Shaeffer’s Mid-century Excavations and Contemporary Perspectives, edited by John R. Welch, pp. 209-242. Arizona State Museum, Tucson.

Triadan, D. (2007) Warriors, Nobles, Commoners and Beasts: Figurines from Elite Buildings at Aguateca, Guatemala. Latin American Antiquity 18(3):269-294.

Triadan, D. (2006) Dancing Gods: Ritual, Performance, and Political Organization in the Prehistoric Southwest. In Theatres of Power and Community: Archaeology of Performance and Politics, edited by T. Inomata and L. Coben, pp. 159-186. Altamira Press, Walnut Creek.

Triadan, D., and M. N. Zedeño (2004) The Political Geography and Territoriality of 14th Century Settlements in the Mogollon Highlands of East-central Arizona. In The Protohistoric Pueblo World: A.D. 1275-1600, edited by E. Charles Adams and Andrew I. Duff, pp. 95-107. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Inomata, Takeshi, Daniela Triadan, Erick Ponciano, Estela Pinto, Richard E. Terry, and Markus Eberl (2002) Domestic and Political Lives of Classic Maya Elites: The Excavation of Rapidly Abandoned Structures at Aguateca, Guatemala. Latin American Antiquity 13(3):305-330.

Triadan, D. (2000) Elite Household Subsistence at Aguateca, Guatemala. Mayab 13:46-56.

Triadan, D. (1997) Ceramic Commodities and Common Containers: Production and Distribution of White Mountain Red Ware in the Grasshopper Region, Arizona. Anthropological Paper 61. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Courses Taught

ANTH 160A1 Patterns in Prehistory (formerly TRAD 101), Fall 2012, Fall 2013,
Fall 2014

TRAD 101 Patterns in Prehistory, Spring 2004, Fall 2004, Fall 2006, Fall 2007, Fall 2010

ANTH 320, Ancient Civilizations, Spring 2004, Fall 2004, Fall 2006, Fall   2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

ANTH 696a Aggression, Violence, and Warfare in Prehistory, Fall 2005, Fall 2008, Fall 2011

ANTH 496F/596F Ceramic Analysis Seminar, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

ANTH 696a Household Archaeology, Spring 2003, Fall 2014

ANTH 205 From Clovis to Coronado: Archaeology of the Southwest, Spring 2002


Aguateca Archaeological Project

Ceibal-Petexbatun Archaeological Project

Daniela Triadan's picture

Contact Information

Professor of Anthropology, Research Associate Smithsonian Institution
Telephone: 520.626.0077
Fax: 520.621.2088
Office: Emil W. Haury Building, Room 404A
Office Hours: by appointment only - please e-mail


Ph.D., Freie Universität Berlin 1995

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Follow us!


Quick Links