Victor Castillo

About Victor Castillo

I am an international student from Guatemala. My research interests revolve arround the study of  the social processes that created the settings for community survival in contexts of conquest and colonization. In particular,  I am interested in understanding the transitional period between  prehispanic and colonial times in Mesoamerica, specifically focusing on  site-abandonment patterns and the relocation and re-formation of native communities under colonial rule. 

Selected Publications

Castillo, Victor. 2015  La Virgen de Chiantla: Historia y Tradición oral en la Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Guatemala. In Arte y Arquitectura en la Antigua Provincia de Chiapas y Guatemala, edited by Eugenio Martín Torres Torres OP, pp. 315–338. Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Históricas, Santiago de Querétaro.

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

Victor Castillo, Hector Neff, Ronald L. Bishop, Erin N. Sears, and M. James Blackman. 2009.      Mujeres y contrahechos: las figurillas moldeadas de la Costa Sur de Guatemala. In XXII Simposio de  Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 2008 (Edited by J.P.Laporte, B.Arroyo and H.Mejía), pp 909-912. Museo Nacional de Arqueología  y Etnología. Guatemala. 


Areas of Study




In Search of the Old Town.  (2014 to date). This projects works on several lines of evidence trying to reconstruct the sociopolitical organization of the Mam Maya of the western Guatemalan highlands during pre-Hispanic times.   The main objectives of the project are to study to what extent conventions of community  and shared historical experience outlasted the Spanish conquest and the colonial period, and how archaeological sites, memories of foundation, and historical records of community trajectories are important part for the  conventions of community life in modern Guatemalan towns. This porject aims to appreciate and valuate local oral traditions regarding archaeological sites as places of memory and relevance for modern Maya communities.

Chaculá Archaeological Project. Director (2013).  The Chaculá project aims to locate  the sites reported by the early Mesoamericanist scholar Eduard Seler in the late 19th century in northwestern Guatemala in order to understand the role of a transitional area between the Maya lowlands and the Highlands of Guatemala and Chiapas.

Ceibal-Petexbatun Archaeological Project. Field and Lab Archaeologist, Graduate Research Assistant (2009-2013). I have participated in this project under the direction of Drs. Takeshi Inomata and Daniela Triadan, conducting intensive and extensive excavations at Ceibal, Guatemala, an important Maya site in the lowlands. My research here has been focused on understanding the continuities and transformations of early elite platforms and their implication for the seminal development of lowland Maya civilization.

Research Interests

Colonialism and community formation processes

Historiography and Archaeology

Oral History and Archaeology

Memory studies and their relevance for archaeological research


The Maya area

Victor Castillo's picture

Contact Information

Office: Haury 408A


MA - Antrhopology. Unviersity of Arizona (2013)

Licenciatura in Archaeology. Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (2008)