Ph.D. 2006 Vanderbilt University
Heroy Hall 413
- Mesoamerican Archaeology
- Household Archaeology
- Lithic Analysis
- Gender and Social Identity
- Preindustrial Economic Systems
ANTH 3312 - Meso-American Archaeology
ANTH 3315 - Origins of Civilization
ANTH 4350/6332 - Household Archaeology: The Archaeology of Everyday Life
ANTH 4333/6333 - Laboratory Methods in Archaeology: Lithic Analysis
ANTH 4386/6386 - The Archaeology of Gender and Sexuality
ANTH 7713 - Archaeological Theory
Dr. Kovacevich is currently on sabbatical. She will return to teaching in the Spring of 2013.
Dr. Kovacevich was a featured speaker for the Dedman College Godbey Lecture Series. Her talk, entitled "Feeling Fine as the World Ends: Maya 2012 Predictions Decoded" took place Monday, November 6, 2012.
Brigitte Kovacevich received her BA from the University of Arizona and PhD from Vanderbilt University in 2006. Before coming to SMU as Assistant Professor in 2009, she held visiting positions at Yale University and the University of Virginia. Her interests include the complex interplay between technology, power, economic systems, social action, and culture change in the past and present. She primarily carries out her research in Guatemala, but she has also worked in Mexico, Arizona, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Dr. Kovacevich's recent research has investigated the efficiency of new sourcing techniques on jade and obsidian from Mesoamerica and how that can highlight changes in production and trade patterns. Future research will continue to focus on the household as a unit of production. Specifically this research will address how that unit was integrated into the political system at various times and regions in Mesoamerica, and how the household responded (changed or remained the same) in the face of political change and upheaval.
Dr. Kovacevich is currently director of an archaeological project at the site of Holtun, Guatemala, located in the central lakes region of the department of the Peten, Guatemala. The site is situated approximately 35 km southwest of Tikal, 12 km to the south of Yaxha, and only 1 km fro mthe present day village of La Maquina. The formal site of Holtun consists of a monumental epicenter built atop a natural karstic hill positioned along a roughly northeast-southwest linear axis. The approximate area of the epicenter is 970 x 815 m. The epicenter consists of 14 groups and nearly 100 structures and has an established Middle Preclassic through Late Classic period occupation (Fialko 1999, 2002; Ponciano 1995; Kovacevich et al. 2010).
Goals of this research are to elucidate organization of political authority during a lesser known epoch in Maya prehistory, the Middle Preclassic period (600-300 BC). This is a time of great social change in the Maya lowlands that included the rise of social and political complexity, the first monumental architecture, and possibly the first kings. Many questions remain about this time period, why did the Maya begin to live in nucleated settlements and cities? Why and how did political power develop? And, how were these changes related to community ritual? Excavations are focused on the earliest ceremonial architecture at the site, as well as residential structures.
This research has been generously funded by the National Geographic Society/Waitt Institute, the Downey Family Fund for Faculty Excellence and the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, a Sam Taylor Fellowship, and the University Research Council.
2002 Documentacion del Arte Excultorico y Pictorico de la Acropolis Triadica de Holtun, Peten. Manuscript in archive, DEMOPRE. IDAEH, PRONAT-TRIANGULO-DEMOPRE: Guatemala.
1999 Sangre, Sudor, y Lagrimas: Investigaciones de Arqueologia Regionalm no. 10, Holtun, Ixtinto, y La Naya. Manuscript in archive, PRONAT-TRIANGULO, IDAEH: Guatemala.
Kovacevich, Brigitte, Patricia Rivera Castillo, Michael G. Callaghan, and Melvin Rodrigo Guzman
2010 Proyecto Arqueologico Holtun. Informe, Temporada 2010. IDAEH, Guatemala.
Ponciano, Erick M.
1995 Recientes Descubrimientos en el Departamento de Peten: Sitio Arqueologico Holtun, Aldea La Maquina, Flores. En VIII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueologicas en Guatemala, 1994 (edited by J.P. Laporte and H. Escobedo), pp. 484-492. Museo Nacional de Aequeologia y Etnologia, Guatemala.
In Review The Problem with "Workshops": Gender, Craft Specialization and the State. In Gendered Labor in Specialized Economies, edited by Sofia Kelley and Traci Ardren for publication with the University Press of Colorado.
Kovacevich, Brigitte and Michael Callaghan, editors
In Press The Inalienable in the Archaeology of Mesoamerica. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association.
In Press The Inalienability of Jades in Ancient Mesoamerica. In The Inalienable in the Archaeology of Mesoamerica. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association.
In Press Craft Production and Distribution in the Maya Lowlands. In Merchants, Trade, and Exchange in the Pre-Columbian World, edited by Kenneth Hirth and Joanne Pillsbury for publication in 2012 with Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.
Kovacevich, Brigitte, Patricia Rivera Castillo, Michael Callaghan, and Rodrigo Guzman
2012 Investigaciones Arqueologicas en "Cabeza de Piedra": Resultados de Dos Temporadas del Campo en el Sitio de Holtun, Guatemala. In XXV Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueologicas en Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala. Edited by Barbara Arroyo, Lorena Paiz Arragon, Hector Mejia, pp. 237-252. Museo Nacional de Arqueologia y Etnologia, Guatemala.
2012 Jade en Guatemala: Una Historia de Investigacion. In XXV Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueologicas en Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala. Edited by Barbara Arroyo, Lorena Paiz Arragon, Hector Mejia, pp. 1341-1352. Museo Nacional de Arqueologia y Etnologia, Guatemala.
2011 The Organization of Jade Production at Cancuen, Guatemala. In The Technology of Maya Civilization: Political Economy and Beyond in Lithic Studies, edited by Zachary X. Hruby, Oswaldo Chinchilla, and Geoffrey Braswell, pp. 149-161. Equinox Publishing, London.
Neff, Hector, Brigitte Kovacevich y Ronald L. Bishop
2010 Caracterizacion de los compuestos de la jadeita mesoamericana: breve revision a partir de los resultados obtenidos durante el estudio de la mascara de K'inich Janaab' Pakal. In Misterios de un rostro maya: La mascara funeraria de K'inich Janaab' Pakal de Palenque, coordinated by Laura Filloy Nadal, pp. 131-138. Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Mexico.
2010 Crafting Classic Maya Jades. In Produccion de Bienes de Prestigio:Ornamentales y Votivos de la America Antiqua. Edited by Emiliano Melgar Tisoc, Reyna Solis Ciriaco, and Ernesto Gonzalez Licon, pp. 143-151. Syllaba Press, Miami.
Kovacevich, Brigitte, Molly Morgan, Hector Neff, and Oswaldo Chinchilla
2010 The Use of Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) on Obsidian Microdebitage: Case Studies from Chiquiuitan and El Baul, Guatemala. Society for Archaeological Sciences Bulletin 33(1): 2-6.
Kovacevich, Brigitte, Margarita Cossich, Paola Duarte, and Fred Nelson
2007 La obsidiana de Cancuen: Produccion, distribucion y resultados de difraccion de Rayos X. Paper Presented at the XX annual Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueologicas en Guatemala, pp. 997-1010, edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, Barbara Arroyo, and Hector Mejia. Guatemala: Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, IDAEH, Associacion Tikal.
2007 Ritual, Crafting, and Agency at the Classic Maya Kingdom of Cancuen. In Mesoamerican Ritual Economy: Archaeological and Ethnological Perspectives, edited by E. Christian Wells and Karla Davis-Salazar, pp. 67-114. University Press of Colorado.
2006 Reconstructing Classic Maya Economic Systems: Production and Exchange at Cancuen. Ph.D. Dissertation, Vanderbilt University.
Cook, Duncan E., Kovacevich, Brigitte, Beach, Tim and Bishop, Ronald
2006 Deciphering the inorganic chemical record of ancient human activity using ICP-MS: two examples from late Classic soil floors at Cancuen, Guatemala. Journal of Archaeological Science 33(5): 628-640.
Kovacevich, Brigitte, Hector Neff, and Ronald L. Bishop
2005 Laser Ablation ICP-MS Chemical Characterization of Jade from a Jade Workshop in Cancuen, Guatemala. In Laser Ablation ICP-MS in Archaeological Research, edited by R. J. Speakman and H. Neff, pp. 38-57. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.
Kovacevich, Brigitte, Duncan Cook, and Timothy Beach
2004 Areas de actividad domestica en Cancuen: Perspectivas basadas en datos liticos y geoquimicos. In XVII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueologicas en Guatemala, 2003. edited by J.P. Laporte, B. Aroyo, H.L. Escobedo and H. Mejia, pp. 897-912. Museo Nacional de Arqueologia y Etnologia, Guatemala.
Memberships and Affiliations
Society for American Archaeology
Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society