I am an anthropological archaeologist. I specialize in ancient Mesoamerica, and particularly the ancient Maya. My research focuses on the creation, perpetuation, and negation of institutionalized social inequality and political authority, and my primary interests include the role of the past in shaping the political present and how archaeology can foster positive social change. Since 2014, I have co-directed a community archaeology project at the site of Punta Laguna in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. I have received grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society among other organizations, and have held a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Research Fellowship from the Gerda Henkel Foundation.
Forthcoming. Creating Nature in the Yucatan Peninsula: Social Inequality and the Production of Eco-Archaeological Parks. American Anthropologist.
2019. Navigating the Past in the Aftermath of Dramatic Social Transformations: Postclassic Engagement with the Classic Period Past in the Northeast Yucatan Peninsula. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 53: 51-65.
Kurnick, Sarah and Joanne Baron, eds.
2016. Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.
2016. Paradoxical Politics: Negotiating the Contradictions of Political Authority. In Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Sarah Kurnick and Joanne Baron, eds., Pg. 3-36. Boulder: University Press of Colorado
2016. Competition and Conflict in the Upper Belize River Valley: Insights from the Ancient Maya Minor Center of Callar Creek, Belize. Journal of Field Archaeology 41(3): 297-311.
2015. The Origins of Extreme Economic Inequality: An Archaeologist’s Take on a Contemporary Controversy. Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress 11(3): 400-416.