Squiggle Studies

Wax Resist-Decorated Pottery in the Southern Maya Region

Thursday, May 30 @ 5:30 – 6:30 pm

  Yale Peabody Museum , David Friend Hall

  • Talk
  • Research Spotlight
  • Free; Registration required

During the Late Formative Period (300 BCE – 200 CE), the people who lived in modern-day southern Guatemala and western El Salvador used a distinctive style of pottery called Usulutan.  This unique regional style is characterized by enchanting orange and yellow squiggles organized in both simple and complex designs.

Despite the presence of Usulutan pottery across the Southern Maya Region, the social function, production patterns, and decorative process for Usulutan pottery remain a mystery. Yale Ph.D. candidate Caitlin Davis will discuss new data on the composition and style of Usulutan pottery, examining what the movement of pots through the area may tell us about social relationships in the Southern Maya Region.

Caitlin Davis

Caitlin Reddington Davis is a doctoral candidate in Yale’s Department of Anthropology. She received her undergraduate degree in archaeology and anthropology from Boston University, and her masters in archaeology from Leiden University. She researches how material objects support and reinforce social systems, with emphasis on pottery as a form of symbolic communication.

Event Location

Yale Peabody Museum

David Friend Hall