Payson D. Sheets

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Payson D. Sheets is an American archaeologist, Mayanist, and Professor with the Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder.[1] He is primarily known for his research in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica and Lower Central America, most importantly for his work on the Maya civilization at Joya de Cerén in El Salvador (although he has worked throughout the western United States, Canada, Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua). He specializes in Mesoamerican archaeology, lithic technology, ancient adaptations, geophysical applications, hazards research (sudden environmental change – particularly volcanic eruptions[2]), and remote sensing.[3]

Education[edit]

Sheets received his BA (1967) and his MA (1969) from the University of Colorado Boulder. He received his PhD in 1974 from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.[4][5]

Field Work[edit]

His largest known body of research comes from the archaeology of the Maya site of Cerén, or Joya de Cerén, in the Zapotitan Valley of El Salvador which has been ongoing since its discovery in 1978.[6] Cerén is known as the Pompeii of North America as it was preserved under hot volcanic ash from Loma Caldera’s eruption around the year 600[7] and provides a snapshot in time of the everyday village life of the ancient Maya. Sheets is the primary archaeologist for the University of Colorado’s excavations at Cerén. He has also done extensive work at Arenal in Costa Rica (also covered in volcanic ash) where he used remote sensing technology (including infrared photography, LiDAR, thermal infrared spectroscopy, synthetic aperture radar data, and spectral bands from Landsat's Thematic Mapper) in a jungle environment, developing one of the largest remote sensing databases used for archaeology at the time.[8][9]

Sheets has also worked in western United States, Canada, Panama, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Major Publications[edit]

  • Sheets, Payson and Donald K. Grayson, eds. (1979) Volcanic Activity and Human Ecology. New York: Academic Press. Twenty chapters, 644 pp.
  • Sheets,Payson, ed. (1983) Archeology and Volcanism in Central America: The Zapotitan Valley of El Salvador. Thirteen chapters. 6 appendices. Austin: University of Texas Press. 307 pp.
  • Sheets, Payson (1992) The Ceren Site: A Prehistoric Village Buried by Volcanic Ash in Central America. Ft. Worth: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. 150 pp.
  • Sheets, Payson and Brian R. McKee, eds. (1994) Archaeology, Volcanism and Remote Sensing in the Arenal Region, Costa Rica. Austin: University of Texas Press. 350pp.
  • Sheets,Payson, ed. (2002) Before the Volcano Erupted: The Ancient Ceren Village in Central America. Austin: University of Texas Press. Twenty two chapters. 226 pp.
  • Sheets, Payson (2006) The Ceren Site: An Ancient Village in Central America Buried by Volcanic Ash. Revised and expanded edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing. 168 pp.

For a comprehensive list of publications see external links below.

References[edit]

  1. ^ CU-Boulder, Department of Anthropology Bio http://www.colorado.edu/Anthropology/people/bios/sheets.html Accessed October 8, 2011
  2. ^ Payson Sheets - GHEA: Global Human Econdynamics Alliance http://gheahome.org/cgi_bin/ghea_member_info.pl?id=9 Accessed October 8, 2011.
  3. ^ Payson Sheets – Archaeological Institute of America. http://www.archaeological.org/lecturer/paysonsheets. Accessed October 8, 2011
  4. ^ Payson D. Sheets - Resumé/CV: http://gheahome.org/uploads/sheets54674/cv/CV-Sheets_dept_09.doc Accessed October 8, 2011
  5. ^ CU-Boulder, Department of Anthropology Bio http://www.colorado.edu/Anthropology/people/bios/sheets.html Accessed October 8, 2011
  6. ^ University of Colorado Boulder, (2007) "CU-Boulder Archaeology Team Discovers First Ancient Manioc Fields In Americas", press release August 20, 2007, accessed October 8, 2011.
  7. ^ 2002 Payson Sheets, ed. Before the Volcano Erupted: The Ancient Ceren Village in Central America. Austin: University of Texas Press. Twenty two chapters. 226 pp.
  8. ^ CU-Boulder, Department of Anthropology Bio http://www.colorado.edu/Anthropology/people/bios/sheets.html Accessed October 8, 2011
  9. ^ Archaeology Research in the Arenal Region, Costa Rica. http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/archeology/arenal.html Accessed October 8, 2011

External links[edit]