Shawn Morton

  • Research Associate - Anthropology - Michigan State University
  • Graduate Fellow - Calgary Institute for the Humanities - University of Calgary
  • Ph.D. Candidate - Archaeology - University of Calgary


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Curriculum vitae

Research Interests

    Shawn’s dissertation research focuses on changes in behaviour (much of this, ritual) in subterranean sites associated with the developmental trajectory of ancient complex (Maya) polities in central Belize. His current/recent field projects include the Central Belize Archaeological Survey, Belize, C.A. and the Isla Zapatera Archaeological Project, Nicaragua, C.A. Recent publications have focused on ritual practice in the cave context, urban theory (esp. urban liturgy), and modelling pedestrian movement in ancient urban spaces.
    Shawn is completing work on a peer-reviewed edited volume (with Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown) focussed on interpreting archaeological signatures of Mesoamerican conflict through reference to text and image.

Biographical Info

Shawn G. Morton is a doctoral candidate in Archaeology at the University of Calgary and an Research Associate in Anthropology at Michigan State University.  He is currently in residence as the Graduate Student Fellow in the Calgary Institute for the Humanities.  He enjoys cooking and, if his waistline permits (a dubious proposition), plans on dedicating the coming year to mastering the humble meat pie.  So long as Terry Pratchett continues to write the best fiction on the planet, Shawn will continue to devour it.


Articles in Scholarly Journals
Wrobel, Gabriel D., Rebecca Shelton, Shawn Morton, Joshua Lynch and Christopher Andres (2013) The View of Maya Mortuary Cave Ritual from Overlook Rockshelter, Caves Branch River Valley, Central Belize. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies. 75(2):126-135.
Helmke, Christophe, Jaime J. Awe, Shawn G. Morton, and Gyles Iannone (2012) The Archaeological and Epigraphic Significance of Cuychen, Macal Valley, Belize.  Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology. 9:75-89.
Morton, Shawn, Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown, Peter Dawson, and Jeffrey Seibert (2012) Civic and Household Community Relationships at Teotihuacan, Mexico:  A Space Syntax Approach. Cambridge Archaeological Journal.  22(3):387-400.
Morton, Shawn Gregory (2012) Ritual Procession and the Creation of Civitas Among the Ancient Maya:  A Case Study from Naachtun, Guatemala.  Canadian Journal of Archaeology 36(1):141-165.
Wrobel, Gabriel D., Christopher R. Andres, Shawn G. Morton, Rebecca Shelton, Amy Michael and Christophe Helmke (2012) Ritual Landscapes of the Caves Branch River Valley.  Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology.  9:233-244.
Andres, Christopher R., Gabriel D. Wrobel, Jason J. Gonzalez, Shawn G. Morton and Rebecca Shelton (2011) Power and Status in Central Belize:  Insights from the Caves Branch Archaeological Survey Project’s 2010 Field Season.  Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 8:101-113.
Andres, Christopher R., Gabriel D. Wrobel, and Shawn G. Morton (2010) Tipan Chen Uitz (“Fortress Mountain Well”):  A Major “New” Maya Center in the Cayo District, Belize.  Mexicon 32:88-94.
Wrobel, Gabriel, Shawn Morton, and Christopher Andres (2010) An Introduction to the First Season of the Caves Branch Archaeological Survey.  Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 7:73-84.
Edited Books (and Contributions to)
Morton, Shawn G., Christophe Helmke and Jaime J. Awe (2012) Investigations at Actun Neko, Caves Branch River Valley, Belize.  In Heart of Earth:  Studies in Maya Ritual Cave Use, James E. Brady, ed., pp. 83-94.  Bulletin 23, Association for Mexican Cave Studies, Austin.
Morton, Shawn and Don Butler, eds. (2011) It’s Good to Be King:  The archaeology of power and authority.  Proceedings of the 41st (2008) Annual Chacmool Archaeological Conference, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Chacmool Archaeological Association, The Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary.
Book Reviews
Morton, Shawn Gregory (2012) The Technology of Maya Civilization.  Geoarchaeology:  An International Journal.  27:539-540.
Dept. of Anthropology