Department of Anthropology and the College
Sarah Newman is an anthropological archaeologist specializing in Mesoamerica, with a focus on the ancient Maya. Her research examines human interactions with ancient environments, using archaeological data and analyses to explore anthropological issues, including changes in the cultural and historical constructions of the concept of “waste”, human–animal relationships, and the long-term use and reuse of anthropogenic landscapes.
Newman has highlighted archaeological evidence for the curation and reuse of rubbish in ancient Maya ritual, used the remains of modern and fossilized sharks recovered from archaeological caches to explore how the Maya living in inland jungles generated knowledge about the sea, and proposed methodological applications of digital imaging technologies in bone crafting studies. She currently directs collaborative archaeological projects in Guatemala and Jordan to study large-scale human interventions in ancient landscapes.
Newman received her MA and PhD in anthropology from Brown University and her BA in archaeological studies and art history from Yale University. Her work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and Fulbright fellowships to Guatemala and Colombia, among other sources. Most recently, she was an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Vermont.