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Donald A. Slater

Donald A. Slater joined BVAR as a student in 1999 and spent most of his time working at the site of Baking Pot. During his senior year at the University of New Hampshire, he served as Dr. Awe’s Teaching Assistant for courses on the Ancient Maya and general anthropology. Upon his graduation in 2000 with a BA in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology, he returned to BVAR as a junior staff member at the site of Cahal Pech and aided in the excavation of Structure F2.

Since 2002, Slater has been employed at the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. There he serves as the museum’s Educator and Assistant Archaeological Collections Manager. He works with a number of departments at Phillips Academy to integrate archaeology into the school’s curriculum and co-teaches a course on the biological and cultural evolution of man.

During the summer months, he leads two expeditionary learning projects for his students. He designed and runs the Bilingual Archaeological Learning Adventure to Mesoamerica (The B.A.L.A.M. Project), which takes students to a variety of important Maya ruins and caves in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. While in Belize, The B.A.L.A.M. Project spends several days assisting BVAR with their current fieldwork. Donald also leads Pecos Pathways, which is a joint cultural exchange and archaeology program with the Pueblo of Jemez, New Mexico and Pecos National Historical Park.

As a member of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society, Donald sits on the board of the Northeast Chapter as Vice Chairman. Through this organization, he has co-developed the Massachusetts Atlatl Field Day, which has run each September since 2003.  Although it usually garners more chuckles than kudos, as of 2006, Slater was ranked at #45 in the world among atlatl competitors!

Currently, Slater is applying to archaeological graduate programs in the Boston area.  He plans to retain his position at the Robert S. Peabody Museum while pursuing an advanced degree.

Research interests include:

Maya religion and ritual
Mesoamerican iconography
Mesoamerican cosmology
Mesoamerican archaeoastronomy
The social construction of technology
Ancient and modern atlatl use
Flint knapping