Clifford T. Brown, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33426
(561) 297-3232
                Portrait Clifford Brown

Welcome to my website! Here you will find a bit of professional and intellectual biography, copies of selected publications, information about my books, and links to related sites. The page is divided into four main sections: Background, Research, teaching, and Service.


I am an archaeologist and anthropologist in the
Department of Anthropology at Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton, Florida. I received my B.A. in archaeology from Yale University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Tulane University. I worked in heritage management as a public archaeologist for some years before becoming an academic research archaeologist.

Here is a copy of my curriculum vitae.

Please visit my blog, No Dinosours!

Here is my official university webpage on the Department website. At one time (as of February 17, 2015) the banner at the top of the page was a photograph of a dinosaur skeleton. And people wonder why my blog is entitled No Dinosaurs! Archaeology is the study of past human cultures, not dinosaurs. Dinosaurs, which are surely fascinating in their own right, are studied by paleontologists. Paleontology is a branch of geology, not anthropology.


Most of my research and experience in archaeology focuses geographically on the culture area called Mesoamerica, which encompasses central and eastern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, and western Honduras. Within Mesoamerica, I have conducted archaeological research in Mexico, Honduras, and Nicaragua. I have excavated mainly in the Maya region, particularly in the state of Yucatan in the northern Maya lowlands. I have directed excavations at the ancient Maya capital of Mayapan, and I have conducted survey in the central part of Yucatan. As a student, I participated in projects in Quintana Roo, Veracruz, and Chiapas, Mexico, and Copan, Honduras. During graduate school, I also spent six months conducting ethnoarchaeological research in a Yucatec Maya hamlet in Yucatan.

In 2009, I began survey and excavations in northwest Nicaragua, in the Department of Chinandega. In 2010, my Nicaraguan colleagues and I visited several museums in El Salvador and Honduras to study comparative ceramic collections. We carried out a second field season in 2013. We have located over 30 archaeological sites, most of which were previously unknown. We carried out small-scale excavations at five of them, and we made surface collections at some of the others. During the summer of 2014, we analyzed the lithics, including geochemical sourcing of the most of the obsidian. We plan to continue our ceramic analysis in the summer of 2015.

Outside of Mesoamerica, I have worked in the southeast United States, in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

My Field Sites
Places I have worked

My research interests include the origins of civilization, particularly the emergence of inequality and social complexity; ceramic analysis; lithic analysis; and the application of quantitative methods in archaeology, especially fractal analysis.

Mayapan Photographs of Mayapan Pottery
Nicaraguan Research


I usually teach the same five classes each school year, but the days, times, and semesters vary. In the list below, each course name and number is linked to a recent (ca. 2014-2015) syllabus in Adobe pdf format. Of course, I do alter and update my syllabi every year, so don't assume that a syllabus hasn't changed. Contact me if neceesary for a newer one. I would advise you not to buy textbooks without checking with me first.

Undergraduate classes:

Archaeological Research Methods (ANT-4116)
The Maya and their Neighbors (ANT-3163)
Real Archaeology (ANT-3190)

I have also created a web page for the Real Archaeology class that contains additional information and documentation.

I have also created a web page for the Maya and their Neighbors class that contains documents for the class

Graduate Seminars:

Quantitative Reasoning in Anthropological Research (ANG-6486)
Seminar in Archaeology (ANG-6115)

Here is a link to some advice for students on using library resources for writing research papers in archaeology.

Here is a little article in which I provide advice for my graduate students on writing a prospectus and a thesis. The article starts on p. 28 of the publication.

Selected Publications


Witschey, Walter R. T. and Clifford T. Brown (2011) Historical Dictionary of Ancient Mesoamerica. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Historical Dictionary of Ancient Mesoamerica 

Hot off the press! Buy it at

Brown, Clifford T. and Larry S. Liebovitch (2010). Fractal Analysis. A Monograph in the Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences Series. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Fractal Analysis Book Cover
Buy it at

Doctoral Dissertation:

Brown, Clifford T. (1999). Mayapan Society and Ancient Maya Social Organization. Ph.D. dissertation. Department of Anthropology, Tulane University, New Orleans, La. Committee Chair: Dr. E. Wyllys Andrews V, Committee Members: Dr. Victoria R. Bricker and Dan M. Healan.

Selected Articles

Ruck, Lana and Clifford T. Brown (2015). Quantitative Analysis of Munsell Color Data from Archaeological Ceramics. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 3:549-557. (Open access).

Ruck, Lana, Douglas C. Broadfield, and Clifford T. Brown (2015). Determining Hominid Handedness in Lithic Debitage: A Review of Current Methodologies. Lithic Technology Published online May 7, 2015.

Coronel, Eric G., Daniel A. Blair, Clifford T. Brown, and Richard E. Terry (2014). The Utility and Limitations of Portable X-Ray Fluorescence and Field Laboratory Conditions on the Geochemical Analysis of Soils and Floors at Areas of Known Human Activities. Soil Science Vol. 179, No. 5, pp. 258-271.

Brown, Clifford T., April Watson, Ashley Gravlin-Beman, and Larry S. Liebovitch (2012). Poor Mayapan, in The Ancient Maya of Mexico: Reinterpreting the Past of the Northrn Maya Lowlands, edited by Geoffrey Braswell, pp. 306-324. London: Equinox Publishing. 

Romero, Natalia E., Qianli D. Y. Ma, Larry S. Liebovitch, Clifford T. Brown, and Plamen Ch. Ivanov (2010). Correlated Walks down the Babylonian Markets. European Physics Letters 90, 18004. doi: 10.1209/0295-5075/90/18004

Brown, Clifford T., Larry S. Liebovitch, and Rachel Glendon (2007). Levy Flights in Dobe Ju/’hoansi Foraging Patterns. Human Ecology Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 129-138.

Brown, Clifford T., Walter R. T. Witschey, and Larry S. Liebovitch (2005).  The Broken Past: Fractals in ArchaeologyJournal of Archaeological Method and Theory Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 37-78.

Brown, Clifford T. and Walter R. T. Witschey (2003). The Fractal Geometry of Ancient Maya Settlement. Journal of Archaeological Science Vol. 30, No. 12, pp. 1619-1632.

Wilde, James D. and Clifford T. Brown (2003). Basic Consultation Requirements of NAGPRA for Federal Land Managers: What’s a Manager to Do? Federal Facilities Environmental Journal Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 29-40.

Brown, Clifford T. (2001). The Fractal Dimensions of Lithic Reduction.  Journal of Archaeological Science Vol. 28, No. 6, pp. 619-631.

Brown, Clifford T.(2010).  Reflections on “Metaarchaeology, in Advancing Phenomenology, edited by Philip Blosser and Thomas Nenon, pp. 391-400. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Brown, Clifford T. (2006). Water Sources at Mayapan, Yucatan, Mexico, in Precolumbian Water Management: Ideology, Ritual, and Power, edited by Lisa Lucero and Barbara Fash, pp 171-188. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Brown, Clifford T. (2005). Caves, Karst, and Settlement at Mayapan, Yucatan, in In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use, edited by James E. Brady and Keith M. Prufer, pp. 373-402. Austin: University of Texas Press (The Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies).

Brown, Clifford T. (2001). The Fractal Dimensions of Lithic Reduction. Journal of Archaeological Science 28:619-631.


Sirias Perez, Roberto, Gracia Silva, Kelsey I. Willis, Charlotte Donald Pevny, Frances Shellybhet Vanegas Aburto, y Clifford T. Brown (2018). Informe Tecnico Final, Temporada 2017-2018, Proyecto Arqueologico Chinandega. Informe Final entregado a la Direccion Nacional De Arqueologia, Instituto Nicaraguense de Cultura. Managua, Nicaragua

Informe Final
Apendice A: Lista de Lotes
Apendice B: Catalogo de Ceramica
Apendice C1: Litica
Apendice C2: Lascas
Apendice D: Restauracion

Brown, Clifford T., Ramiro Garcia Vasquez, and Sandra Espinoza de Garcia (2014). Reconocimiento, Prospecciones, y Excavaciones en al Departamento de Chinandega, Nicaragua, 2013, Temporada II. Informe Final entregado a la Direccion de Patrimonio, Instituto Nicaraguense de Cultura. [Word Document]

Brown, Clifford T. (2006). Informe Final del Proyecto Mayapan, Tomo I. Informe entregado al Consejo Nacional de Arqueologia, Mexico.

Brown, Clifford T., Dave D. Davis, Julian Granberry, Roger Saucier, Lynn A. Berg, Christine Herman, J. Cinder Griffin Miller, Jeremy Pincoske, Susan Barrett Smith Patrick P. Robblee,and William P. Athens. (2000). Morganza to the Gulf Feasibility Study: Cultural Resources Literature and Records Review, Terrabonne and Lafouche Parishes, Louisiana (Volume I of II). New Orleans: R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates.


I was (2014-2015) the chair of the Undergraduate Programs Committee of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. I  created a simple web page for the committee to keep track of the records.

Contact Information

Mailing address:

       Dr. Clifford T. Brown
Department of Anthropology
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
(561) 297-3232 (voice)
(561) 297-0084 (fax)

Physical office:
Social Science Building (SO) Room172
The Social Science Building is Building 44 

Google Earth image of my office

The location of my office. If you download the image and open it in an imaging program, you can zoom in on it.

Additional information

View my blog.

This is my official web page on the Department's web site.

Visit the webpage of the Electronic Atlas of Ancient Maya Sites, of which I am co-author.
Author: Clifford T. Brown
Email address:
Email Me
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