Helen Haines

Assistant Professor

Office: Trent Durham, 55 Thornton Rd., Oshawa, Office #181
Telephone: (905) 435 x5100 ext: 5045
Email: Send an email


BA (Toronto) PhD (University College London)

Research Interests

Areas of interest include:

• Development of Cultural Complexity and Socio-political Organizations
• Architectural Implications for Political and Social Expressions of Power
• Obsidian (Lithic) Economy and Technology
• Comparative Ancient Complex Societies
• Illicit Antiques Trade and the Ethics of Collecting Cultural Property


Dr. Haines obtained her Ph.D. from the Institute of Archaeology, University of London, England, in 2000, and her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Toronto in 1994. She also held a 3-year Post-Doctoral research appointment in the Department of Anthropology at The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL. Currently, she is a Research Associate at the Archaeological Research Centre (TUARC) and teaches with the Department of Anthropology at Trent University.
Her primary research interest focuses on the socio-political and economic development of early complex societies in Mesoamerica. She is currently director of the Ka’Kabish Archaeological Research Project (KARP) in North-Central Belize. Although her primary area of focus is ancient Maya culture my interests are wide ranging and extend to other areas of the world. During her Post-Doctoral work at the Field Museum she collaborated on research at a Zapotec terraced hilltop settlement in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. She also has directed an archaeological project in South-Central Ontario investigating Princess Point occupation in the Cootes Paradise Watershed, a 19th century historic house in Oshawa, Ontario, and has been a Visiting Scholar on archaeological projects in Tiwanaku, Bolivia, and ShaanXi, China.


Recent Publications

2013 A Glass Menagerie of Meaning: Obsidian Exchange in Mesoamerica. (First author with Michael D. Glascock). In The Maya in a Mesoamerican Context: Comparative Approaches to Maya Studies, edited by Christophe Helmke and Jesper Nielsen, pp. 197-208. 16th European Maya Conference, University of Copenhagen, December 2012. Verlag Anton Saurwein.
2013 Casting a Light in the Wilderness: The Ancient Maya site of Ka’Kabish, in Northern Belize (Second author with Alec McLellan) Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology, vol. 10:189-200.
2012 Intra-Site Obsidian Distribution and Consumption Patterns in North-Western Belize and the North-Eastern Petén. (First author with Michael D. Glascock). British Archaeological Reports (BAR) International Series BAR S2326.
2011 The Point of Popularity: A Summary of Human Activity at the Princess Point Promontory, Cootes Paradise, Hamilton. (First author with David G. Smith, David Galbraith, and Tys Thysmeyer) Canadian Journal of Archaeology, 35:232-257.
2011 How the Other-Half Lived: Continuing Discussions of the Enigma that is Ka’Kabish, Belize. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology, vol. 8.
2011 The Bedrock Vase: Iconography of a Classic Period Maya Vase from Northern Belize. Mexicon, vol. XXXIII (1): 11-15.
2010 Adventures in Eating: Anthropological Experiences in Dining. (First author with Clare A. Sammells, [eds.]) University of Colorado Press, Boulder, CO.