Office: Trent-in-Oshawa 55Thornton Rd. Oshawa Campus, office #181
Telephone: (905) 435 x5100 ext:TBA
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BA (Toronto) PhD (University College London)
Areas of interest include:
- Development of Cultural Complexity and Socio-political Organizations Among the Ancient Maya
- Maya Iconography and Ideology
- 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
- Spanish Imperial History
- Marine Archaeology
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 and the University of Toronto Mississauga.
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. Ka’Kabish, was an important part of the political and social structure of the Lamanai polity, one of the longest continually occupied Maya centres. Her research explores new ideas surrounding the mobility of ancient Maya royal courts and the possible existence of political and economic heterarchies within the ancient Maya polities of the Northern Belize Coastal Plain.
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. Recently she directed an archaeological project in South-Central Ontario investigating Princess Point occupation in the Cootes Paradise Watershed. She also has been a Visiting Scholar on archaeological projects in Tiwanaku, Bolivia, and ShaanXi, China.
Additionally, Helen is interested in ritual and ideological aspects of ancient Maya culture. She has conducted collaborative research into the medical effects of stingray spine envenomation and the impact these may have had in Maya auto-sacrifice rituals. As the Maya are known to have used a variety of different objects for personal bloodletting this research examines both the physical impact these instruments had on the participant as well as the symbolic meaning behind the iconographic representations of stingray spine use in Maya rituals.
She is an active member of the Canadian Archaeology Association and currently serves as Chair for the Membership Committee.