Lecturer in Anthropology
Ancient cultures of Mesoamerica
Religion and ideology
Also interested in the archaeology of Colonial New England, and the Precolumbian civilizations of Peru and the American Southwest.
Donald Slater is a Ph.D. candidate studying anthropology and archaeology at Brandeis University. He plans to graduate this May. He holds a master’s degree from Brandeis and a bachelor’s degree from UNH, both in anthropology. Since 2002 he has also served on the staff at the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology at Phillips Academy, Andover. His primary research interests focus on religion, cosmology, and iconography of the ancient Maya and other Mesoamerican cultures, but other interests include Paleoindian, Southwestern, Andean, and Colonial New England studies. For his dissertation research he developed and directs the Central Yucatan Archaeological Cave Project (CYAC). One of the largest cave surveys ever undertaken in Mesoamerica, CYAC aims to study ancient socio-political and religious power associated with elite cave ritual among the ancient Maya. Through Phillips Academy he also co-designed and leads the BALAM Project (Bilingual Archaeological Learning Adventure in Mesoamerica) and the Andean HUACA Project (Human Understanding through Archaeology and Cultural Awareness) which are expeditionary programs that guide high school-aged students on explorations of ruins, caves and modern settlements in Mesoamerica and Peru, respectively. Slater is a life-long resident of New England. His wife, two daughters, and he currently reside in an antique farmhouse in southern New Hampshire.
Brandeis University, M.A.
University of New Hampshire, B.A.
Awards and Honors
Dumbarton Oaks Short-Term Pre-Doctoral Residency (2013)
Mellon Foundation Dissertation Research Grant, Brandeis University GSAS (2012)
Mellon Foundation Dissertation Year Fellowship (2012)
Phillips Academy Andover, Abbot Academy Association Grant (2012)
Explorers Club Exploration Fund Grant (2011)
Mellon Foundation Dissertation Research Grant, Brandeis University GSAS (2011)
Named a National Geographic Explorer (2011)
National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (2011)
Brandeis University Anthropology Department Outstanding Teaching Fellow Award (2010)
Cave Research Foundation Graduate Research Grant (2010)
Cleveland Grotto of the National Speleological Society Science Fund (2010)
Brandeis University Anthropology Department Robert A. Manners Prize (2009)
National Geographic Society/Waitt Institute for Discovery Grant (2009)