David Maxwell

Senior Lecturer

Areas of interest

My primary field of analytical expertise is faunal analysis, particularly vertebrates. I have identified, analysed, and interpreted tens of thousands of bones from sites in western North America, particularly California, British Columbia, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Regionally, I have a variety of research interests. I trained as a Mayanist at the University of Arizona, specializing in the interaction of material culture and political history by looking at changes in votive caches (ritual offerings) and their associations with changes in the political environment. I am particularly interested in the ritual use of marine toxins among the Maya.

I've done research on Plains bison kill site population dynamics (including recent and forthcoming publications with Dr. Jonathan C. Driver of SFU), focusing on attempting to understand the nature of age structures in kill sites, and why these generally do not match the age structure of most living herds.

I have extensive experience in studying coastal and island hunter-gatherers in southern California, and have published on topics as diverse as subsistence and prehistoric ritual behaviour, particularly for San Nicolas Island, and at sites in the Los Angeles area.


  • BA (Simon Fraser University)
  • MA (Simon Fraser University)
  • PhD (University of Arizona)


Future courses may be subject to change.