Arianne Boileau

Postdoctoral Fellow; Dongya Yang

Areas of interest

Archaeology of the Maya Subarea and Mesoamerica, Human-environment Interactions, Political Economy, Colonialism, Trade, Husbandry, Subsistence, Zooarchaeological Method and Theory, Taphonomy, Isotope Analysis, Ancient DNA, Environmental Archaeology.


  • 2021 PhD, Department of Anthropology, University of Florida
  • 2014 MA, Department of Anthropology, Trent University
  • 2010 BA, Département des Sciences Historiques, Université Laval


I am an anthropological archaeologist studying human-environment interactions through zooarchaeology, taphonomy, biomolecular and geochemical analyses, and ethnohistory. I have participated in archaeological projects in Belize, Mexico, France, and Canada, and analyzed zooarchaeological remains from these countries, as well as Guatemala, Peru, and the southeastern United States. I graduated with my Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 2021. During my time there, I worked as a zooarchaeologist and assistant collections manager at the Environmental Archaeology Program, Florida Museum of Natural History. I joined Simon Fraser University in 2021 as a Fonds de recherche du Québec Société et Culture Postdoctoral Fellow (2021–2023).


My research program focuses on investigating the dynamic relationships between natural and cultural landscapes at local and regional scales. I examine how and why Indigenous peoples procured, consumed, transformed, and discarded animal resources in the pre-Columbian and post-European contact Maya world and, more broadly, Mesoamerica. Using social zooarchaeology and historical ecology, I explore questions about the resilience of Indigenous communities under conditions of colonialism, the development of socio-political complexity in the Maya world, and human interactions with specific nonhuman animals, such as freshwater turtles and dogs. I am also interested in improving zooarchaeological methodology. Ongoing collaborative projects include developing a new method of quantification in zooarchaeology (the Number of Distinct Elements), and publishing taxonomic and specimen-level trait data in open-access biological and archaeological repositories.


Morin, Eugène, Arianne Boileau, and Elspeth Ready (2021) A Refitting Experiment on Long Bone Identification. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 31(4):650–662.

Cunningham-Smith, Petra, Ashley E. Sharpe, Arianne Boileau, Erin K. Thornton, and Kitty F. Emery (2020) Food, Friend, or Offering: Exploring the Role of Maya Dogs in the Zooarchaeological Record. In Her Cup for Sweet Cacao: The Social Uses of Food in Ancient Maya Society, edited by Traci A. Ardren, pp. 161–187. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.

Boileau, Arianne, Nicolas Delsol, and Kitty F. Emery (2020) Human-Animal Relations in the Maya World. In The Maya World, edited by Scott R. Hutson and Traci Ardren, pp. 164–182. Routledge, New York.

Boileau, Arianne, and Norbert Stanchly (2020) Middle Preclassic Faunal Utilisation at Pacbitun, Belize: Evidence for Social Differentiation, Exchange, and Craft Specialisation. In An Archaeological Reconstruction of Ancient Maya Life at Pacbitun, Belize, edited by Terry G. Powis, Sheldon Skaggs, and George Micheletti, pp. 41–54. Archaeology of the Maya 4. BAR International Series 2970. BAR Publishing, Oxford, UK.

Boileau, Arianne (2019) El uso de la tafonomía arqueozoológica para examinar la estratigrafía de la época postclásica-colonial en Lamanai, Belice. Cuadernos del Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano – Series Especiales 7(2):34–42.

Morin, Eugène, Cédric Beauval, Arianne Boileau, Elspeth Ready, and Véronique Laroulandie (2019) The Number of Distinct Elements: Extending a Landmark-based Counting Unit to Other Taxa. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 24:773–784.

Rice, Prudence M., Arianne Boileau, Leslie G. Cecil, Susan D. deFrance, Carolyn Freiwald, Nathan J. Meissner, Timothy W. Pugh, Don S. Rice, and Matthew P. Yacubic (2018) Zacpeten Structure 719: Activities at a Contact-period Popol Nah before Rapid Abandonment. Ancient Mesoamerica 29(1):137–155.

Morin, Eugène, Elspeth Ready, Arianne Boileau, Cédric Beauval, and Marie-Pierre Coumont (2017) Problems of Identification and Quantification in Archaeozoological Analysis, Part I: Insights from a Blind Test. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 24(3):886–937.

Morin, Eugène, Elspeth Ready, Arianne Boileau, Cédric Beauval, and Marie-Pierre Coumont (2017) Problems of Identification and Quantification in Archaeozoological Analysis, Part II: Presentation of an Alternative Counting Method. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 24(3):938–973.

sitting on top of the High Temple at Lamanai, Belize
mapping an excavation unit of the Ottawa Complex at Lamanai, Belize