Skip to Content - Skip to Navigation

Dr. Rochette is an anthropological archaeologist whose research focuses on the intersection of economics, politics, and social organization in ancient Mesoamerican societies, particularly the ancient Maya.
Erick Rochette

Dr. Rochette earned his B.A. in Archaeology, with a minor in Anthropology, from Boston University. He went on to earn his doctorate in Anthropology from the Pennsylvania State University in 2009. His dissertation research examined economic and political organization among the ancient Maya of the Motagua River Valley of Guatemala. His current research focuses on understanding how the ancient inhabitants of the valley were organized to produce some of the most valuable artifacts in ancient Maya society—jewelry made from jade that was considered more valuable than gold. Dr. Rochette has published peer-reviewed papers on his research in the Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association and Ancient Mesoamerica and has presented his research at many professional conferences.

Dr. Rochette is in the process of recreating the process of jade artifact production using only the techniques, materials, and tools that would have been available to the ancient Maya. His wife, Sarah, is looking forward to some nice pieces to wear, but she might have to settle for whatever crude object he can fashion, given his limited artistic ability. 

Recent Publications: 

  • (n.d.)    Out of Control: Rethinking Assumptions About Wealth Goods Production and the Ancient Maya. Accepted by Ancient Mesoamerica, April 2012.
  • 2009    Jade in Full: Domestic Production of Jadeite Wealth Goods in the Middle Motagua Valley, Guatemala.  In Housework: Specialization, Household Economy and Domestic Craft Production in Mesoamerica, K. Hirth, ed. Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 19(1): 205-224.  Washington D.C.: American Anthropological Association.
  • Anthropology Department
  • McElhaney Hall, Room G-1
    441 North Walk
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2841
  • Fax: 724-357-7637
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.