You are here: Home About Us People Faculty Doctoral Candidates Paul Graf, M.A.

Paul Graf, M.A.

PhD Candidate

Paul Graf

University of Bonn
Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Research Associate in Research Area B Embodied Dependencies
Niebuhrstraße 5
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 / (0)228 / 73 62449



Dependency in the Context of Resource Control in Tropical Societies

I investigate pre-Columbian dependencies based on essential resources in societies located in tropical environments in the Americas, in particular the case of the Maya in Mesoamerica. As part of Research Area B my doctoral thesis considers certain essential resources as bodies of dependency which can influence settlement patterns, the social system as well as the political economy of such tropical societies.

Within the framework of a multidisciplinary methodology, different approaches from various disciplines, such as digital archaeology, geoarchaeology and ethnoarchaeology are combined with one another and connected to theoretical approaches regarding settlement structure and socioeconomic questions. In this context, remote sensing techniques will be applied to detect archaeological features associated with resource zones (fields, forests and water sources), transport routes (footpaths, roads and canals) as well as "use-areas" (dwellings, storage pits, living floors), and to investigate their spatial connection. In order to enable a representative sample for reconstructing social differences in settlement patterns, the object of research includes especially invisible structures that are rarely considered in archaeological research which still focuses primarily on monumental architecture. In order to find these features, the digital approach includes GIS analysis of satellite images and LiDAR data as well as geophysical investigation in two case studies, one of which is the archaeological site of Tzikin Tzakan in eastern Petén, Guatemala.


  • 2019–2022         Ph.D. in Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2016–2019         M.A. in Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2018                   Field Research Abroad, Petén, Guatemala
  • 2013–2016         B.A. in Ancient American Studies and Ethnology, University of Bonn, Germany

Academic Positions

  • 2019–present     Research Associate in Research Area B Embodied Dependencies, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2019                   Student Assistant for IT, Department of Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2017–2019         Student Assistant in the International Research Project "The Theologia Indorum:
                               A Critical Translation of Friar Domingo de Vico's Theology for and of the Maya", University of Bonn, Germany

Participation in Centers, Scientific Associations, Collaborative Projects

  • 2019–present     Member of the Editorial Committee of the Journal "The Mexicon: The Journal of Mesoamerican Studies"
  • 2019                   Organizational Committee of the International Conference "Future Today / Yesterday / Tomorrow:
                               Visions of Future(s) in the Americas"

Recent Publications 

  • The Impact of Forest Exploitation on the Vernacular House in Urban Spaces of the Classic Maya: A Geo-ethnobotanical Approach in Central-eastern Petén, Guatemala. In: British Archaeological Reports, paper submitted, forthcoming 2019.
  • Modelado digital GIS para la investigación etnoarqueológica de la distribución espacial de los recursos forestales en las ciudades mayas precolombinas del centro-este del Petén. In: XXXIII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 2019, C.d. Guatemala: Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, paper submitted, forthcoming 2019.
Document Actions