Staff Spotlight

Dr. Susan Milbrath

Susan Milbrath portraitCurator of Latin American Art and Archaeology
110 Dickinson Hall
Museum Road & Newell Drive
GainesvilleFL 32611



Ph.D. Columbia University, 1975

Complete Curriculum Vitae


Concurrent Appointments

Affiliate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, July 1996-present. Appointed to the Graduate Research faculty July 1999.


Research Interests

My long-term research on the Mesoamerican worldview has demonstrated links between astronomy and seasonal ceremonies, resulting in the identification of a number of important religious images related to astronomy. My most recent research focuses on the Codex Borgia, an extraordinary Precolumbian masterpiece with unique data about seasonal festival cycles and the cycle of maize. Since 1999, I have conducted research on the archaeology and ethnohistory of Mayapán, the last Maya capital in Mexico. This site provides an ideal opportunity to study the interface between the archaeological data and the historical records of the early colonial period. Mayapán is described in a number of Spanish accounts, as well as native accounts written by the Yucatec Maya after Spanish contact. Research conducted with my colleagues, Anthony Aveni of Colgate University and Carlos Peraza Lope of Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, demonstrates that two of Mayapan's buildings replicate astronomically oriented buildings at Chichen Itza, Mexico's most famous Maya site. Another component of my research on this site focuses on effigy incense burners, a form of ceramics that developed as early as AD 1300 at Mayapán. They represent a new form of ceremonial practice that spread as far south as Belize and the Petén of Guatemala, two areas well represented in our museum's Latin American collection.


Courses Taught

Painted Books of Ancient Mexico, 1999-present
Maya Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, 2000-present



For a full list, please see complete Curriculum Vitae