Assistant Professor

Sarah Newman, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, received her B.A. in Archaeological Studies from Yale University (2007) and her M.A. (2011) and Ph.D. (2015) in Anthropology from Brown University. Prior to her appointment at UVM, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Wesleyan University (2015-2016) and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at James Madison University (2016-2018), where she was awarded the School of Liberal Arts Alumni Legacy Fund Award for her teaching and research.

Dr. Newman is an anthropological archaeologist specializing in Mesoamerica, with a particular focus on the ancient Maya. Her research examines multiple forms of human-environmental interaction, including monumental anthropogenic landscapes, changes in the cultural and historical constructions of the concept of “waste”, and the nature of human-animal relationships. Her scholarship and teaching interests cut across anthropology’s subdisciplines by incorporating archaeological excavations, the study of human and animal skeletal remains, and archival research

Research and/or Creative Works


Dr. Newman has published a variety of articles and book chapters on various aspects of her work, including “Rubbish, Reuse, and Ritual at the Ancient Maya Site of El Zotz, Guatemala” in Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, “Sharks in the Jungle: Real and Imagined Sea Monsters of the Maya” in Antiquity, “Applications of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) to the Study of Bone Surface Modifications” in Journal of Archaeological Science, and “The Limits of ‘Palimpsest': Architectural Ruins, Reuse, and Remodeling Among the Ancient Maya” in Palimpsests: Buildings, Sites, Time (Brepols, 2016). She is also co-author (with Stephen Houston, Edwin Román, and Thomas Garrison) of the book Temple of the Night Sun: A Royal Tomb at El Diablo, Guatemala (Precolumbia Mesoweb Press, 2015).

Awards and Recognition

Associations and Affiliations

Her work has been supported by several grants and fellowships, including the US Department of State Fulbright Program, the National Science Foundation, the Tinker Foundation, the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Foundation, the John Carter Brown Library, and, most recently, a Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research to complete her book manuscript, Talking Trash: A History of Waste in Mesoamerica.

Sarah Newman Assistan Professor of Anthropology

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Archaeology; zooarchaeology;  ethnohistory;  human-environmental interaction; waste, refuse, and reuse; human-animal relationships;


  • Ph.D. Brown University 2015
  • M.A Brown University
  • B.A. Yale University


Office Location:

501 C Williams Hall

Office Hours:

T 12:00-2:00, or by appointment

Courses Taught