UCF Expert: Diane Chase

Dr. Diane Z. Chase, executive vice provost for Academic Affairs and a Pegasus Professor, specializes in anthropological archaeology with a primary research focus on the ancient Maya of Central America.

For the last quarter century, Chase and her husband, UCF Anthropology colleague Dr. Arlen Chase, have co-directed excavations at Caracol, Belize. They previously worked on a seven-year project at Santa Rita Corozal, Belize. The Chases’ investigations of the ancient Maya are internationally recognized in the field of archaeology. Their research has greatly improved the knowledge of Maya civilization and has served as the foundation for work by many other scholars.

Their work was featured in a May 2010 cover story in the New York Times’ science section. This research, a collaboration with UCF biology professor John Weishampel, involved using LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) equipment to bounce laser beams to sensors on the ground, allowing the research team to produce the equivalent of 25 years worth of data on the Maya in just four days.

Diane Chase’s primary areas of research include: archaeological method and theory in the Maya area with an emphasis on the rise and fall of complex societies; osteological and mortuary analyses; and, ethnohistory.

Arlen and Diane Chase are working on a book entitled “Maya Archaeology: Reconstructing an Ancient Civilization.” Diane Chase is the author of more than 100 publications. The Chases also serve as the Maya Studies series editors for the University Press of Florida.

A UCF professor since 1984, Diane Chase has taught a variety of Anthropology courses, including: The Human Species, The Archaeology of Complex Societies, Mortuary Archaeology, Problems in Maya Archaeology, and field courses in Belize. She has served as a guest curator at the Orlando Museum of Art and has been working in the UCF administration for the last ten years.

Diane Chase received her Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982 based on archaeological investigations she directed in northern Belize.

For more information, please click here.

Comments are closed.