David Walton

David Walton, Ph.D.

Museum research fellow

Email:[email protected]

Location: Dennis 025

About Me

I am here at Earlham via NEH grant to set up and operate a digitization and 3D scanning & printing laboratory that will assist me in reanalyzing the museum’s anthropology collection, comprised mostly of Native American artifacts from the eastern woodlands. With the help of student workers in the museum and students in my upcoming class in Native American Archaeology (Fall 2022), I aim to conduct scholarly research using the collection and help improve our local understanding of archaeology in Wayne County, IN.

My excavations and laboratory studies focus on investigating how humans create and negotiate intersecting domestic, ritual, and political economies in complex societies. I do this by employing a theoretical approach grounded in household archaeology and economic anthropology that studies ancient societies and artifact technologies from the microscale to the macroscale. I am a leading expert on stone tools and the method of high-magnification use-wear analysis, and my research has focused on sites in central Mexico including the ancient city of Teotihuacan since 2010. In the future, I hope to incorporate local site surveys and excavations in the US with the help of undergraduate students and community volunteers. I enjoy engaging with the public through live presentations, radio shows/podcasts, documentary films, and online publications. Check out my recent appearance as lead contributor and building expert for Lost Pyramids of the Aztecs (2020) on the Science Channel (Discovery Network) as well as an upcoming appearance on The UnXplained with William Shatner on the History Channel.

In my free time, I enjoy home renovation and interior design, my dog (Maya), Reds baseball, swimming, poker, video games, and traveling the world with my wife.


  • Ph.D. Archaeology, Boston University, 2017
  • B.A. Archaeology, The College of Wooster, 2009

Professional Memberships

  • Society for American Archaeology
  • Research Projects

Research Projects

Scholarly Interest

Mesoamerica, North America, Materials Analysis, Experimental Archaeology, Economic Anthropology, Social Inequalities, Household Archaeology, Lithic Technologies, Ritual Practices, and Archaeology in the Media

Published Works

Walton, David P.
2022 Stone Tool Functions, Household Activities, and Formative Lithic Economies in Northern Tlaxcala, Mexico. Ancient Mesoamerica. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0956536121000481.

Walton, David P.
2021 Bloodletting in Ancient Central Mexico: Using Lithic Analyses to Detect Changes in Ritual Practices and Local Ontologies. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 28: 274–306. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10816-020-09454-x.

Walton, David P.
2020 The Household Functions of Obsidian Tools from the Early-Middle Formative Village of Altica, Mexico. Ancient Mesoamerica. https://doi.org/10.1017/S095653612000005X.

Walton, David P.
2019 An Experimental Program for Obsidian Use-Wear Analysis in Central Mexican Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 26(3):895–942.

Walton, David P.
2017 Lithic Production and Consumption Patterns from the Great Platform at Late Postclassic Period (A.D. 1350-1525) Tzintzuntzan, Mexico. The Journal of Field Archaeology 42(2):97–114.

Walton, David P., and David M. Carballo
2016 The Domestic and Ritual Economies of Chipped-Stone Tools at La Laguna, Tlaxcala, Mexico. Ancient Mesoamerica 27(1):109–132.

Carballo, David M., Luis Barba, Agustín Ortíz, Jorge Blancas, Nicole Cingolani, Jorge Toledo Barrera, David Walton, Isabel Rodríguez López, and Lourdes Couoh
2014 Suprahousehold Consumption and Community Ritual at La Laguna, Mexico. Antiquity 88:141–159.