Annabeth Headrick at Chichen Itza

Annabeth Headrick

Associate Professor; Director, School of Art & Art History

Art History—Precolumbian

  • Faculty

What I do

Director, School of Art and Art History, Associate Professor of Ancient American Art


Mesoamerican Art, Andean Art, Native American Art, Ancient American Art, Iconographic Analysis, Socio-political structures of the Ancient Americas

Professional Biography

Annabeth Headrick specializes in the art of Ancient American cultures of North, Central, and South America. Her courses include Art of the Maya, Mesoamerican Art, Native North American Art, and Art of the Andes. She also teaches seminars on gender, ceramics, and the codices in the Ancient Americas as well as courses on contemporary Native North American art and art and the environment. Her research and her courses incorporate art, architecture, anthropology, and archaeology in a synthetic and comprehensive way. She is the author of The Teotihuacan Trinity: the Sociopolitical Structure of an Ancient Mesoamerican City and her other publications consider ancestors, deities, and ritual in Mesoamerica. Her current work continues with issues surrounding Teotihuacan as well as the city of Chichén Itzá.


  • Ph.D., Art History, The University of Texas, Austin, 1996
  • MA, Art History, University of Texas, Austin, 1991
  • BA, History and Political Science, Colorado College, 1985

Professional Affiliations

  • College Art Association
  • Society for American Archaeology
  • Association for Latin American Art

Featured Publications

Headrick, A. (2007). The Teotihuacan Trinity: The Sociopolitical Structure of an Ancient Mesoamerican City. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
Headrick, A., & Hoopes, J. W. (2022). Foreign Encounters: Warfare, Trade, and Status at Chichen Itza. In G. A. Braswell (Ed.), 3,000 Years of War and Peace in the Maya Lowlands: Identity, Politics, and Violence. Abington, UK: Routledge.
Headrick, A. (2022). Sacrifice and the Sun: The Aztec Calendar Stone and Its Origins. In J. G. Stauffer, B. T. Giles, & S. P. Lambert (Eds.), Archaeologies of Cosmoscapes in the Americas. Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books.
Headrick, A. (2020). Empire at Chichén Itzá Revisited. In T. W. Stanton & M. K. Brown (Eds.), A Forest of History: The Maya After the Emergence of Divine Kingship (pp. 187-203). Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.
Headrick, A. (2018). The Osario of Chichen Itza: Where Warriors Danced in Paradise. In L. Wren, K. Spencer, C. Kristan-Graham, & T. Nygard (Eds.), Landscapes of the Itza: Archaeology and Art History at Chichen Itza and Neighboring Sites (pp. 198-225). Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press.
Headrick, A. (2003). Butterfly War at Teotihuacan. In M. K. Brown & T. Stanton (Eds.), Ancient Mesoamerican Warfare (pp. 149-170). Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
Headrick, A. (2002). Gardening with the Great Goddess at Teotihuacan. In A. Stone (Ed.), Heart of Creation: The Mesoamerican World and the Legacy of Linda Schele (pp. 83-100). Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press.
Headrick, A. (2003). Seeing Trough Sahagun: Observations on a Mesoamerican Staff of Office. Mesoamerican Voices, 1, 23-40.
Headrick, A. (2004). The Quadripartite Motif and the Centralization of Power. Monumenta Archaeologica 22, UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. Ritual, Work,, And Family In An Ancient Maya Village, 367-378.
Headrick, A. (1999). The Street of the Dead..It Really Was: Mortuary Bundles at Teotihuacan. Ancient Mesoamerica, 10, 69-85.


Headrick, A. (2022). Accoutrement Portraiture at Teotihuacan: Whose Portrait Is It Anyway?. 87th Annual Conference of the Society for American Archaeology. Chicago, IL: Society for American Archaeology.
Headrick, A. (2019). A Royal Portrait at Chichen Itza? Central Mexican Emblems of Authority in the Northern Maya Region. 84th Annual Meeting . Albuquerque, NM: Society for American Archaeology.
Headrick, A. (2019). What You Can Do When the Boys Bring Home the Gold: The Effects of Trade At Chichen Itza. 19th Annual Mayer Symposium: El Mar Caribe: The American Mediterranean. Denver, Colorado: Denver Art Museum.
Headrick, A. (2018). Out of Clay and into Stone: The Emergence of Warriors at Chichen Itza. 83rd Annual Conference of the Society of American Archaeology. Washington, D.C. : Society for American Archaeology.
Headrick, A. (2017). Gold, Turquoise, and Feathers: How the Merchant-Warriors of Chichen Itza Sported the New Bling. Twenty-Eighth Annual Elizabeth and Lewis K. Land Memorial Lecture. deYoung Museum, San Francisco: Friends of Ethnic Arts.
Headrick, A. (2017). Butterflies Take Wing: Ritual and Symbolism in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. 82nd Annual Conference of the Society for American Archaeology. Vancouver, Canada: Society for American Archaeology.
Headrick, A. (2017). Quetzalcoatl and His Mountain: the Origins of a Mesoamerican Paradigm for Political Power. International Symposium on the Sociopolitical Organization of Teotihuacan. San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico.
Headrick, A. (2015). Empire at Chichen Itza Revisited. 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. San Francisco, CA: Society for American Archaeology.


  • Association for Latin American Annual Book Award, Association for Latin American Art