Jeffrey Vadala

Research Associate (off-site)jeffrey-valada

Jeffrey R. Vadala holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology (University of Florida 2016), an M.A. with a focus in Archaeology (California State University Los Angeles 2009), and a Bachelor of Science (University of California Riverside 2005). While working at H.R.A.F., Jeffrey Vadala is also working on a variety of archaeological and anthropological research projects. One of his current research projects focuses on developing new forms of virtual reality ethnography. This entails anthropologically exploring the social processes that create cybernetic identities and new forms of social organization within burgeoning virtual reality online communities. In addition to socio-cultural anthropological research, Jeffrey Vadala is also a principal investigator of a digital archaeological project centered at the Egyptian temple site of Behbeit El-Hagara. To study this temple associated with the Goddess Isis and the Osirian mysteries, Vadala is using and developing a diverse array of virtual reality analytical tools and 3D spatial analyses methods. The new digital archaeological tools and methods developed in this project will greatly aide his team in characterizing how the temple’s ritual spaces operated and created social divisions. This should provide insights into the highly secretive, mysterious, and poorly understood Osirian mysteries.

Prior to joining HRAF, Jeffrey Vadala studied ancient Maya sites in the Yucatan and Northern Belize. At the site of Cerro Maya (formerly known as Cerros Belize), Jeffrey Vadala’s research used virtual reality analytical methods, Bayesian statistical modeling, assemblage theory and new sociological theory to characterize the development of early Maya material practices, architectural calendar systems, and social orders.

Beyond research, Jeffrey Vadala has used virtual reality as a teaching tool to bring students (Hampshire College, University of Florida, Stetson University, The College of New Jersey) to ancient sites while allowing them to explore and create their own spatial analytical theories regarding the usage of ancient space and metaphysical beliefs.

Videos and more at

Selected Publications

Vadala, Jeffrey and Susan Milbrath, 2016. “Using Virtual Reality to Explore the Emergence of Astronomical Knowledge at the Preclassic site of Cerros Belize.” In The Journal of Skyscape Archaeology 2(1):25-44, 2016.
Vadala, Jeffrey and Susan Milbrath, 2014. “Astronomy, Landscape, and Ideological Transmissions at the Coastal Maya Site of Cerros Belize.” In The Journal of Caribbean Archaeology Vol. 14 pp. 1-21.