Research areas and topics
Michoacan, Tarascan, West Mexico
- Employment Sector: Academic
- Continents: North America, South America
- Regions: Andes, Mesoamerica, Northwest Mexico
- Materials: ceramics, ethnohistory
- Analytical Skills: aerial survey, Archival research, community outreach, remote sensing
- Research Topics: Anthropogenic change, climate change, colonialism, cultural enclaves, demography, economic history, gender, identity and power, inequality, migration, settlement patterns, social development, urbanization
- Nations: Chile, Mexico, Peru
Interest in Synthesis
I have carried out archaeological and ethnohistoric research in western Mexico since 1970. My research and teaching deals with two broad issues: human ecology and the emergence and evolution of social, political and economic inequality. Within the context of human ecology I focus on (1) human adaptation to environmental fluctuation and (2) the impact of humans on the environment in the context of the emergence and development of prehistoric states and empires. My studies of prehistoric states focuses on the emergence and evolution of social stratification, political centralization, and the political economies of archaic states and empires.
A strong believer of the comparative approach, I view collaboration of colleagues working on other societies and time periods as essential to evaluating meaningful processes of change and stability. The production of relevant data requires collaborators in many disciplines of the social and natural sciences and my projects have included historians, physical anthropologists, geologists, transport geographers, geomorphologists, paleoclimate specialists, etc.