Latin American Archaeology

Laguna Umayo

Latin American archaeology at Pitt focuses most heavily on precolombian complex societies, including their full range from the very beginnings of social hierarchy and regional integration to the extensive Aztec and Inka empires. Research includes the establishment, in mobile and early sedentary societies, of the kinds of social relationships upon which such developments were built. The emphasis is on a broad comparative vision encompassing not only Latin America but the rest of the world as well, solidly grounded in the intensive regional specializations that make primary archaeological research possible. Providing opportunities for graduate study to students from Latin America is a high priority. Here are examples of current students in the graduate program and their archaeological research.

Core Faculty 

Elizabeth Arkush (PhD, University of California, Los Angeles): 
Conflict, violence, and warfare, pre-Hispanic political identity and political organization, settlement patterns and fortifications, Geographic Information Systems and spatial analysis. Current research: Peru.

Marc Berman (PhD, University of Michigan)
Prehistoric states, political organization and worldview, household archaeology. Current research: Bolivia, Peru

Olivier de Montmollin (PhD, University of Michigan)
Ancient political systems, urban life, cosmology, settlement patterns, and iterdisciplinary approaches to the Maya. Current research: Mexico.

Robert Drennan (PhD, University of Michigan)
Ancient China, pastoral societies, societal evolution, state formation, material culture, 
nomads, frontiers. Current research: China, Colombia.

Related Faculty & Scholars

Mark Abbott, Professor, Geology: Peruvian Andes 
Maria-Auxiliadora Cordero, Research Associate, Anthropology: Ecuador
Gonzalo Lamana, Associate Professor, Hispanic Languages & Literatures: Peru
Alexander Martín, Research Associate, Center for Comparative Archaeology: Ecuador
Kathleen Musante, Professor, Anthropology: Ecuadorian Amazon 
Richard Scaglion, Professor Emeritus, Anthropology: Ecuador and the Pacific 
Emily Wanderer, Assistant Professor, Anthropology: Mexico 

Selected Course Offerings

Origins of Cities 
South American Archaeology
Andean Archaeology 
Chiefdoms
Mesoamerica before Cortez
Ancient States in the New World
Maya Resistance

Latin American Studies Program

Designated a National Resource Center by the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for Latin American Studies coordinates the activities of more than 50 Pitt faculty members active in Latin America and the Caribbean. This program offers archeology students a certificate program in Latin American Studies, fellowships for international exchange, field research, and travel to professional meetings.

Center for Comparative Archaeology

To further our goals, the newly formed Center for Comparative Archaeology at the University of Pittsburgh fosters broad comparative study on the dynamics of long-term human social change through an open access archaeological database and a visiting scholar program.