Research Interests

My research focuses on culture change in the prehistoric American Southwest, primarily the Pueblo region of the Four Corners area, with an emphasis on demography, ritual, and social organization from approximately A.D. 800 to the present. My recent focus has been on the Chaco Canyon region of northwestern New Mexico, perhaps the most important center of the Pueblo world in the 11th and 12th centuries. In a cooperative effort with several other scholars and with the financial support of the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), we are creating an online digital archive ( for several of the key excavated sites in the Chaco region. Our target is the creation of an online analytical database that scholars can use to answer questions about culture change and organization in the region. My own research on Chaco addresses key aspects of organization, ritual and cosmology. Most recently, I'm examining variation in mortuary behavior in an effort to better understand much debated questions regarding demographic patterns, social differentiation, and the function of Chacoan great houses.

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Section 51: Anthropology