Timothy Earle Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus and former Chair of Anthropology, Northwestern University, where in 1995 he was hired to reorganize its Department. Previously, he was Professor of Anthropology, UCLA and served as Director of the Institute of Archaeology. He earned his BA in Anthropology at Harvard College and PhD in Anthropology at University of Michigan. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Society of Antiquaries, and the Society of American Archaeology. He served as President of the Archaeology Division of the American Anthropological Society. Awards include the Felix Neubergh Prize (Gothenburg University) and the Society for American Archaeology Lifetime Achievement Award.

Research Interests

Dr. Earle’s research seeks to understand cross culturally reasons and means by which humans developed political organizations of increasing scales. His work is synthesized in three books: How Chiefs Come to Power (1997), Evolution of Human Societies (2000, with Allen Johnson), and A Primer on Chiefs and Chiefdoms (2020). His archaeological field research was conducted in Hawaii, the Andes (Peru and Argentina), and Europe (Denmark and Hungary). He is dedicated to Anthropology as a four-field, integrated discipline, for which he strove as active member of the American Anthropological Association. He is committed to major archaeological field research, very much as a Social Science with rich diachronic evidence for the evolution of human societies. His focus is on subsistence and political economies as material bases for social formations.

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Primary Section

Section 51: Anthropology