I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in May of 1939 and spent my formative years in that area. My interest in archaeology began with visits to the Milwaukee Public Museum as a child and with the reading of archaeological books from the local library in the suburb Wauwatosa, Wisconsin where we lived. Although my curiosity about archaeology continued during my years at Marquette University High School, I chose engineering as my major when I entered college in 1957. Quickly discovering that I was not suited for this field, I decided then and there to switch schools and to pursue a career in anthropology and archaeology.
I spent the following three years (1958-61) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where I studied under Robert Howard, James Silverberg, Victor Barnow and C. Loring Brace among others. During that time I obtained my first field training in archaeology at the University of Arizona's archaeological field school at Point of Pines. There, under the capable direction of Emil Haury and Raymond Thompson, I helped excavate a 13th century pueblo known as the Turkey Creek Ruin consisting o f 335 rooms and associated burials.
Back in Wisconsin, I volunteered my services as one of the first Student-Aides at the Milwaukee Public Museum in a program initiated by then director Stephan Borhegyi. Working closely with Lee Parsons and Robert Ritzenthaler in the Anthropology section, I helped with the cataloging of a newly acquired collection of Peruvian archaeological specimens donated by Malcolm Whyte. I owe my interest and eventual specialization in Peruvian archaeology to this chance encounter. I was particularly intrigued with the pottery from the south coast including Nasca and Paracas. Lee Parsons trained me in the essentials of Peruvian archaeology and encouraged me to continue my education in graduate school. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1961 and spent the summer doing contract archaeology at an Archaic Period site (the Price Site) at Boscobel in western Wisconsin under the direction of Joan Freeman and Donald Brockington of the Wisconsin Historical Society.
I was admitted to the Anthropology Graduate Program at the University of California-Berkeley in the fall of 1961. I chose Berkeley over several other schools because of the opportunity to work with John Howland Rowe, the leading Peruvian archaeologist of that period. Rowe invited me to assist him in Peru during the summer of 1963, and we worked both at Chavin in the northern highlands and in the Ica Valley on the south coast. I had the opportunity to visit many Nasca Period sites on the south coast and also traveled for the first time to Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Pucara, Puno, and Arequipa. Back in Berkeley I conducted research on the collections made by the German-born archaeologist Max Uhle, which were housed in the Lowie (now Phoebe Hearst) Museum. I also studied ceramics collected by Alfred Kroeber in 1926, located at the Field Museum in Chicago. In 1965, I completed my dissertation on "Local Differences and Time Differences in Nasca Pottery" in which I attempted a seriation of pottery from Phases 3 and 4 of the Nasca style from two different south coastal valleys and to use that data to interpret Nasca political organization.
During my years at Berkeley, I was taught and greatly influenced by John Rowe, J. Desmond Clark and John Graham in archeology; Sherwood Washburn and Theodore McCown in Physical Anthropology; Eugene Hammel, Gerald Berreman and Robert Murphy in Cultural Anthropology; and Dell Hymes in linguistics. Lawrence Dawson and Dorothy Menzel at the Lowie Museum also contributed greatly to my education and training but in a more informal manner. From Rowe I acquired a deep interest in cultural history, which continues to this day, as well as the more practical skills in analyzing material culture, especially ceramics. Many people, including Dawson, Parsons, Ritzenthaler, Menzel and Rowe, instilled in me a deep appreciation for primitive art, particularly Pre-Columbian art. My strong interest in iconographic analysis as a means of understanding ancient societies stems from this training. In my studies I also concentrated in the study of culture change, Old World Prehistory, South American Ethnology, and complex societies.
In 1965 I received my Ph.D. from Berkeley and began teaching at the
University of Massachusetts-Amherst where I remained for my entire
career. During that time I served as Chair of the Department of
Anthropology (1975-1978 and 1999-2000) and as Director of the
university's Latin American Studies Program (1980-1992) to name just a
few administrative duties. I taught the following courses over
In 2002, I retired from the University of Massachusetts after 38 years
of teaching. I continued to teach part-time for an additional year
which gave me time to clear out my office and gradually adapt to my new
lifestyle. Since then I have remained active, finishing my book on Nasca Ceramic iconography, and serving as a consultant for the Tokyo Broadcasting System which sponsored an exhibit on the Nasca culture that opened in Tokyo in 2006.
In 2005, while on a consulting trip to Peru, I was interviewed by Leonardo Garay, a native of San Jacinto in the Nepeña Valley about my previous archaeological research in that valley. This interview, with illustrations but in Spanish, can be viewed at: