Gary Urton
Harvard Professor Gary Urton.
Credit: Harvard University

Harvard Professor Gary Urton is presenting the XLII Journal of Anthropological Research (JAR) Distinguished Lecture, “Writing the History of an ancient civilization without writing,” on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the UNM Anthropology Lecture Hall, room 163.

He will also host a specialized seminar at noon on Friday, Sept. 30 in Anthropology 248 on “Bean Counting in Tawantinsuyu: Accounting, Revenue & Surveillance in the Inka Empire.”

Both the lecture and seminar are free and open to the public.

Dr. Urton is Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Precolumbian Studies and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. He received his bachlor’s degree in History from the University of New Mexico in 1969 and  his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois in Ancient History and Anthropology respectively in 1971 and 1979.  

He is a specialist in the Precolumbian cultures of Andean South America, notably the Inka civilization and its system of record-keeping and message transmission—the knotted string khipus.

Urton is the author and editor of 18 books, monographs and exhibition catalogues and has published 69 journal articles and chapters in edited volumes, as well as numerous book reviews. He was a MacArthur Fellow in 2001-2005 and a Guggenheim Fellow in 2014-15.  He has conducted field and museum research in the Andean region and Europe since the 1970s.

The University of New Mexico is honored to host Urton as its first alumnus to be a JAR Distinguished Lecturer.

Founded by Professor Leslie Spier, the “Journal of Anthropological Research” has been published by the University of New Mexico since 1945 in the interest of general anthropology. It has been edited by the Leslie Spier Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Lawrence Straus, since 1995. For subscription information, visit www.journals.uchicago.edu/JAR

For information on the JAR Lecture series, call 505-277-4544.