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Wirt Wills

Director, Chaco Canyon Archaeological Research Lab; Interim Curator of Archaeology, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology

Photo: Wirt Wills


At UNM since 
Curriculum vitae

Recent Courses:

  • Introduction to Archaeological Method and Theory (ANTH 120)
  • World Prehistory (ANTH 220)
  • Southwest Archaeology (ANTH 321)
  • Field School (ANTH 375)
  • Seminar in Chaco Archaeology (ANTH 420/520)
  • Field Methods in Archaeology (ANTH 475/573L)
  • Current Debates in Archaeology (ANTH 579)


University of Michigan, Anthropology, MA 1980, PhD 1985
Dissertation: “Early Agriculture in the Mogollon Highlands of New Mexico”


Foraging and early farming societies, economic organization, religion and emergent social complexity, 19th-century Spanish colonial archaeology; US Southwest.

Recent Publications:

WH Wills, 2005. Economic Competition and Agricultural Involution in the Precontact North American Southwest. In V Scarborough, ed., A Catalyst for Idea: Anthropological Archaeology and the Legacy of Douglas W. Schwartz. School of American Research Press: Santa Fe, NM. pp. 41-68.

GR Milner and WH Wills, 2005. Chapter 18: Complex Societies of North America. In C Scarre, ed., The Human Past: World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies. Thames and Hudson: New York City, NY. pp. 678-715.

P Crown and WH Wills, 2003. Modifying Pottery and Kivas at Chaco: Pentimento, Restoration, or Renewal? American Antiquity 68: 511-32.

WH Wills, 2001. Ritual and Mound Formation during the Bonito Phase in Chaco Canyon. American Antiquity 66: 433-52.

WH Wills, 2001. Pithouse Architecture and the Economics of Household Formation in the Prehistoric Southwest. Human Ecology 29: 477-500.

WH Wills, 2000. Political Leadership and the Construction of Chacoan Great Houses, A.D. 1020-1140. In B. J. Mills, ed., Alternative Leadership Strategies in the Prehistoric Southwest. University of Arizona Press: Tucson, AZ. pp. 19-44.