Parker Vanvalkenburgh

Interim Director, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Associate Professor of Anthropology
59 Charlesfield Street, Room 202
Areas of Expertise Energy & Environment, Political Economy, Race, Identity & Ethnicity
Areas of Interest Political landscapes, colonialism, Indigeneity, digital methods, geographic information systems, historical arhcaoelogy, Andes


Parker VanValkenburgh (Associate Professor of Anthropology) grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and studied anthropology, Latin American Studies and archaeology at Stanford, Cambridge, the University of London, and Harvard. He has conducted archaeological research in Peru for over 20 years and currently co-directs three major research projects -- the Geospatial Platform in Andean Culture, History and Archaeology (with Steven Wernke); Mapping Historical Trauma in Tulsa (with Alicia Odewale); and Paisajes Arqueológicos de Chachapoyas (with Carol Rojas Vega), as well as the Digital Archaeology Laboratory at Brown.


My research employs archaeological and historical methods to address anthropological research questions, with a particular focus on the long-term impacts of colonialism on Indigenous people and environments in the Peruvian Andes. Through the study of diverse materials and media––including architecture, ceramics, environmental datasets, and archival documents––I seek to understand how relationships between people, institutions, and environments are transformed in the course of colonial histories, as well as how the strategies of survival that people develop in the course of those histories are passed down and reworked across generations. Digital methods, including tools provided by Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial analysis, are central to my research, and I have a particular interest in critical approaches that are informed by scholarship in Science and Technology Studies.


Plekhov, Daniel; Parker Valkenburgh; Carol Rojas; Alexis Reátegui Diaz. 2024. "Is Terraced Agriculture Sustainable?: A View from the Middle Utcubamba Valley, Peru. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 16(7): 102.

Shadik, Courtney R, Mark B Bush, Bryan G Valencia, Angela Rozas-Davila, Daniel Plekhov, Robert D. Breininger, Claire Davin, Lindsay Benko, Larry C Peterson, Parker VanValkenburgh. 2024. "The Evolution of Agrarian Landscapes in the Tropical Andes." Plants Plants 13(7), 1019.

Ghezzi, I., Kosciuk, J., Church, W., VanValkenburgh, P. et al. 2024. "Assessing Conservation Conditions at La Fortaleza De Kuelap, Peru Based on Integrated Close-Range Remote Sensing and Near-Surface Geophysics." Remote Sensing 16(6): 1053.

Sales, Rachel; ... Parker VanValkenburgh; and Mark B. Bush. 2024. "Wet and Dry Events Influenced Colonization of an Andean Montane Forest. Quaternary Science Reviews 327: 108518.

Wernke, Steven A; Parker VanValkenburgh; et al. 2024. “Large-scale, collaborative imagery survey in archaeology: the Geospatial Platform for Andean Culture, History and Archaeology (GeoPACHA)" Antiquity 98(397): 155-171. ): 155–171.

Morrow, Giles S; Steven A. Wernke; Parker VanValkenburgh; Christopher Wai. 2024 . “Augmenting field data with archaeological imagery survey: mapping hilltop fortifications on the north coast of Peru" Antiquity 98(397): 193-210. 7): 193–210

Zimmer-Dauphinee, James; Parker VanValkenburgh and Steven A. Wernke. 2024. “Eyes of the Machine: Building Toward AI-assisted Satellite Archeological Survey in the Andes.” Antiquity 98 (397): 245–259.

Whitlock, Bethany; Parker VanValkenburgh; and Steven A. Wernke.2024. “Managing pastoral landscapes: Using virtual survey to examine herding infrastructure and production strategies in Huancavelica, Peru.” Antiquity 8 (397): 229–244.

Marcone, Giancarlo; Steven A Wernke; James Zimmer-Dauphinee; Parker VanValkenburgh and Justin Moat. 2024. “Lomas in the mist: Late pre-Hispanic Fog oasis settlements and the long-term human occupations on the Peruvian Central Coast from satellite imagery” Antiquity 98(397): 211 - 228.


Anthropology 0500: Past Forward - Introducing Anthropological Archaeology

Anthropology 1201: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis

Anthropology 1505: Vertical Civilization: South American Archaeology from Monte Verde to the Inkas

Anthropology 2201: Archaeology in the Digital Age

Anthropology 2202: Advanced GIS and Spatial Analysis

Anthropology 2402/HMAN2402B: Empire: Global Perspectives

Anthropology 2501: Principles of Archaeology Anthropology 2590: Space, Power, Politics

HMAN 1973J: How to do things with Maps: Cartography, Power, and Political Imagination, from Gilgamesh to Google