Keith Malcolm Prufer
Department of Anthropology
University of New Mexico

University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87106








This page is under construction.  If you are a prospective student looking to work with me or my lab at the Center for Stable Isotopes please reach out to me before applying for admission. 


My areas of interest are in the growth and decline of complex social and political systems in the archaeological past.  Recent projects focus on human responses to environmental change, landscape evolution, paleoclimate reconstruction, political economy, human uses of caves, and spatial analysis. Most of my research focuses on Mesoamerica and specifically in the Maya Lowlands.  My current research is focused on human ecology of hunters and gatherers in the Maya Lowlands between 14,000-3,500 years ago.  This is a new project begun in 2014. 

My recent projects involved looking at how complex polities colonize landscapes and collaborative research into the development of social formation using models from behavioral ecology including human-climate-landscape interactions.

My teaching interests are in archaeology of the development of social complexity with a focus on critical periods of behavioral change.  While I am primarily an archaeologist I was trained as a four-field anthropologist.  I strongly favor interdisciplinary approaches in both teaching and research, and reaching across disciplines to engage in collaborative transdisciplinary research. 

For more on my research, click on RESEARCH LAB or CURRENT PROJECTS

For information on student research opportunities on my projects

For a list of publications and recent presentations, see Publications & Presentations

To read an extensive review of my two books on Mesoamerican cave use in the archaeological past and the ethnographic present Click Here