Keith Malcolm Prufer
Department of Anthropology
University of New Mexico

University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87106








My areas of interest are in the growth and decline of complex social and political systems, 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. 

Two of my recent projects involved looking at how complex polities colonize vacant landscapes and collaborative research into the development of behavioral ecology models of human-climate-landscape interactions for complex political and economic systems.

My teaching interests are in archaeology of complex societies, primarily Mesoamerica, social theory, and human behavioral ecology.  While I am primarily an archaeologist I was trained as a four-field anthropologist.  I strongly favor cross-field approaches in both teaching and research, and reaching across disciplines to engage in collaborative transdisciplinary research. 

I am also interested in the history of anthropology, anthropology and public discourse, and bridging the sub-disciplines.  I am a strong believer in the role of outreach in archaeology and in particular the reflexive responsibility of archaeology to communities in the promotion of heritage and ecological conservation initiatives.

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