Latin American Studies

Ken Hirth

Ken Hirth
Professor of Anthropology


PhD, Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1974
BBA, Marketing, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1971
MA, Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1972


Dr. Hirth's research focuses on the orgin and development of ranked and state-level societies in the New World. He is especially interested in political economy and how forms of resource control lead to the development of structural inequalities within society. Topics of special interest include: exchange systems, craft production, settlement pattern studies, and preindustrial urbanism. Methodological interests include: lithic technology, ceramics, spatial analysis, and lithic use-wear.

Courses Taught:

  • ANTH 008 Aztecs, Mayas, and Incas
  • ANTH 009 Rise of Civilization in the Old World
  • ANTH 422 Meso-American Archaeology and Ethnography
  • ANTH 426W Archaeological Laboratory Analysis
  • ANTH 451 Economic Anthropology
  • ANTH 456 Cultural Ecology
  • ANTH 508 Research Problems in Cultural History
  • ANTH 588 Method and Theory in Archaeology

Recent Publications:

  • 2006 Obsidian Craft Production in Ancient Central Mexico. The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 2006 Cybertools and Archaeology, Science 311:958-959 (D. Snow, M. Gahegan, C. L. Giles, K. Hirth, G. Milner, P. Mitra, J. Wang)
  • 2003 Mesoamerican Lithic Technology: Experimentation and Interpretation, Edited by Kenneth Hirth, The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
  • 2002 Pathways to Prismatic Blades. Studies in Mesoamerican Lithic Technology, Edited by Kenneth Hirth and Bradford Andrews. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles. (Book)
  • 2000 Ancient Urbanism at Xochicalco. The Evolution and Organization of a Prehispanic Society. Volumes 1 and 2. The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City
  • Archaeological Research at Xochicalco Volume 1.  The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
  • 2000 The Xochicalco Mapping Project. Archaeological Research at Xochicalco Volume 2, Edited by Kenneth Hirth. The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. (Book)
  • 1998 The Distributional Approach: A New Way to Identify Market Behavior Using Archaeological Data.  Current Anthropology 39:451-476 (with CA comment).
  • 1996 Politial Economy and Archaeology: Perspectives on Exchange and Production, Journal of Archaeological Research 4:203-239.
  • 1993 Household, Compound, and Residence: Studies of Prehispanic Domestic Units in Western  Mesoamerica.
Ken Hirth