Sharer, Robert J., Ph.D.
Robert J. Sharer, Ph.D. †
Emeritus Shoemaker Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania
Curator Emeritus, American Section, University of Pennsylvania Museum
Date appointed: 1995
Robert J. Sharer, who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. He became a Senior Fellow of the Kolb Society of Fellows as a Professor of Anthropology in 1996 and then an Emeritus Fellow when he became Emeritus Shoemaker Professor of Anthropology at Penn, and Emeritus Curator of the American Section at the Penn Museum until his death in 2012. For over forty years he conducted archaeological research in Central America, investigating the origins and development of ancient Maya states, during which he directed four long-term archaeological projects for the Penn Museum at Chalchuapa, El Salvador, in the Verapaz highlands of Guatemala, at Quirigua, Guatemala, and at Copan, Honduras. He served as a member of the Executive Board of the Society for American Archaeology and as a Senior Fellow in Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC. He was elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Society of Antiquaries of London.
In addition to numerous articles and edited book chapters, Prof. Sharer published several monographs reporting the results of his archaeological research, and co-authored two archaeology textbooks. In 2004 he co-edited Understanding Early Classic Copan with two of his former graduate students (Fellow Ellen Bell and Marcello A. Canuto), reporting the major findings of his Copan research. Most recently he published a second edition of his Daily Life in Maya Civilization (2009) and his third edition of the standard sourcebook on Maya civilization, The Ancient Maya, written with his wife and archaeological colleague, Dr. Loa Traxler, which was published in 2006.