University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Ashmore, Wendy, Ph.D.

Wendy Ashmore, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Riverside
Date appointed: 1997

Wendy Ashmore earned her Ph.D. in 1981 from the University of Pennsylvania. She taught in the Anthropology Department at Penn, and was appointed as a Kolb Society Senior Fellow in 1997. Currently she is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. In 1998 she received the Elizabeth Bingham Award from the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), Philadelphia. She also garnered the 2002 President’s Service Award from the American Anthropological Association.

Wendy Ashmore’s area of specialization is Mesoamerica and the Maya culture. She has conducted archaeological fieldwork at the sites of Copán (Guatemala), Gualjoquito (Honduras), and Xunantunich (Belize), here in collaboration with Senior Fellow Richard Leventhal. Her research centers on the social use and understanding of space, and has dealt with the architecture and settlement patterns of the ancient Maya and neighboring peoples since the mid-1970s. Her consideration of the social and symbolic aspects of spatial organization has been expressed in the archaeology of households, the analysis of civic planning in cities and towns, and the study of ancient landscapes. Most recently, she has turned attention to how gender affects and is affected by architecture and other kinds of spatial order.

Wendy Ashmore has written numerous articles and authored, edited, or co-edited several books including: Lowland Maya Settlement Patterns (1981); Household and Community in the Mesoamerican Past (University of New Mexico Press, 1988); Archaeologies of Landscape: Contemporary Perspectives (Blackwell Publishers, Ltd., 1999); Integrating the Diversity of 21st-Century Anthropology: The Life and Intellectual Legacies of Susan Kent (2006); Settlement Archaeology at Quiriguá, Guatemala (2007); Discovering Our Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology, 5th ed. (with Emeritus Fellow, Robert J. Sharer, 2009); and Voices in American Archaeology (2010). She is currently developing monograph reports on Gualjoquito and Copan, both in Honduras, as well as a book on social meanings of space among the ancient Maya and their neighbors. She continues writing and lecturing on ancient civic planning, on social memory at Quiriguá and Gualjoquito, on social and political contexts of Xunantunich, Belize, and on gender in landscapes.


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