Richard M. Leventhal, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Anthropology
Curator in the American Section, University of Pennsylvania Museum
Director of the Penn Cultural Heritage Center
Date appointed: 2004
Richard Leventhal is an archaeologist who has worked extensively in Mesoamerica. Most recently, he has focused upon issues that connect archaeology, cultural heritage, and community development. He is currently working on several field projects in Mexico, Belize, and other countries throughout the world.
Prof. Levanthal is the founder and director of the Penn Cultural Heritage Center. Its mission is to preserve and promote cultural heritage at the community level. The center has several national and international projects, and sponsors events and educational programs. He lectures and writes on the topics of preservation of cultural properties and cultural sites, the prevention of the looting of global heritage resources, and the acquisition policies of museums. He recently co-authored with Fellow Justin Leidwanger, as well as E.S. Greene and B.I. Daniels, an article entitled "Mare Nostrum? Ethics and Archaeology in Mediterranean Waters" in AJA 115.2 (2011).
Prof. Leventhal teaches in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and he is Curator in the American Section of the Penn Museum. He is also the former Williams Director of the Penn Museum.
Prof. Leventhal graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Anthropology and received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University in 1979. He was the President and CEO of the School of American Research in Santa Fe from 2001–2004. He served as Director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, where he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UCLA from 1993 to 2001. Prior to that he was the Director of the Institute for Mesoamerican Studies at SUNY-Albany. His research interests include Mesoamerica, complex societies, archaeological theory and method, and the intellectual history of archaeology in the United States. He has directed many excavations and research projects that focus on the civilization and culture of the ancient Maya, and conducted archaeological field research in Belize, Mexico, and other parts of Central America for over thirty years. He has consulted or curated at the National Museum of Belize, the Boston Museum of Science, and the Peabody Museum and Fogg Museum at Harvard. His research has resulted in numerous monographs, books, reports, and articles. He has co-edited: Civilization in the Ancient Americas: Essays in Honor of Gordon R. Willey, Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, 1983; Ceramics and Artifacts from Excavations in the Copan Residential Zone, Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, 1995; Theory and Practice in Mediterranean Archaeology: Old World and New World Perspectives, Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, 2003.