skip to content

Javier Urcid

Brandeis University
Department of Anthropology
P.O. Box 549110, MS 006
Waltham, MA 02454
(781) 736-2223

Associate Professor in Anthropology
Chair of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program

Javier Urcid is an anthropological archaeologist interested in how symbolic systems, including scribal traditions and other forms of material culture, integrated social practices in ancient Mesoamerican cultures. Other interests center on archaeological approaches to political economies and on bio-archeology, particularly work on the social dimensions of mortuary practices and cultural/ritual modifications of human bones. His experience on forensic approaches to the study of human skeletal remains includes the analysis of large burial series from several archaeological sites in the central valleys of Oaxaca, of some 3,000 sets of remains targeted for repatriation formerly housed in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., and of burial series curated in the Harvard Peabody Museum.

Selected Publications

(In press) Michael Lind and Javier Urcid. The Lords of Lambityeco and the Collapse of Monte Albán: Political Evolution in the Valley of Oaxaca during the Xoo Phase (650-850 CE). Boulder: University Press of Colorado.

2008 Social Landscapes and Political Dynamics in the Southern Gulf Coast Lowlands (500-1000 CE). In Classic Veracruz: Cultural Currents in the Ancient Gulf Lowlands, Philip J. Arnold III and Christopher A. Pool (Eds.), pp. 259-291. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks.

2001 Zapotec Hieroglyphic Writing. Studies in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology, No. 34. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks.

1994 Cannibalism and Curated Skulls: Bone Ritualism at Kodiak Island, Alaska. In Reckoning with the Dead: Larsen Bay and the Smithsonian Institution, Tamara Bray and Thomas Killion (Eds.), pp. 101-121. Washington D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press.