Gregson Schachner

Professor, Department of Anthropology

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Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2007

Areas of Interest

North American archaeology; population movement; origins of villages and leadership in agricultural societies; settlement systems and analysis; ceramic analysis; social context of archaeological practice; American Southwest


My research focuses on transformations in leadership and social structure in ancient farming societies.

These changes provided the foundation for many social, political, and economic innovations during subsequent eras. My work draws upon multiple lines of evidence to understand the historical context of ancient social actions. I am especially interested in how individuals and groups exploited specific events, such as migration and climate change, to transform social structures. I have explored how ancient Pueblo leaders transformed ritual practices, household organization, and village economies to bolster their social position and change the organization of early villages. I have also examined the origins of composite social identities that unified migrant and native populations following migration events. Finally, I have assessed changes in local settlement systems and their relationship to regional demographic and social transformations. This research draws upon my field experiences in a wide variety of regions in the American Southwest, including the Cibola, Mesa Verde, Hohokam, and Mimbres areas.



Wesley Bernardini, Stewart B. Koyiyumptewa, Gregson Schachner, and Leigh Kuwanwisiwma (editors)
2021 Becoming Hopi: A History. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Gregson Schachner
2012 Population Circulation and the Transformation of Ancient Zuni Communities. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Richard H. Wilshusen, Gregson Schachner, and James R. Allison (editors)
2012 Crucible of Pueblos: The Early Pueblo Period in the Northern Southwest. Monograph 71. UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, Los Angeles.

Recent Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Wesley Bernardini and Gregson Schachner
2022 The Bonito Factor: How Unique was Pueblo Bonito? Kiva 88(4): 375-407.

R. J. Sinensky, Gregson Schachner, Richard H. Wilshusen, and Brian N. Damiata
2022 Sixth-Century Volcanic Climate Forcing, Extreme Cold, and the Neolithic Transition in the Northern US Southwest. Antiquity,96(385): 123-141.

Matthew A. Peeples and Gregson Schachner
2022 Building Pueblo Communities from Scratch. In Linda Cordell: Innovating Southwest Archaeology, edited by Maxine E. McBrinn and Deborah L. Huntley, pp. 65-73. Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe.

Richard G. Lesure, R. J. Sinensky, Gregson Schachner, Thomas Wake, and Katelyn J. Bishop
2021 Large-Scale Patterns in the Agricultural Demographic Transition of Mesoamerica and Southwestern North America. American Antiquity 86(3): 593-612.

R. J. Sinensky and Gregson Schachner
2019 Early Pueblo Period Population Aggregation and Dispersal in the Petrified Forest Region, East-Central Arizona. Kiva 85: 49-80.

Wesley Bernardini and Gregson Schachner
2018 Comparing Near Eastern Neolithic Megasites and Southwestern Pueblos: Population Size, Exceptionalism, and Historical Trajectories. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 28: 647-663.

Gregson Schachner
2018 Forging New Intellectual Genealogies in Southwest Archaeology. In Footprints of Hopi History: Hopihiniwtiput Kukveni’at, edited by L. Kuwanwisiwma, T. J. Ferguson, and C. Colwell. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp. 214-229.