Assistant Professor of Anthropology


Parker VanValkenburgh is an archaeologist whose research focuses on landscapes, politics and environmental change in the Early Modern World – particularly, in late prehispanic and early colonial Peru. He received his Ph.D. in 2012 from Harvard University and previously held positions at the University of Vermont (Assistant Prof. of Anthropology, 2013-15) and Washington University in St. Louis (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry, 2012-13). Among other projects, he is currently director of the Paisajes Arqueológicos de Chachapoyas (PACha) project, an investigation of long-term human-environment interaction in Peru's Chachapoyas region, grounded in the analysis of archaeological survey, archival research, remotely sensed datasets, and work with contemporary communities in the provinces of Luya, Chachapoyas, and Bongará, Amazonas (Peru). He is also a co-director of the GeoPACHA (Geospatial Platform for Andean Culture, HIstory and Archaeology). At Brown, he directs the Brown Digital Archaeology Laboratory ( and teaches courses on Geographic Information Systems, cartography, critical digital archaeology, the politics of space and landscape, historical anthropology, and the archaeology and anthropology of the Andean region. From 2008 to 2016, he directed the Proyecto Arqueológico Zaña Colonial, a projects focusing on the impacts of Spanish colonial forced resettlement (reducción) on landscapes and political subjectivities in Peru’s North Coast region. Through the course of this research, he has become deeply invested in the use of digital-spatial technologies in archaeological research, particularly low-altitude aerial photography, three-dimentional modeling, spatial analysis, and mobile technologies. Two recent research collaborations with Brown University undergraduate students resulted in the following products - Socios en Patrimonio (2018) and Building a Tablet-Based Recording System for Archaeological Ceramic Classification (2016)

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas