Stanley J. Bernstein Assistant Professor of Social Sciences


Parker VanValkenburgh is an anthropological archaeologist whose research focuses on understanding the political dimensions of urbanism, environmental change, and Indigenous identity, with a particular focus on the Andean region, since 1000 AD. 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, with Steven Wernke (Vanderbilt University), of GeoPACHA (Geospatial Platform for Andean Culture, HIstory and Archaeology); and, with Alicia Odewale (University of Tulsa) Mapping HIstorical Trauma in Tulsa, 1921-2021. 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 spatial analysis, mobile computing, and three-dimensional data capture and modeling. 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