Since joining Purdue in 1976, Professor Emeritus Blanton has done approximately 36 months of archaeological fieldwork over many field seasons in Guatemala, Mexico, and Turkey, and has also completed several cross-cultural comparative research projects. He has reported on this research in twelve books and 67 articles and chapters published through diverse outlets, including Cambridge University Press, Science, American Anthropologist, American Antiquity, Journal of Field Archaeology, and Current Anthropology. Blanton is best known for his research on the evolution of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican civilization, especially in Central Mexico and the Valley of Oaxaca, but has also contributed to several more general anthropological topics, including the economics of peasant households and household archaeology, the evolution of market systems in early civilizations, pre-modern world-systems, and cultural ecology. Blanton's recent theoretical and comparative research on the nature of early state formation and political economy is regarded as a new departure that is making a contribution to the current discourse on the evolution of complex human societies. This work is cited in the literatures on early civilizations in the Mediterranean, Africa, South Asia, and China, as well as the New World. He was a founding member of the Society for Economic Anthropology and has served as its president, and now serves on a committee that is publishing a worldwide sample of archaeological cultures for comparative research, sponsored by the Human Relations Area Files. Blanton's current research, funded by the National Science Foundation, uses a comparative method to evaluate Rational Choice and Collective Action Theory as they apply to pre-modern state formation, and he is working with two colleagues to establish a new archaeological project in Tlaxcala, Mexico.
Department of Anthropology
MLC room 214*
Note that the talk is in MLC and at 2:30.