Alan Kolata
Alan L. Kolata PhD, Harvard, 1978

On leave for the Autumn 2023 and Spring 2024 academic quarters
Office: Haskell 135 Phone: (773) 702-7729 / (773) 702-7742 Email Interests:

Archaeology and ethnohistory; preindustrial urbanism; development of agricultural systems; human environment interactions; anthropology of development; Andes, Mesoamerica, Southeast Asia.

Bernard E. and Ellen C. Sunny Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Anthropology; Committee on Southern Asian Studies; Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization

Kolata's recent research interests include comparative work on agroecological systems, human-environment interactions, the human dimension of global change, agricultural and rural development, urban social ecology and the archaeology and ethnohistory of the Andean region. For an update on the research in Cambodia see the Cambodia Project Research Webpage.


Recent Research / Recent Publications

Selected Publications


2023  El poder de los Incas: La organización social, económia, religiosa y política de un imperio. Colección Estudios Andinos, Vol 33. Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, Perú. 

2013  Ancient Inca. New York: Cambridge University Press. 

2009  Arqueología del Valle de Jequetepeque, Perú. Lima, Perú: Instituto Nacional de Cultura (with Tom Dillehay and Edward Swenson).

1996  Valley of the Spirits: A Journey into the Lost Realm of the Aymara. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 

1993  The Tiwanaku: Portrait of an Andean Civilization. The Peoples of America, Alan L. Kolata and Dean Snow, Series Editors, Oxford, United Kingdom and Cambridge, Mass.: Basil Blackwell. 


2015  Territoires Écologiques: Quelle Écologie, Quelle Économie pour un Territoire? Gilles Benest and Alan L. Kolata, editors. Paris: L’Harmattan Publishers. 

2015  Local Politics, Global Impacts: Steps to a Multi-Disciplinary Analysis of Scales. Oliver Charnoz, Virginie Diaz and Alan Kolata, editors. Farnham, Surrey, United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishers. 

2004  Tiwanaku: aspectos sobre sus contextos históricos y social. Alan L. Kolata and Mario Rivera, editors.  Iquique, Chile:  Universidad Boliviariana.

2003  Tiwanaku and Its Hinterland: Archaeology and Paleoecology of an Andean Civilization Volume 2: Urban and Rural Archaeology.  Alan L. Kolata, principal author and editor, Smithsonian Series in Archaeological Inquiry, Robert McC. Adams and Bruce Smith, series editors, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

1996  Tiwanaku and Its Hinterland: Archaeology and Paleoecology of an Andean Civilization Volume 1: Agroecology.  Alan L. Kolata, principal author and editor, Smithsonian Series in Archaeological Inquiry, Robert McC. Adams and Bruce Smith, series editors, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. 


2023  "Fluid and Thermal Analysis of Pre-Columbian Tiwanaku (500–1100 CE) Raised-Field Agricultural Systems of Bolivia",  Charles R. Orloff and Alan L. Kolata, Water, Vol. 15, Issue 21. Open Access | PDF

2023  “Home and Away: Drivers and Perceptions of Migration Among Urban Migrants and their Rural Families in the Lower Mekong Basin of Cambodia” (with Sabina Shaikh, Jonathan Johnson and Michael Binford). Migration and Development. Currently available at: SSRN here or here.

2022  “The Interrelated Impacts of Credit Access, Market Access and Forest Proximity on Livelihood Strategies in Cambodia” (with Felkner, John S., Lee, Hyun,  Shaikh, Sabina, and Binford, Michael). World Development, Vol. 155, 105795.

2022  “Chimú and Chimú-Inka Segmented Agricultural Fields and Canals in the Jequetepeque Valley, Perú” (with Tom D. Dillehay, John Warner, Herbert Eling,  Charles Ortloff, Patricia J. Netherly, and Renee Bonzani ) Latin American Antiquity. DOI: Open-access 27 April 2022.  

2017  “Keen Insights from Quinoa” (with Andrew H. Paterson). Nature Vol. 542, Issue Number 7641: 300-302. 

2017  “Climate, Environment and the History of the Tiwanaku State” (with Lonnie Thompson). In, Abrupt Climate Change and Societal Collapse, edited by Harvey Weiss. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2012  "Paleoenvironmental History of the West Baray, Angkor (Cambodia)" (with Mary Beth Day, David Hodell, Mark Brenner, Hazel J Chapman, Jason H Curtis, William F Kenney and Larry C. Peterson) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 109(4):1046–1051  

2011  “Middle to Late Holocene Initiation of the Annual Flood Pulse in Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia” (with Mary Beth Day, David Hodell, Mark Brenner, Jason Curtis, George Kamenov, Thomas Guilderson, Larry Peterson) Journal of Paleolimnology 45: 85-99.  

2006  “Before and After Collapse: Reflections on the Regeneration of Social Complexity,” In, After Collapse: The Regeneration of Complex Societies, edited by Glenn M. Schwartz and John J. Nichols, pp. 208-221. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.  

2005  “Deglaciation and Holocene climate change in the western Peruvian Andes, “(with Chengyu Weng, Mark B. Bush, Jason H. Curtis Tom. D. Dillehay and Michael W. Binford) Quaternary Research 66:87-96 

2004  “Top-down or Bottom-up: Rural Settlement and Raised Field Agriculture in the Lake Titicaca Basin of Bolivia” (with John W. Janusek) Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 23(4): 404-430.  

2004  “Long-Term Human Response to Uncertain Environmental Conditions in the Andes” (with T. Dillehay) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101(12): 4325-4330.  

2004  “Pre-industrial Human and Environment Interactions in Northern Peru during the Late Holocene” (with T. Dillehay) The Holocene 14 (2): 272-281. 

2004  “The Flow of Cosmic Power:  Religion, Ritual, and the People of Tiwanaku”  In, Tiwanaku: Ancestors of the Inca, edited by Margaret Young-Sanchez, pp. 97-125. Denver, Colorado and Lincoln, Nebraska:  Denver Art Museum and the University of Nebraska Press.  

2000  “Environmental Thresholds and the Empirical Reality of State Collapse” (with Michael W. Binford, Mark Brenner, John W. Janusek and Charles Ortloff) Antiquity 74, No. 284:424-426. 

2000  "Environmental Thresholds and the 'Natural History' of an Andean Civilization" In, Environmental Disaster and the Archeology of Human Response, edited by Garth Bawden and Richard Reycraft, pp. 163-178. Albuquerque: Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico. 

1999  “Nitrogen Fixation in Soils and Canals of Rehabilitated Raised-Fields of the Bolivian Altiplano” (with David Biesboer and Michael W. Binford) Biotropica 31(2):255-267 

1997  “Climate Variation and the Rise and Fall of an Andean Civilization” (with Michael W. Binford, Mark Brenner, Mark Abbott, John W. Janusek, Matthew T. Seddon and Jason Curtis) Quaternary Research 47: 235-248. 

1997  “Of Kings and Capitals:  Principles of Authority and the Nature of Cities in the Native Andean State,” In, The Archaeology of City States: Cross-Cultural Approaches, edited by Deborah L. Nichols and Thomas H. Charlton, pp. 245-254. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. 

1996  “Mimesis and Monumentalism in Native Andean Cities,” RES 29/30: 223-236. 

1993  “Nutrient and Sediment Retention in Andean Raised-Field Agriculture” (with Heath J. Carney, Michael W. Binford, Ruben R. Marin and Charles R. Goldman) Nature, 364: 131-133.