Faculty and Staff
Michael E. Smith
Director and Professor
Smith is an archaeologist who specializes in the Aztecs of central Mexico. He has combined the results of his fieldwork with studies of documents to analyze the expansion of the Aztec empire, the nature of the Aztec economy, cities and city-states, and patterns of social inequality.
Associate Director and Associate Professor
Morehart is an archaeologist, environmental anthropologist and ethnobotanist/paleoethnobotanist. Much of his work centers on Mesoamerica, and for the last several years has concentrated on the Basin of Mexico. A great deal of his research involves questions of inequality and ideology.
Academic Professional, Operations
Cabrera studies the production and consumption of ritual lapidary objects and textile and ceramic production systems at Teotihuacan. Her recent research addresses the socio-economic integration of low-status sectors of the society, as well as issues of craft production by independent craftspeople.
Sugiyama's major research interests are on Mesoamerican social histories (particularly Teotihuacan), ancient urbanism, iconography and symbolism, and theories of cognitive archaeology.
Nelson's research encompasses cycles of social complexity and connectivity among the ancient cultures of northwestern Mexico and the American Southwest; human roles in and responses to desertification of grasslands in those regions; and relating archaeology to indigenous cultures of the present.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Huster is a Mesoamerica archaeologist interested in the ways that households dealt with the rise and fall of states, including Teotihuacan, the Aztec Empire and the period between the two. Her research includes ceramic analysis, assembling comparative datasets and the preservation of legacy data.
The ASU Teotihuacan Research Laboratory was established by Professor Emeritus George Cowgill in 1987.