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William L. Fash, Jr.

- Charles P. Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology and Ethnology

wfash [at] fas.harvard.edu
(617) 496-4884, Peabody Museum 24-2

Curriculum Vitae [pdf]



Education


1995 Ed.D. (Honorary), Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
1983 Ph.D. in Anthropology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
1976 B.A., Anthropology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
1975 Summer Archaeological Field School at Grasshopper, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ



Research

William Fash worked on archaeological digs in Arizona and in Central Mexico while obtaining his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois (1976). In his first year in graduate school at Harvard University he joined Gordon R. Willey’s archaeological project in Copán, Honduras, Central America in 1977. He and his wife Barbara have been working at Copán ever since, in a series of multi-institutional, multi-national, and interdisciplinary research efforts devoted to illuminating all aspects of ancient Maya lifeways and culture history at one of its most renowned ancient cities. With Barbara Fash, he created the Copan Mosaics Project in 1985, and subsequently spearheaded efforts to conceive, design, and construct the Sculpture Museum in Copán which showcases the magnificent cultural heritage from this site. This museum has proved important to local pride and understanding, and to the cultural patrimony of Honduras and Mesoamerica as a whole.

For his efforts he was awarded the Order of José Cecilio del Valle by the President of Honduras in 1994, and selected to succeed his mentor, Gordon Willey, as Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology and History at Harvard University in that same year. He served as Chair of Harvard’s Department of Anthropology from 1998 – 2004, and as Director of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology since 2004. From 2000-2003 he conducted archaeological excavations at the Xalla Compound in Teotihuacan, Mexico, with his colleagues Leonardo López Luján and Linda Manzanilla. He is the author of Scribes, Warriors, and Kings: The City of Copán and the Ancient Maya (1991, rev. ed. 2001), History Carved in Stone (1992, with Ricardo Agurcia), Copán: The History of an Ancient Maya Kingdom (2005, with E. Wyllys Andrews), The Ancient American World (2005, with Mary Lyons), Gordon R. Willey and American Archaeology: Contemporary Perspectives (2007, co-editor with Jeremy Sabloff), and The Art of Urbanism: How Mesoamerican Kingdoms
Represented Themselves in Architecture and Imagery (2009, co-edited with Leonardo López Luján).

William and his wife Barbara recently received the Hoja de Laurel de Oro, a lifetime achievement award, conferred by the Minister of Culture and the Arts, and the Office of the President. It recognizes 30-plus years of service in preserving and documenting Honduras’ cultural heritage.




Teaching

Anthropology 1130 Archaeology of Harvard Yard

Archaeological data recovered from Harvard Yard provide a richer and more nuanced view of the 17th through 19th century lives of students and faculty in Harvard Yard, an area that includes the Old College and Harvard Indian College. Students will excavate in Harvard Yard and process and analyze artifacts and report on the results. Additional topics to be covered include regional historical archaeology, research design, surveying, archival research, stratigraphy, and artifact analysis.

Societies of the World 30 Moctezuma's Mexico: Then and Now
Explorations of the origins, glory days and collapse of the Aztec Empire and other key Mesoamerican civilizations followed by the political and sexual interactions of the Great Encounter between Mesoamerica and Europe. Focus on archaeology, cosmovision, human sacrifice, divine kingship and rebellion in Mesoamerican cities and in colonialism. Hands-on work with objects at the Peabody Museum aid in examining new concepts of race, nation and the persistence of Montezuma's Mexico in Latino identities in the Mexico-US Borderlands.

Anthropology 2110r Issues in Mesoamerican Archaeology: Seminar

Considers current topics and debates in the archaeology of Mesoamerica, with special emphasis on ancient Maya civilizations. Readings and discussions focus on aspects of social process, political history,
and their interplay with ritual and ideology.



Selected Publications

2009 The Art of Urbanism: How Mesoamerican Kingdoms Represented Themselves in Architecture and Imagery. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. Co-editor with Leonardo Lopez Lujan. In press.

2007 Gordon R. Willey and American Archaeology: Contemporary Perspectives. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Co-editor with Jeremy A. Sabloff.

2005 The Ancient American World. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Co-author with Mary E. Lyons.

2005 Copán: The History of an Ancient Maya Kingdom. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press. Co-editor with E. Wyllys Andrews.

2001 Scribes, Warriors, and Kings: The City of Copán and the Ancient Maya. London and New York: Thames and Hudson, rev. ed.

1998 History Carved in Stone: A Guide to the Archaeological Park of the Ruins of Copan. Copán Ruinas: Asociación Copán and Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia. Co-author with Ricardo Agurcia Fasquelle. 3rd ed.

1996 Visión del Pasado Maya: Proyecto Arqueológico Acrópolis de Copán. Asociación Copán. Co-editor with Ricardo Agurcia Fasquelle.

1992 Historia Escrita en Piedra: Guía al Parque Arqueológico de las Ruinas de Copán. Copán Ruinas: Asociación Copán and Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia. Co- author with Ricardo Agurcia Fasquelle.

1991 Scribes, Warriors, and Kings: The City of Copán and the Ancient Maya. London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1st ed.



Museum Exhibits

2001 Co-Curator, “Distinguished Casts: Curating Lost Monuments at the Peabody Museum.” Teaching/public exhibit, Peabody Museum, Harvard University.

1992-96 Design and implementation of the Copan Sculpture Museum inaugurated in
August 1996 (44,000 sq. ft.).

1992 Primary consultant for “Sacred World of the Maya” for the Explorers Hall, National Geographic Society, November 19, 1992 through January 24, 1993.

1992 The Royal Scribes Tomb. Regional Museum of Maya Archaeology in Copan, Honduras.

1991 Copan: Puzzles Within Puzzles. The Anthropology Museum, Northern Illinois University, November 16, 1991 -January 1995.

1988 Heirlooms of Maya Kings. The Anthropology Museum, Northern Illinois University.

1987 The Hieroglyphic Stairway Cache Offering. Objects and scale replica of crypt, plus didactic information, placed in the Shamans Grave Hall in the Regional Museum of Maya Archaeology in Copan, Honduras.

1984 Complete overhaul of all exhibits and exhibition space in the expanded Regional Museum of Maya Archaeology, Copan, Honduras. Responsible for selection of objects, writing of captions, selection and preparation of drawings, photographs, maps, and other didactic materials on all exhibits in the Museum (total floor space 3,700 sq. ft.).

1982 Renovation of the Regional Museum of Maya Archaeology, Copan, Honduras, with new displays on Maya writing, ceramics, and the Shamans Grave (Burial VIII-36).



Links:


Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology


Archaeology of Harvard Yard

David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLA)

Harvard Summer Program in Copán, Honduras


Mesoamerican Lab



2009 President & Fellows of Harvard College | Harvard University Home | Department of Anthropology