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Faculty & Staff - Dr. Daniel H. Sandweiss


Professor of Anthropology and Quaternary and Climate Studies
Dean and Associate Provost for Graduate Studies

Ph.D., Cornell University, 1989

M.A., Cornell University, 1983

B.A., Yale University, 1979

Sandweiss CV 11-13

Professional Interests:

I am an archaeologist interested in maritime adaptations and climate change in Latin America. Most of my research has been carried out on the desert coast of Peru, but I have also worked in Central America (Honduras and Guatemala) and in Cuba. In Peru, I have worked on early (preceramic) sites, studying climate change and its effects on people. This focus has led to an interest in the prehistory of El Niño, a global climatic perturbation first recognized in Peru and now known to affect weather throughout the world. My research has included developing a variety of techniques for identifying ancient El Niño events. I have also worked on the archaeology of complex, late prehistoric sites in Peru, studying such topics as the role of specialized fishermen in the Inca empire and the nature and function of a major regional center on the north coast. Currently, I am involved in a multi-year project evaluating the idea that the north Peruvian coast experienced a major climate change about 5,000 years ago, as well as a study of early maritime adapations in the Andes. In 1987 I founded the peer-reviewed publication series Andean Past and continue on the editorial staff. Andean Past is published by the Cornell University Latin American Studies Program. I was President of the Scientific Committee for FERCO (Foundation for Research and Exploration on Cultural Origins), a Canary Island foundation, from 1998-2002, and Chair of the Society for American Archaeology’s Committee on the Americas (2004-2008). From 2005-2007, I was a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer. In 2008, I received a Presidential Recognition Award from the Society for American Archaeology. See also Climate Change Institute and Andean Past. Also check out the 2002 UMaine Today article, “A Sea Change.” Anyone interested in receiving email bulletins related to Andean archaeology should email me a request to join the Andean list. I now serve as the Dean and Associate Provost for Graduate Studies.


Selected Archaeology Publications: (see here for Selected Geoarchaeology Publications)

Sandweiss, D.H. and K.M. Rademaker 2013, El poblamiento del sur peruano: costa y sierra. Boletin de Arqueología PUCP 15: 275-293.

Rademaker, K., G.R.M. Bromley, and D.H. Sandweiss 2013, Peru Archaeological Radiocarbon Database, 13,000-7000 14C B.P. Quaternary International 301:34-45.

Sandweiss, D.H. and A.R. Kelley 2012, Archaeological Contributions to Climate Change Research: The Archaeological Record as a Paleoclimatic and Paleoenvironmental Archive. Annual Review of Anthropology 41:371–391.

Sandweiss, D.H. 2009, Early Fishing and Inland Monuments: Challenging the Maritime Foundations of Andean Civilization? In Andean Civilization: Papers in Honor of Michael E. Moseley, ed. by J. Marcus, C. Stanish, and R. Williams, pp. 39-54. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.

Sandweiss, D.H., R. Shady S., M.E. Moseley, D.K. Keefer, and C.R. Ortloff, 2009, Environmental change and economic development in coastal Peru between 5,800 and 3,600 years ago. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106:1359-1363.

Sandweiss, D.H. and J. Quilter, 2008, Climate, Catastrophe, and Culture in the Ancient Americas. In El Niño, Catastrophism, and Culture Change in Ancient America, ed. By DH. Sandweiss and J. Quilter, pp. 1-11. Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks.

Richardson, J.B. III and D.H. Sandweiss 2008, Climate Change, El Niño and the Rise of Complex Society on the Peruvian Coast during the Middle Holocene. In El Niño, Catastrophism, and Culture Change in Ancient America, ed. By DH. Sandweiss and J. Quilter, pp. 59-75. Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks.

Andrus, C.F.T., D.H. Sandweiss, and E.J. Reitz, 2008, Climate Change and Archaeology: The Holocene History of El Niño on the Coast of Peru. In Case Studies in Environmental Archaeology. Ed by E.J. Reitz, C.M. Scarry, and S.J. Scudder, pp.143-157. Second Edition. London: Springer Science Business Media.

Sandweiss, D.H. and J.B. Richardson III, 2008, Early Andean Environments. In Handbook of South American Archaeology, ed. by Helaine Silverman and William H. Isbell, pp. 93-104. New York: Springer.

Sandweiss, D.H., 2008, Early Fishing Societies in Western South America. In Handbook of South American Archaeology, ed. by Helaine Silverman and William H. Isbell, pp. 145-156. New York: Springer.

Perry, L., D.H. Sandweiss, D. Piperno, K. Rademaker, M.A. Malpass, A. Umire, and P. de la Vera 2006. Early Maize Agriculture and Interzonal Interaction in Southern Peru. Nature 440:76-79.

Sandweiss, D.H. 2005. Early Maritime Adaptations in Western South America, Part I. Mammoth Trumpet 20(4):14-20/21(1): 14-1. College Station, TX: Center for the Study of First Americans.

Erickson, D.L., BD. Smith, A.C. Clark, D.H. Sandweiss, and N. Tuross 2005. An Asian Origin for a 10,000-year-old Domesticated Plant in the Americas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102:18,315-18,320.

Sandweiss, D.H., M.E. Moseley, J. Haas, W. Creamer 2001 Amplifying Importance of New Research in Peru. Science 294:1651-1653.

Copson, W. and D.H. Sandweiss 1999. Native and Spanish Perspectives on the 1578 El Niño. In The Entangled Past: Integrating History and Archaeology. Proceedings of the 1997 Chacmool Conference, edited by M. Boyd, J.C. Erwin, and M. Hendrickson, pp. 208-220. Calgary: University of Calgary.

Sandweiss, D.H. 1999. The Return of the Native Symbol: Peru Picks Spondylus to Represent New Integration with Ecuador. Society for American Archaeology Bulletin 17(2): 1, 8-9.

Sandweiss, D.H., H. McInnis, R.L. Burger, A. Cano, B. Ojeda, R. Paredes, M.C. Sandweiss, and M.D. Glascock 1998. “Quebrada Jaguay: Early South American Maritime Adaptations.” Science 281:1830-1832.

Sandweiss, D.H. and E.S. Wing 1997. “Ritual Rodents: The Guinea Pigs of Chincha, Peru.” Journal of Field Archaeology 24:47-58.

Sandweiss, D.H. 1996. “Mid-Holocene Cultural Interaction Between the North Coast of Peru and Ecuador.” Latin American Antiquity 7:41-50.

T. Heyerdahl, Sandweiss, D.H., A. Narváez 1995. The Pyramids of Túcume: The Quest for Peru’s Forgotten City. Thames & Hudson, London.

Sandweiss, D.H. 1992. “The Archaeology of Chincha Fishermen: Specialization and Status in Inka Peru.” Carnegie Museum of Natural History Bulletin 29.ix + 162 pp.

Sandweiss, D.H., J.B. Richardson III, E.J. Reitz, J.T. Hsu, and R.A. Feldman, 1989, Early maritime adaptations in the Andes: Preliminary studies at the Ring Site, Peru. In: Ecology, Settlement, and History of the Osmore Drainage, Peru, ed. by D.S. Rice, C. Stanish, and P.R. Scarr. Bar International Series 545i, pp. 35-84.


Telephone: 207.581.1889


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