Archaeology professor and Teotihuacan Research Laboratory Director Michael Smith will share how he plans to use information from a decades-old project to gain fresh knowledge of what life was like in the city's heyday.
The Teotihuacan Mapping Project was initiated by archaeologist René Millon in the 1960s and was one of the premier archaeological fieldwork projects in the New World. Millon's map of Teotihuacan, published in 1973, became iconic. ASU professor George Cowgill directed the curation of the project’s artifact collections and databases at the ASU lab in San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico until 2015. However, in spite of numerous student theses and published articles, much of the basic analytical work of the project is still incomplete.
Smith, who participated in the project as an undergraduate student of Cowgill’s and later became the laboratory's director in 2015, received partial funding from the National Science Foundation to oversee an effort to complete some of the analyses and archive the data on the Digital Archaeological Record. In this talk, he will outline some of the scientific and management challenges of returning to an old project to extract new information and valuable data. He will also discuss the continuing scientific importance of the ASU lab in Mexico and the Teotihuacan Mapping Project.