Santa Fe Institute


Research Projects

Interest Areas

  • Ancient Maya civilization

Jeremy (Jerry) A. Sabloff

External Professor and Past President, Santa Fe Institute

Curriculum Vitae


JEREMY ARAC SABLOFF (B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1964; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1969) is an External Professor of the Santa Fe Institute and past President of the Institute (2009-2015). He also is Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to the Santa Fe Institute, he taught at Harvard University, the University of Utah, the University of New Mexico (where he was Chair of the Department), the University of Pittsburgh (where he also was Chair), and the University of Pennsylvania (where he was the Williams Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum from 1994-2004 ). He also was an Overseas Visiting Fellow at St. John's College, Cambridge, England.

He is a past President of the Society for American Archaeology, a past Chair of Section H (Anthropology) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and past Editor of American Antiquity. He served as Chair of the Smithsonian Science Commission and currently is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, as well as a member of the Committee on Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (elected in 1994) and the American Philosophical Society (elected in 1996), and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected in 1999). Furthermore, he is a Fellow of both the Society of Antiquaries, London, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was the American Anthropological Association's Distinguished Lecturer in 2010 and received the Society for American Archaeology's inaugural Award for Excellence in Latin American and Caribbean Archeology in 2011, and its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. He also received the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal from the University of Pennsylvania Museum in 2014.

He is the author of Excavations at Seibal; Ceramics (1975), The Cities of Ancient Mexico (1989; 2nd ed., 1997), The New Archaeology and the Ancient Maya (1990), and Archaeology Matters (2008) and the co-author of A History of American Archaeology (1974; 2nd ed., 1980; 3rd ed., 1993), A Reconnaissance of Cancuen, Peten, Guatemala (1978), Ancient Civilizations: The Near East and Mesoamerica (1979; 2nd ed. 1995), Cozumel: Late Maya Settlement Patterns (1984), and The Ancient Maya City of Sayil (1991).

His books have appeared in Spanish, Russian, German, Japanese, and Dutch translations. He also has edited or co-edited 12 books, the most recent of which is (with Joyce Marcus) The Ancient City (2008); he has published more than 130 articles, book chapters, and reviews.

His principal scholarly interests include: ancient Maya civilization, pre-industrial urbanism, settlement pattern studies, archaeological theory and method, the history of archaeology, and the relevance of archaeology in the modern world. Over the past forty years, he has undertaken archaeological field research in both Mexico and Guatemala.

Listen to Sabloff's 2009 National Academy of Sciences Interview HERE