UCLA » College » Social Sciences » Anthropology

Error message

  • Views XML Backend: HTTP response: Internal Server Error. URI: https://classes.sscnet.ucla.edu/apps/ws/oldbyterm/NTAyNzQzNzM3/xml
  • Views XML Backend: HTTP response: Internal Server Error. URI: https://classes.sscnet.ucla.edu/apps/ws/oldbycourse/NTAyNzQzNzM3/xml

Charles Stanish

Professor Emeritus

Contact Information

Email    stanish@anthro.ucla.edu
Office  Haines 309

Charles Stanish has worked extensively in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, conducting archaeological research on the prehistoric societies of the region. His theoretical work focuses on the roles that trade, war, and labor organization play in the evolution of human cooperation and complex societies.  His books include Lake Titicaca: Legend, Myth, and Science (2011), Ancient Titicaca: The Evolution of Complex Society in Southern Peru and Northern Bolivia (2003), Ritual and Pilgrimage in the Ancient Andes (with B. Bauer, 2001) and Ancient Andean Political Economy (1992). He also works with a sustainable development group to preserve global cultural heritage through a combination of micro-lending, direct community grants, and tourist infrastructure development. He was a Senior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.


The Programa Collasuyu Archive

Taraco Photos

Inca Archaeology

NPR Interview

Ancient Titicaca: The Evolution of Complex Society in Southern Peru and Northern Bolivia (University of California Press, January 2003)

Islands of the Sun and the Moon

Department of Anthropology Faculty Page

Coming Soon: The Don Collier Project





Read More


Ph.D., University of Chicago (1985)


Member, National Academy of Sciences 
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences 
Lloyd Cotsen Chair of Archaeology 
Senior Fellow, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library


Last five years 
2012 National Geographic field research for Chincha, Peru. 
2012 Vice Chancellor for Research Grant for work on Strontium 86/88 in Chincha, Peru. 
2006-7 National Science Foundation Grant no. BCS 0621398. “Interregional trade and the development of archaic states (with Michael Moseley and Ryan Williams). 

2006 NSF Grant BCS-0633074. Dissertation Improvement Grant with Coleen Donley. “Metals and Imperials Strategies of Administration in the Provinces”. 

Selected Publications

Publications in PDF format are located here

Stanish, Charles and Abigail Levine 
2011 War and early state formation in the northern Titicaca Basin, Peru. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Aug.23, 2011 v. 108 (34). 

Stanish, Charles 
2011 Lake Titicaca. Legend, Myth and Science. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, Los Angeles. 

Stanish, C., E. de la Vega, M. Moseley, R. Williams, B. Vining, K. LaFavre 
2010 Tiwanaku trade patterns in Southern Peru. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. doi:10.1016/j.jaa.2010.09.002 

Craig, N., Speakman, R.J., Popelka-Filcoff, R., Aldenderfer, M., Blanco, L.F., Vega, M.B., Glascock, M.D., Stanish, C. 
2010 Macusani obsidian from southern Peru: a characterization of its elemental composition with a demonstration of its ancient use. Journal of Archaeological Science 37(3):569-567 

Stanish, Charles 
2010 Measuring time, sacred space and social place in the Inca Empire. In The Archaeology of Measurement, edited by I. Morley and C. Renfrew, pp. 216-228. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. 

Stanish, Charles 
2010 Labor taxes, market systems and urbanization in the prehispanic Andes: A comparative perspective. In Archaeological Approaches to Market Exchange in Ancient Societies. Edited by C. Garraty and B. Stark, pp. 185-205. University of Colorado Press, Boulder. 

Stanish, Charles 
2009 The evolution of managerial elites in intermediate societies. In The Evolution of Leadership. Transitions in decision making from small-scale to middle-range societies, edited by K. Vaughn, J. Eerkens, and J. Kanter, pp. 97-119. School of American Research, Santa Fe. 

Schultze, C.A., C. Stanish, D. Scott, T. Rehren, S. Kuehner, and J. Feathers. 
2009 Direct evidence of 1,900 years of indigenous silver production in the Lake Titicaca Basin of Southern Peru. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. October 13, 2009 vol. 106 no. 41 17280-17283 

Joyce Marcus and Charles Stanish, editors.
2006 Agricultural Strategies. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, Los Angeles.


Andean anthropology, settlement archaeology, and the evolution of social complexity

Graduate Students

Elizabeth Arkush, Ph.D. 2005. “Colla fortified sites: Warfare and regional power in the Late Prehispanic Titicaca Basin, Peru. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles. 

Aimée Plourde (co-chair with R. Boyd), Ph.D 2006. “Prestige goods and their role in the evolution of social ranking: a costly signaling model with data from the late formative period of the northern Lake Titicaca Basin, Peru.” 

Carol Schultze, Ph.D. 2008. The Role of Silver Ore Reduction in Tiwanaku State Expansion into Puno Bay, Peru. 

Ilana Johnson, Ph.D. 2009. “Urbanism and Social Organization at the Late Moche Period Site of Pampa Grande, Peru” 

Amanda Cohen, Ph.D. 2010. “The Significance of Sunken Court Architecture to the Development of Sociopolitical Complexity” 

Advanced to candidacy: Abigail Levine, and Colleen Donley Zori 

MA candidates: Karl La Favre, Kevin Hill, Benjamin Nigra and Khristine Olshansky