Martin Giesso



office: BBH 217a

phone:  773.442.5794

fax: 773.442.5674





Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Chicago, 2000

M.A., Anthropology, University of Chicago, 1990


Areas of Specialization 

Archaeology, complex societies of the Andes, long distance exchange, lithic analysis.



ANTH 212 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 213 - Introduction to Archaeology

ANTH 221 - Peoples of South America

ANTH 306 - The Rise of Complex Societies: The Archaeology of State Formation and Urbanization

ANTH 350r - South American Archaeology

ANTH 357 - Shells, Pigs, Gold: Anthropology and Economy

ANTH 378 - Anthropology of Power


Recently Published Books

La produccion de instrumental lítico en Tiwanaku

(Stone tool production in the Tiwanaku)

Historical Dictionary of Ancient South America


Current Research and Other Activities

Circulation of goods in and among Andean societies. Chemical analysis of archaeological materials (lithics and ceramics) provides ground for anthropological questions on the emergence of elites and public ceremonialism, redistribution, tribute, and the nature of complex societies in general. Projects with the national universities of Cuyo and Cordoba (Argentina), Universidad de Chile, and San Andres (Bolivia), and the Missouri University Research Reactor, focus on these issues in the south-central and southern Andes from 9000 BP to the Colonial period.


Selected Publications

2012. "Geochemical Sourcing of Obsidian Fishtail Points: Studies for the Somuncura Plateau (Rio Negro, Argentina)", . (eds.) Southbound. Late Pleistocene Peopling of Latin America. Special edition of Current Research in the Pleistocene, p. 127-131. Laura Miotti, Enrique Terranova, Ramiro Barberena, Dario Hermo, Martin Giesso, and Michael D. Glascock.  Laura Miotti, Monica Salemme, Nora Flegenheimer and Ted Goebel.  Center for the Study of the First Americans, Texas A&M University.

2012. "El uso de la obsidiana en el sur de Mendoza. In: Paleoecologia humana en el sur de Mendoza: Perspectivas arqueologicas." Gustavo Neme and Adolfo Gil (comps.). Publicaciones de la Sociedad Argentina de Antropologia, pp. 181-211. Coauthored with Valeria Cortegoso, Gustavo Neme, Victor Duran and Adolfo Gil.

 2012 New perspectives on obsidian procurement and exchange at Tiwanaku, Bolivia. Coauthored with Michael D. Glascock. Obsidian and Ancient Manufactured Glass, ed. by Ioannis Liritzis and Christopher M. Stevenson. University of New Mexico Press.

2011 La produccion de instrumental litico en Tiwanaku. El impacto del surgimiento y expansion del estado en las unidades domesticas locales.  (Stone tool production in Tiwanaku. The impact of state emergence and expansion on local households). British Archaeological Reports, International Series 2244. 

2010  "Obsidian in the south-central Andes: Geological, geochemical, and archaeological assessment of north Patagonian sources (Argentina) ". Ramiro Barberena, Adan Hajduk, Adolfo F Gil, Gustavo A Neme, Víctor A Durán, Michael D Glascock, Martin Giesso, Karen Borrazzo, Maria de la Paz Pompei, María Laura Salgan, Valeria Cortegoso, Gustavo Villarosa and Agustina A Rughini. Quaternary International. 

2008 Historical Dictionary of Ancient South America. The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Maryland.

2008 Obsidian in Western Pampas, Argentina: Source Characterization and Provisioning Strategies. Bulletin of the International Association of Obsidian Studies 38:15-18. Martin Giesso, Monica A. Beron and Michael D. Glascock.

2007  Mas alla del horizonte: cazadores-recolectores e intercambio a larga distancia en Intihuasi. (Further away of the horizon: hunter-gatherers and long distance exchange in Intihuasi) Intersecciones en Antropología 8, Olavarria, Argentina. Andres Laguens, Martin Giesso, Mirta Bonnin and Michael D. Glascock.

2007  Estudio de produccion y distribucion de la ceramica gris-negra grabada del Valle de Ambato (ca. 300-1000 D.C.). (Production and distribution of incised grey-black ceramics from the Ambato Valley ca. A.D. 300-1000). Ceramicas arqueologicas. Perspectivas arqueometricas para su analisis e interpretacion, pp.147-167. María Beatriz Cremonte y Norma Ratto (eds.). Universidad Nacional de Jujuy, Argentina. Coathored by: Andres Laguens, Martin Giesso, Mirta Bonnin, Robert J. Speakman, Michael D. Glascock, Nestor Kriscautzky and Barbara Manasse.

2004 Estudio de fuentes de aprovisionamiento y redes de distribucio n de obsidiana durante el Holoceno   Tardio en el sur de Mendoza (Argentina). (Research on obsidian procurement and distribution during the Late Holocene in southern Mendoza province, Argentina. Coauthored). Estudios Atacameños 28, pp. 25-43. Universidad Cato lica del Norte, Chile.

2003 Stone Tool Production in the Tiwanaku Heartland. In: Tiwanaku and Its Hinterland: Archaeological and Paleoecological Investigations in the Lake Titicaca Basin of Bolivia, Vol. 2, p. 363-383, ed. by Alan L. Kolata. Smithsonian Series in Archaeological Inquiry.

2003 Las industrias li ticas expeditivas en sitios urbanos Tiwanaku. (Expedient stone tool industries in urban Tiwanaku sites). Textos Antropoló gicos, vol 14 nr.2:31-46,  Section of Anthropology and Archaeology, Universidad Mayor de San Andres, La Paz, Bolivia.