Alexander Geurds

Job title
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University

Alexander Geurds is an archaeologist with broad experience in conducting archaeological field research, working with museum collections and in historical archives in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. After working in Mexico for several years, he independently set up an international research project in Nicaragua in 2007, which he has directed since then, growing into one of the largest and longest continuous-running projects in southern Central America. Geurds has a strong presence in academic networks, through scholarly meetings and publications, to promote the exchange of expertise and overall integration of the regional archaeological field. Geurds served as Academic Director of ARCHON, the Dutch Research School for Archaeology. He is the founding editor of the Brill book series The Early Americas: History and Culture. He currently sits on the SAA Committee of the Americas and is a founding member of the EAA Community for the Americas.

The cross-disciplinary and locally engaged structure of his research, integrating archaeology, history, soil science, and ethnography, has enabled him to generate ground-breaking data on poorly known archaeological regions, and improve understanding of symbolic forms of human-environmental interaction. His research is coupled with a commitment to public engagement at the local level through research impact studies to promote social resilience and cultural awareness in the economically challenged regions of Nicaragua, and assist in forming archaeological expertise across Central America. He is also promoting the indigenous past of the area more widely through his long-standing contributions to National Geographic outreach and educational programs.

Geurds currently holds adjunct positions at the University of Oxford and the University of Colorado–Boulder, and is Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, a nominated Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.