William Isbell named SUNY Distinguished Professor


       The State University of New York Board of Trustees has promoted Binghamton University archaeologist William H. Isbell to the rank of distinguished professor.
Very few people attain the rank of distinguished professor, awarded to individuals who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation in their field.

       Isbell’s primary interests lie in the origins of political centralization, urbanism and governments. He has done fieldwork in Peru and Bolivia throughout his 35-year career.

       Isbell, who holds a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University, earned his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Illinois in 1973.

       Isbell’s most recent project, a five-year excavation at Conchopata – a small city that’s being destroyed as a modern Peruvian city expands – has been funded by the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation and several private foundations. Much of the city, which was occupied primarily from 500-1000 AD, has already been destroyed. Isbell and his colleagues have focused on what remains, doing a more thorough excavation than is usually possible with a larger site.

       Isbell is also the author of two books – Mummies and Mortuary Monuments: A Postprocessual Prehistory of Andean Social Organization and The Rural Foundation for Urbanism: Economic and Stylistic Interaction between Rural and Urban Communities in Eighth Century Peru – and editor of six others. He has published dozens of journal articles and book chapters.

       He has twice received Fulbright grants to study and work in Peru and has held two postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks.
Isbell, a former chairman of the Anthropology Department, was faculty master of College-in-the-Woods from 1987-1990. He and his wife live in Binghamton.

Last Updated: 9/17/13