Deborah L. Nichols

Professor of Anthropology
William J. Bryant 1925 Professorship
Chair, Latin America, Latino, and Caribbean Studies
Treasurer, Society for American Archaeology

I am interested in understanding why human societies become more complex. My research examines the archaeology of agriculture in the prehispanic Americas and the formation of states and cities in Mexico and Central America.  Our collaborative work applies chemical source analysis to understand interrelations between ancient economies and politics.

603-646-3033
403 Silsby Hall, Anthropology Department
HB 6047
Department(s): 
Anthropology
Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies
Center(s): 
The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding
Education: 
Ph.D, 1980 Pennsylvania State University
M.A., 1975 Pennsylvania State University
B.A., 1973 Pennsylvania State University

Selected Publications

Nichols, Deborah L. and Enrique Rodríguez-Alegría, eds. 2017. Oxford Handbook of the Aztecs. Oxford University Press, New York

Nichols, Deborah L. Frances F. Berdan, and Michael E. Smith, eds. 2017. Rethinking the Aztec Economy. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Nichols, Deborah L. 2017  Farm to Market in the Aztec Empire. In Rethinking the Aztec Economy, edited by Deborah L. Nichols, Frances F. Berdan, and Michael E. Smit, pp. 19–43. University of Arizona Press, Tucson

Hirth, Kenneth G., Michael E. Smith, Frances F. Berdan, and Deborah L. Nichols. 2017  Objects, Economy, and Empire: Scale, Integration, and Change. In Rethinking the Aztec Economy, edited by Deborah L. Nichols, Frances F. Berdan, and Michael E. Smith, pp. 278–292. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Berdan, Frances F., Kenneth G. Hirth, Deborah L. Nichols, and Michael E. Smith. 2017  Aztec Economy and Empire Through the Lens of Objects. In Rethinking the Aztec Economy, edited by Deborah L. Nichols, Frances F. Berdan, and Michael E. Smith, pp. 3–18. University of Arizona Press, Tucson 

Nichols, Deborah L. 2016. Teotihuacan. Journal of Archaeological Research. 24:1–74.

Nichols, Deborah L. 2016. Rethinking “Huitzilopochtil’s Conquest:” Elizabeth M. Burmfiel, Social Theory, and the Aztecs of Mexico. Ancient Mesoamerica 27: 153–162.

Nichols, Deborah L. 2015. Intensive Agriculture and the Development of Early Complex Societies in the Basin of Mexico. Ancient Mesoamerica 26: 407–421

Nichols, Deborah L. Frances F. Berdan, and Michael E. Smith, eds. 2017. Rethinking the Aztec Economy. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Stoner, Wes, Deborah L. Nichols, Bridget Alex, and Destiny L. Crider. 2015. The Emergence of Early-Middle Formative Exchange Patters in Mexico: A View from Altica in the Teotihuacan Valley. Journal of Anthropogical Archaeology 39:19–35.

Evans, Susan T. and Deborah L. Nichols. 2015. Civil Engineering and Ceremonial Space at Teotihuacan, Mexico.  In Human Adaptation in Ancient Mesoamerica: Empirical Approaches to Mesoamerican Archaeology, edited by Nancy Gonlin and Kirk D. French, pp. 25–52. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

Nichols, Deborah L., Hector Neff, and George L. Cowgill. 2013. Cerro Portezuelo: State Formation and Hinterlands in the Prehispanic Basin of Mexico.  Ancient Mesoamerica 24:47-71.

Nichols, Deborah L., and Christopher A. Pool, editors. 2012. Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology.  Oxford University Press, New York.

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Works in progress

Crider, Destiny, Deborah L. Nichols, Christopher P. Garraty. In press.  A Geospatial Approach to the Development of Postclassic Markets: Ceramic Production and Exchange from the Epiclassic through Late Postclassic in the Basin of Mexico. In City, Craft and Residence in Mesoamerica: Research Papers Presented in Honor of Dan Healan, edited by Ronald K. Faulseit, Nezahualcoyotl Xiutecutli, and Haley Holt-Mehta. Middle American Research Institute Papers, Tulane University, New Orleans.

Nichols, Deborah L., and Wesley D. Stoner. Under review Before Teotihuacan: The Origins of Complex Society in the Northeast Basin of Mexico. In Olmec, Chavin, and Things in Between, edited by Jeffery Dobereiner. University Press of Colorado, Boulder

Nichols, Deborah L. 2017 City, State, and Hinterlands: Teotihuacan and Central Mexico. In Teotihuacan: The World Beyond the City. Organized by Kenneth G. Hirth, David M. Carballo, and Bárbara Arroyo. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, Washington D.C.

Selected works and activities

Nichols, Deborah L. and Wesley Stoner. Collaborative Research: Craft Specialization, Exchange, and the Development of Early Complex Societies in Central Mexico.  Principal Investigators: Deborah L. Nichols (Dartmouth College) and Wesley Stoner, NSF No. 1424132-Nichols (Dartmouth) and Wesley Stoner NSF No. 1424132-Nichols (Dartmouth), NSF No. 424184-Stoner (University of Arkansas).  (2014)

Nichols, Deborah L., and Wesley D. Stoner, eds. The Altica Project. Special Section. Ancient Mesoamerica.