David Browman

David Browman

Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Archaeology
Professor Emeritus of Archaeology
PhD, Harvard University

contact info:

office hours:

  • Monday & Friday 9 - 11:30 AM and by appt.
Get Directions

mailing address:

  • Washington University
  • CB 1114
  • One Brookings Drive
  • St. Louis, MO 63130
image of book cover

Professor Browman studies plant and aminal domestication as well as the evolution of the philosophy of archaelogical approaches to socio-political complexity over time.

Browman's enthusiasm for the study of anthropology has its roots in his youth, when his family lived adjacent to groups of First Nations in western Montana. His interest in the cultures of the First Americans continues, with a particular focus upon the peoples of the high Andes of Bolivia, Chile and Peru.

One focus of his continuing research is upon the events that gave rise to the origins of plant and animal domestication, ultimately resulting in the formation of the pristine state. In the Andean altiplano, for example, plant agriculture evolved as a critical supplement to the exploitation of patchy resources through mobility, first through hunting and fishing, and later shifting to the utilization of herded animals. Thus his interest in all components of camelid pastoralism is but one component of the research on the longitudinal interrelatedness of management techniques associated with production and reproduction in zones where aridity and altitude limit other cultural options.

A second major focus recently has been upon the evolution of the philosophical approaches that Americanist archaeologists have created to investigate the development of socio-political complexity over time, that is, in the intellectual history of the discipline. Attention to historical archaeology and the history of archaeology continually reveal empire building in the field, as well as long-term biases regarding various gendered and regional groups.

He currently serves as the director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Archaeology, coordinating the activities of seven archaeologists from Anthropology two from Art History, one from Classics, and one from Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Selected Publications

Browman, David L.

2009 Origins of food-producing economies in the Americas (with Gayle J.Fritz and Patty Jo Watson). Revised and updated chapter, In: Chris Scarre, editor. The Human Past, 2nd edition, pp. 306-349. London: Thames and Hudson.

2009 La Sociedad Arqueológica de Bolivia y su influencia en el desarrollo de la práctica arqueológica en Bolivia. Nuevos Aportes 4:29-54

2008 Lumbreras and Peruvian Prehistory: a retrospective view from Junin. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology 18(2):13-25.

2008 Pastoral nomadism in the Central Andes. In: Hans Barnard and Willeke Wendrich, eds. The Archaeology of Mobility: Old World and New World Nomadism, pp. 160-173. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.

2005 Thoughts on the theater state aspects of Tiwanaku. In: Tiwanaku: aproximaciones a sus contextos históricos y sociales, M. A. Rivera and A. L. Kolata, eds., pp. 301-319. Santiago: Editorial Universidad Bolivariana.

2005 Tierras comestibles de la Cuenca del Titicaca: geofagia en la prehistoria boliviana. Estudios Atacameños 28:133-141.

2005 Carlos Ponce Sangines: godfather of Bolivian archaeology. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology 15(1):16-25.

2003 Origins of Americanist stratigraphic excavation methods. In: James Truncer, editor. Picking the Lock of Time, pp. 22-39. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.

2003 Central Andean views of nature and the environment. In: Helaine Selin, editor. Nature Across Cultures: views of nature and the environment in non-western cultures, pp. 289-310. New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

2002 Origins of Americanist stratigraphic excavation in North America: the Peabody Museum method and the Chicago method. In: David L. Browman and Stephen Williams, editors. New Perspectives on the Origins of Americanist Archaeology, pp. 242-264. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.

2002 The Peabody Museum, Frederic W. Putnam, and the rise of U.S. anthropology, 1866-1903. American Anthropologist 104(2):508-519.

2001 L'expansion de Tiahuanacu: les caravanes des lamas.  Dossiers d'Archéologie 262:50-57.

2001 The origins and the first 25 years (1973-1997) of the Midwestern Conference on Andean and Amazonian Archaeology and Ethnohistory.  Andean Past 6:347-367.

Browman, David L. and S. Williams

2002 New perspectives on the Origins of Americanist Archaeology. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.