Gerardi Gutierrez Headshot
Associate Professor, Undergraduate Director, Associate Chair
(Ph.D. • Pennsylvania State University • 2002)

HALE 180

Office Hours

Tuesday and Thursday 3:00-4:00 pm

Research Focus

Gerardo Gutiérrez’s research focuses on:

  • Material sciences of pigments, dyes, mediums and glues in rock art, mural painting and Mesoamerican manuscripts with atomic and molecular spectrometry. 
  • The archaeology, ethnohistory, communication systems, biological admixture and human ecology of Prehispanic and early Colonial peoples of the former domains of the Spanish empire in the Americas.
  • Territorial organization of indigenous and European Empires.
  • Accommodations and resistance of indigenous peoples to European imperialism and colonialism.
  • Landscape archaeology, spatial analysis, GIS and topographic archaeology with unmanned aerial vehicles and digital photogrammetry.
  • Archaeology of disasters.

Currently, Professor Gutiérrez has active research programs in:

  • The Mixtec, Tlapanec and Nahua kingdom of Tlachinollan in Eastern Guerrero (Mexican codices and archaeology) 
  • The Basin of Mexico (archaeology of disasters and ethnohistory of the Aztec empire)
  • The Huaxtec Region (archaeology of disasters and ethnohistory of the most northern Maya-speaking groups of Mesoamerica). 
  • The Soconusco Region of Chiapas and Guatemala (archaeology of disasters).
  • Northern borderlands of the US Southwest and Texas (indigenous, Spanish, and Mexican mapping and cartography).

Graduate Studies Information

Working with Professor Gutiérrez

Professor Gutiérrez’s research is multidisciplinary with a strong emphasis on political and economic processes and how these are materialized on landscapes. He uses multiple sources of information including archaeology, epigraphy, indigenous writing systems, primary historical documents in archives, modern and historical cartography, and ethnography.  

Professor Gutiérrez is looking for graduate students with the following:

  • An open mind to multicultural experiences.
  • Adaptability to work in challenging environments in marginalized regions of Latin America.
  • Command of a second language, preferably Spanish.
  • Interdisciplinary research interests.
  • Experience traveling or living abroad.

More About Professor Gutiérrez

Gutiérrez's research focuses on a group of interlocking interests related to the anthropological study of spatial arrangements created and transformed by human agency. He has conducted research on topics including:

  • Territorial organization, ancient settlement patterns, landscape archaeology, and urbanism;
  • Ethnohistory;
  • Geographic information systems and disaster and risk reduction based on the anthropological study of vulnerability and ancient disasters;
  • Demography and migrations.

In his work, many of these overlapping themes have been framed within the context of key moments of societal transformation, including the “before” and “after” of European contact in the New World and the anthropological study of disasters.

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Drone video of the Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacan, Mexico. Appears in the new permanent installation of the John P. McGovern Hall of the Americas, The Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, Texas, curated by Dirk von Tuerenhout.

Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacan, Mexico

*Professor Gutiérrez is not currently accepting Ph.D. applicants​ for Fall 2024