Rob Weiner photo

A.B., Archaeology and the Ancient World & Anthropology, Brown University

A.M., Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University

Research interests: religion, cognition and mind, monumentality, cross-cultural comparison, mythology and oral tradition, Chaco Canyon, Diné traditional history 

My PhD dissertation research explores the history, use, and meaning of monumental roads in the ancient U.S. Southwest associated with Chaco Canyon and its regional system. My MA thesis examined the importance of gambling in Chacoan society as reflected in gaming artifacts and Native oral traditions. More broadly, I am interested in the role of religion in the longue durée of human history and cross-cultural regularities in religious practices and concepts. 

I have conducted archaeological surveys and excavations for academic, federal, and private projects in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Turkey, with ongoing fieldwork on Chacoan roads in collaboration with the Navajo Nation.

I also hold positions with the Solstice Project and Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions

Publications: (all available at

  • 2021. Weiner, Robert and Smith, Emma L. Great houses for whom?: Chacoan monumental architecture in cross-cultural, cognitive, and ethnohistorical perspective. The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture. April 2021.
  • 2021. Weiner, Robert and Kelley, Klara B. Asdzáán Náhodidáhí (Lady Picker-Up) at Fajada Butte: Astronomy, Landscape, and the Basketmaker III Origins of Chacoan Ceremonialism. Journal of Southwestern Anthropology and Histor.  May 2021.
  • 2020.  "Great Houses for Whom?: Chacoan Monumental Architecture in Cross-Cultural, Cognitive, and Ethnohistorical Perspective" in Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness, and Culture
  • 2020. "Asdzáán Náhodidáhí (Lady Picker-Up) at Fajada Butte: Astronomy, Landscape, and the Basketmaker III Origins of Chacoan Ceremonialism" in Kiva: The Journal of Southwestern Anthropology and History
  • 2018.  Sociopolitical, Ceremonial, and Economic Aspects of Gambling in Ancient North America: A Case Study of Chaco Canyon. American Antiquity 83(01):34–53.
  • 2015. A Sensory Approach to Exotica, Ritual Practice, and Cosmology at Chaco Canyon. Kiva 81(3–4):220–246.
  • Friedman, Richard A., Anna Sofaer, and Robert S. Weiner
  • 2017. Remote Sensing of Chaco Roads Revisited. Advances in Archaeological Practice 5(4):365–381.


2022 Paloheimo Fellowship at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe

2022 Center to Advance Research and Teaching in the Social Sciences Graduate Student Research Award