Our Staff

Jonathan Haas's picture
Curator
Year Started: 
1989
Introduction: 

Jonathan Haas is the MacArthur Curator of the Americas.  Haas has been conducting archaeological research since 1968, working primarily in the southwestern United States and Andean South America.  He has active research interests in northeastern Arizona, the northern Rio Grande region in New Mexico and the emergence of complex polities on the coast of Peru.  Haas has been involved with the development of numerous temporary and permanent exhibits, including Chocolate.  He is currently the lead curator for the Ancient Americas exhibit which is the first step in redeveloping the Museum's Halls of the Americas.  He has curatorial responsibility for the ethnographic and archaeological collections of North America and the archaeological collections of South America.

At present, he is working with colleagues Winifred Creamer (Northern Illinois University), Alvaro Ruiz, and Kit Nelson (Tulane University) investigating Late Archaic (ca. 3,000-1,800 B.C.) occcupation of a portion of the Peruvian coast known as the "Norte Chico."  This is a group of 4 valleys, Huaura, Supe, Pativilca and Fortaleza between 140 and 200 km north of Lima.  In this area are more than 30 very large sites, all with monumental architecture, ceremonial structures, and variable residential structures.  The sites were all occupied prior to the introduction of pottery on the Peruvian coast.  Haas and colleagues have spent several field seasons testing 15 of these sites in two valleys, primarily to extract radiocarbon samples and soil samples for botanical and zoological remains.  The Proyecto Arqueologico Norte Chico is planned as a long-term project with a permanent field headquarters in the town of Barranca.