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Roddick Andy, Associate Professor


Research and Supervisory Interests

I conduct archaeological research on Formative Period cultures of the south central highlands of Bolivia. My ongoing work employs ceramic analysis to investigate community organization during the periods prior to the appearance of Tiwanaku, one of the earliest urban centers in highland South America. I have focused my work on the Taraco Peninsula, on the southern shores of Late Titicaca, where I have led excavations, conducted geological surveys, and conducted fine-grained ceramic analysis. My research asks several broad anthropological questions: How did potters learn their craft in the past? How do crafting traditions develop, and how are they maintained? How do the production, distribution and consumption of crafts contribute to the development of community and political identity?

I am currently involved in four projects, all of which continue to explore my interest in crafting traditions, learning, and archaeologies of landscape. The first project, which is funded by a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant, involves the analysis of Late Formative (200 BC - 400 AD) and Tiwanaku (AD 400-1000) period ceramic collections, in order to explore changes in "communities of practice" across space and time.  In this project both McMaster and Bolivian students are helping to explore the changes in skilled potting across time and space through the collection of raw materials (clays and sediments), the analysis of ceramic attributes, and detailed study of pottery and clay using a range of analytical techniques (petrography, LA-ICP-MS (Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry), and radiography. There are several possibilities for graduate work both in the field and in my Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Research of Archaeological Ceramics.

 My second project, which has received funding from McMaster’s Arts Research Board (ARB) and the Wenner-Gren Foundation, consists of working closely with modern potting communities in the Lake Titicaca Basin. With this project, which might be conceived as an "archaeology of the present" (Gonzales-Ruibal 2009), I am exploring the social contexts of learning, embodied techniques, and crafting traditions. Our team, which consists of my co-director Victor Plaza and ethnographer Oswaldo Plaza, is using a range of methods, including interviews, video recording, archival research, and fine-grained ceramic analysis to explore the practices of highly skilled potters and the historical foundations of specialized potting communities in the region.

The third project, which is in its infancy, is a larger collaborative project with Dr. John Janusek (Department of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University), Carlos Lemuz (Sociedad Arqueológico de La Paz), and Victor Plaza (Director of Tourism and Culture for the municipality of Escoma).  In 2012 and 2013 we explored a relatively unknown archaeological region of the eastern Lake Titicaca Basin, and encountered many impressive and well-preserved archaeological sites.  In 2014 we initiated the Proyecto Arqueológico de Redes de Interacción Altiplano y Valles Interandinos (PARIAVA), in order to study Late Formative social landscapes and settlements on the eastern side of the Lake Titicaca basin.  This project is exciting because it will produce data that may radically change our understanding of larger regional relationships of the South Central Andes.  Our long-term plan is to create an umbrella project for regional survey, small-scale excavations, and detailed artifact analysis, all of which offer substantial opportunities for graduate students.

My fourth project is a book co-edited with Dr. Ann Stahl (Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria) exploring the theoretical literature on situated learning. This project grows out of a series of conferences, including a Society for American Archaeology Amerind Foundation Seminar titled "Learning and Doing: Communities of Practice in Scalar Perspective”. This workshop, which is also funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, assembled a wide number of scholars, including ethnographers, historians and archaeologists, to explore the utility of engaging with the situated learning/communities of practice scholarship across spatial and temporal scales and during times of rapid historical change. We are currently preparing a manuscript with the University of Arizona Press.

My teaching and supervisory interests include: social archaeology, ceramic analyses, archaeometry/compositional geochemistry, ethnoarchaeology, anthropologies of space and place, and South/Central/North American prehistory.

Current Graduate Students

Sally Lynch (PhD)
Daniel Ionico (MA)
Aaron Cathers (MA)

Past Graduate Students

Sophie Reilly (2017) MA Thesis: "Meals In Motion: Ceramic And Botanical Investigations Of Foodways In The Late Formative And Tiwanaku Iv/V, Lake Titicaca Basin, Bolivia"
Daiana Rivas-Tello (2016) MA Thesis: "Putting Pottery In Place: A Social Landscape Perspective On The Late Formative Upper Desaguadero Valley, Bolivia"
Jennifer Schumacher (2013) MA Thesis: "Exploring Technological Style and Use in the Early Late Woodland: The Van Besien Site."


MA University of British Columbia, 2002

PhD University of California, Berkeley, 2009


Search course offerings in Anthropology


Courses (2018-19)


  • On Research Leave


Courses (2017-18)


  • ANTHROP 2PA3 - Introduction to Anthropological Archaeology
  • ANTHROP 4F03 - Current Debates in Archaeology: Archaeologies of Space and Place


  • ANTHROP 3FF3 - Key Debates in Andean Archaeology: Nawpa Pacha
  • ANTHROP 4EE3 - Archaeology In (And Of) The Present





In Press Archaeologies of the Present and Sedimented Futures: Reflections from Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology.

2018 (with John Wayne Janusek)  Moving Between Homes: Landscape, Mobility, and Political Action in the Titicaca Basin. In Powerful Landscapes of the Ancient Andes, edited by Justin Jennings and Edward Swenson, University of New Mexico Press.

2018 (with Edward Swenson) Rethinking Temporality and Historicity from the Perspective of Andean Archaeology. In Constructions of Time and History in the Pre-Columbian Andes, edited by Edward Swenson and Andrew P. Roddick, University of Colorado Press.

2018 Disordering the Chronotope: Visualizing Inhabitation in the Lake Titicaca Basin, Bolivia. In Constructions of Time and History in the Pre-Columbian Andes, edited by Edward Swenson and Andrew P. Roddick, University of Colorado Press.

2018 (with John Wayne Janusek and Maribel Perez) Compound K1 and its Relation to the Sunken Temple. In Khonkho Wankane: Archaeological Investigations in Jesus de Machaca, Bolivia, edited by John Wayne Janusek, Contribution of the Archaeological Research Facility Monograph Publications, ARF Publications, Berkeley, CA.

2016 (with Ann B. Stahl) “Knowledge in Motion”: Making Communities and Constellations of Practice across Time and Place. In: Knowledge in Motion: Making Communities and Constellations of Practice Across Time and Place, edited by Andrew P. Roddick and Ann. B. Stahl, pp. 3- 35. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

2016 Scalar Relations: A Juxtaposition of Craft Learning in the Lake Titicaca Basin. In: Knowledge in Motion: Making Communities and Constellations of Practice Across Time and Place, edited by Andrew P. Roddick and Ann. B. Stahl, pp. 126-154. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

2015 (with Colleen Morgan) Editor and respondents to The Senses and Aesthetics of Archaeological Science, on website Then Dig

2015 Trazo e Itinerario: (Re)Definiendo la Chaîne Operatoire de la Cerámica en la Cuenca del Lago Titicaca. Anales de la Reunión Annual de Etnología, Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore, La Paz, Bolivia.

2015  Geologies in Motion: Itineraries of Stone, Clay and Pots in the Lake Titicaca Basin. In R. Joyce and S. Gillespie (eds): Things in Motion: Object Histories, Biographies and Itineraries, pp. 123-146, School for Advanced Research Press, Santa Fe.

2014 (with Maria Bruno and Christine Hastorf) Political Centers in Context: Depositional Histories at Formative Period Kala Uyuni, Bolivia. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 36:140-157.

2013  Temporalities of the Formative Period Taraco Peninsula, Bolivia. Journal of Social Archaeology 13: 287- 309.

2012 (with Antonio Sorge) "Mobile Humanity: The Delocalization of Anthropological Research. Reviews in Anthropology 41 (4): 273-301.

2012  (with Elizabeth Klarich) Arcillas and Alfereros: Clay and temper mining practices in the Lake Titicaca Basin. In N. Tripcovich and K. Vaughn (eds) Mining and Quarrying in the Ancient Andes: Sociopolitical, Economic and Symbolic Dimensions. Springer Publishers.

2010 (with Christine Hastorf) Tradition brought to the surface: Memory work in the Formative Period on the Taraco Peninsula, Bolivia. Cambridge Archaeology Journal Vol. 20, pp 157-178.

2008 “Aproximaciones arqueológicas en ritual de los Andes: Un análisis del espacio ritual durante el Periodo Formativo Medio en el sito Chiripa, Bolivia.”  In: Primero congreso de arqueología de La Paz.  Edited by Jose Luis Paz.  La Paz, Bolivia.

2007 (with Amanda Cohen) Excavation in the AC (Achachi Coa Kkollu) sector. In C. Hastorf and M. Bandy (eds) The Taraco Archaeological Project's 2003 Excavations at Kala Uyuni. No. 64 Contribution of the Archaeological Research Facility Monograph Publications, University of California, Berkeley.

2003 (with John W. Janusek and Arik T. Ohnstad) Khonko Wankane and the rise of Tiwanaku.

Book Reviews

2018 Review of Rituals of the Past: Prehispanic and Colonial Case Studies in Andean Archaeology, edited by Silvana A. Rosenfeld and Stephanie L. Bautista, Boulder, CO, University Press of Colorado, 2017, pp. 344. Ethnoarchaeology10(2): 178-181.

2016 Review of A Russian Perspective on Theoretical Archaeology: The Life and Work of Leo S. Klejn. By Stephen Leach. Left Coast Press. Walnut Creek, CA. pp. 221, 2015. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 40: 360-363.

2015 Review of the Teleoscopic Polity: Andean Patriarchy and Materiality. Tom D. Dillehay. New York: Springer, 2014, 388 Pp.Journal of Anthropological Research 7: 1298-299.

2010 Review Article of Tiwanaku, by Margaret Young-Sanchéz  (ed). American Anthropologist 112 (3): 486.