Deborah L. Nichols

Professor of Anthropology
William J. Bryant 1925 Professorship
Chair, Latin America, Latino, and Caribbean Studies
Treasurer, Society for American Archaeology

I am interested in understanding why human societies become more complex. My research examines the archaeology of agriculture in the prehispanic Americas and the formation of states and cities in Mexico and Central America.  Our collaborative work applies chemical source analysis to understand interrelations between ancient economies and politics.

603-646-3033
403 Silsby Hall, Anthropology Department
HB 6047
Department(s): 
Anthropology
Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies
Center(s): 
The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding
Education: 
Ph.D, 1980 Pennsylvania State University
M.A., 1975 Pennsylvania State University
B.A., 1973 Pennsylvania State University

Selected Publications

Nichols, Deborah L. 2016. Teotihuacan. Journal of Archaeological Research. 24:1–74.

Nichols, Deborah L. 2016. Rethinking “Huitzilopochtil’s Conquest:” Elizabeth M. Burmfiel, Social Theory, and the Aztecs of Mexico. Ancient Mesoamerica 27: 153–162.

Nichols, Deborah L. 2015. Intensive Agriculture and the Development of Early Complex Societies in the Basin of Mexico. Ancient Mesoamerica 26: 407–421.ichols, Deborah L. 2016. Rethinking “Huitzilopochtil’s Conquest:” Elizabeth M. Burmfiel, Social Theory, and the Aztecs of Mexico. Ancient Mesoamerica 27: 153–162.

Evans, Susan T. and Deborah L. Nichols. 2015. Civil Engineering and Ceremonial Space at Teotihuacan, Mexico.  In Human Adaptation in Ancient Mesoamerica: Empirical Approaches to Mesoamerican Archaeology, edited by Nancy Gonlin and Kirk D. French, pp. 25–52. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

Stoner, Wes, Deborah L. Nichols, Bridget Alex, and Destiny L. Crider. 2015. The Emergence of Early-Middle Formative Exchange Patters in Mexico: A View from Altica in the Teotihuacan Valley. Journal of Anthropogical Archaeology 39:19–35.

Watkins, Joe, and Deborah L. Nichols. 2014. Closet Chickens. In Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, edited by Claire Smith. Springer, New York

Nichols, Deborah L. 2013. Merchants and Markets: The Archaelogy of Aztec Commerce at Otumba Mexico.  In Mechants, Trade and Exchange in the Pre-Columbian World, edited by Kenneth G. Hirth, pp. 49-83.  Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, Washington, DC.

Nichols, Deborah L., Hector Neff, and George L. Cowgill. 2013. Cerro Portezuelo: State Formation and Hinterlands in the Prehispanic Basin of Mexico.  Ancient Mesoamerica 24:47-71.

Nichols, Deborah L. 2013. In the Shadow of the Pyramids: The Postclassic Teotihuacan Valley.  In Constructing, Deconstructing, and Reconstructing Social Identity: 2,000 Years of Monumentality in Teotihuacan and Cholula, Mexico, edited by Saburo Sugiyama, Tomoko Taiguchi, and Shigeru Kabata, pp. 65-82.  Journal of the Cultural Symbiosis Research Institute  Aichi Prefectural University, Japan.

Nichols, Deborah L., and Christopher A. Pool, editors. 2012. Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology.  Oxford University Press, New York.

Nichols, Deborah L., and Christopher A. Pool. 2012. Mesoamerican Archaeology: Recent Trends.  In Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology, edited by Deborah L. Nichols and Christopher A. Pool, pp. 1-30.  Oxford University Press, New YorkAlex, Bridget A., Deborah L Nichols, and Michael Glascock. 2012. Compositional Analysis of Formative Period Ceramics from the Teotihuacan Valley, Mexico.  Archaeometry 54:821-834.

Alex, Bridget A., Deborah L Nichols, and Michael Glascock. 2012. Compositional Analysis of Formative Period Ceramics from the Teotihuacan Valley, Mexico.  Archaeometry 54:821-834.

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Works in progress

Hirth, Kenneth G., and Deborah L. Nichols2017.  The Structure of Aztec Commerce: Markets and Merchants.  In The Oxford Handbook of the Aztecs, edited by Deborah L. Nichols and Enrique Rodriguez-Alegria.  Oxford Universit Press, New York. forthcoming

Nichols, Deborah L. and Enrique Rodriguez-Alegria.  2017.  Oxford Handbook of the Aztecs.  Oxford University Press, New York forthcoming.

Nichols, Deborah L., Frances F. Berdan, and Michael E. Smith In press.  Rethinking the Aztec Economy. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Berdan, Frances E., Kenneth G. Hirth, Deborah L. Nichols, and Michael E. Smith. In press  Aztec Economy and Empire Through the Lens of Objects. In Rethinking the Aztec Economy, edited by Deborah L. Nichols, Frances F. Berdan, and Michael E. Smith. University of Arizona Press, Tucson

Nichols, Deborah L. In press.  Farm to Market in the Aztec Empire. In Rethinking the Aztec Economy, edited by Deborah L. Nichols, Frances F. Berdan, and Michael E. Smith. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Hirth, Kenneth G., Michael E. Smith, Frances F. Berdan, and Deborah L. Nichols. In press. Objects, Economy, and Empire: Scale, Integration, and Change. In Rethinking the Aztec Economy, edited by Deborah L. Nichols, Frances F. Berdan, and Michael E. Smith. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Crider, Destiny, Deborah L. Nichols, Christopher P. Garraty. In press.  A Geospatial Approach to the Development of Postclassic Markets: Ceramic Production and Exchange from the Epiclassic through Late Postclassic in the Basin of Mexico. In City, Craft and Residence in Mesoamerica: Research Papers Presented in Honor of Dan Healan, edited by Ronald K. Faulseit, Nezahualcoyotl Xiutecutli, and Haley Holt-Mehta. Middle American Research Institute Papers, Tulane University, New Orleans

Selected works and activities

Nichols, Deborah L. and Wesley Stoner. Collaborative Research: Craft Specialization, Exchange, and the Development of Early Complex Societies in Central Mexico.  Principal Investigators: Deborah L. Nichols (Dartmouth College) and Wesley Stoner, NSF No. 1424132-Nichols (Dartmouth) and Wesley Stoner NSF No. 1424132-Nichols (Dartmouth), NSF No. 424184-Stoner (University of Arkansas).  (2014)

Smith, Michael E., Deborah L. Nichols, Frances F. Berdan. Economics of Empire: Circulating Goods in the Aztec World, Amerind Foundation Advanced Seminar, Dragoon, AZ. (2015).