John Walker

Dr. John Walker is an Associate Professor specializing in archaeology. His research interests include landscape archaeology, GIS, political and social organization, environmental anthropology, the relationship between nature and culture, complex societies, and agricultural intensification in the Amazon Basin, the Andes, and Bolivia. Dr. Walker’s current project studies how pre-Columbian farmers domesticated their environment, showing that the Amazon has been managed and cultivated for thousands of years.

Working with Dr. Walker:John Walker

My research is located in the Llanos de Mojos, a seasonally flooded savanna in the Bolivian Amazon, but I also use satellite and aerial photographs to study the Amazon from the air. I enjoy working with MA and HIM students as they develop research projects that introduce them to graduate scholarship, help them develop their own professional skills, and advance our knowledge of the Amazon. My students have presented their work at professional conferences, and gone on to success in graduate school, and working in a variety of other careers. I can be reached at

Dr. Walker is looking for graduate students with an interest in:

  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Archaeology of Amazonia
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Agricultural intensification
  • Political and social organization
  • Ceramic analysis
  • Experimental archaeology

Examples of research projects conducted by Dr. Walker’s students:

  • Historical archaeology of a turpentine camp in Florida
  • Spatial patterns of raised fields and linguistic diversity
  • Mapping and analyzing agricultural patterns on Google Earth
  • Production, Trade, Feasting, and Anglo-Saxon Kingship
  • Crossing a swamp in the Llanos de Mojos, Beni, Bolivia. This permanent wetland was surrounded by precolumbian villages and agricultural fields.

  • Interpreting an excavation at a ring ditch outside Santa Ana del Yacuma. Participants include Movima speakers, Spanish speakers, and a foreign archaeologist.

  • Building a sugar cane mill near the Yacuma River, Beni, Bolivia.

  • Precolumbian raised fields near the Iruyañez River, Beni, Bolivia. These fields are hundreds of meters long and are easily seen in public domain satellite imagery.

  • Canoe trace through a permanent swamp near Comunidad Miraflores, Yacuma Province, Beni, Bolivia.