Bio


John Rick’s research focuses on prehistoric archaeology and anthropology of hunter-gatherers and initial hierarchical societies, stone tool analysis and digital methodologies, Latin America, Southwestern U.S. Rick’s major research efforts have included long-term projects studying early hunting societies of the high altitude puna grasslands of central Peru, and currently he directs a major research project at the monumental World Heritage site of Chavín de Huántar aimed at exploring the foundations of authority in the central Andes. Other field projects include work on early agricultural villages in the American Southwest, and a recently-initiated project on the Preclassic and Early Classic archaeology of the Guatemalan highlands near Panajachel, Atitlan. Current emphasis is on employing dimensional analytical digital techniques to the study of landscape and architecture, and on exploring the contexts and motivations for the development of sociopolitical inequalities.

Academic Appointments


  • Emeritus (Active) Professor, Anthropology

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan (1978)

2019-20 Courses


Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Claire Maass
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Luis Armando Muro
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Luis Armando Muro

All Publications


  • Establishing radiogenic strontium isotope signatures for Chavin de Huantar, Peru JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS Slovak, N. M., Paytan, A., Rick, J. W., Chien, C. 2018; 19: 411–19
  • The Nature of Ritual Space at Chavin de Huantar RITUALS OF THE PAST: PREHISPANIC AND COLONIAL CASE STUDIES IN ANDEAN ARCHAEOLOGY Rick, J. W., Rosenfeld, S. A., Bautista, S. L. 2017: 21–49
  • Chavín de Huántar: Evidence for an evolved shamanism San Diego Museum Papers 44: Mesas and Cosmologies in the Central Andes Rick, J. W. 2006; 44: 101-112
  • The evolution of authority at Chavín de Huántar, Peru The Foundations of Power in the Prehispanic Andes Rick, J. W. edited by Vaughn, K., Conlee, C. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association. 2005: 14
  • Building authority at Chavín de Huántar: Models of social organization and development in the initial period and early horizon Andean Archaeology Rick, J. W., Kembel, S. R. edited by Silverman, H. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers. 2004: 51–76
  • Conveying shape and features with image-based relighting IEEE Visualization 2003 Conference Akers, D., Losasso, F., Klingner, J., Agrawala, M., Rick, J., Hanrahan, P. IEEE. 2003: 349–354
  • Projectile points, style, and social process in the preceramic of central Peru 2nd Tulsa Conference on Lithic Analysis Rick, J. W. PLENUM PRESS DIV PLENUM PUBLISHING CORP. 1996: 245–278
  • DATES AS DATA - AN EXAMINATION OF THE PERUVIAN PRECERAMIC RADIOCARBON RECORD AMERICAN ANTIQUITY Rick, J. W. 1987; 52 (1): 55-73
  • THE SIMULATION OF PREHISTORIC HUNTING PRACTICES PERSPECTIVES IN COMPUTING Rick, J. W. 1986; 6 (2): 27-33
  • PUNAS, PUNDITS, AND PREHISTORY - COMMENT ON WHEELER REVIEW OF PREHISTORIC HUNTERS OF THE HIGH ANDES AMERICAN ANTIQUITY Rick, J. W. 1984; 49 (1): 177-180