Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 1986
I think some of the most important questions in anthropology revolve around the adoption and spread of farming, as the development of a plant producing economy is fundamental to many later cultural changes. I pursue related issues in Northern Mexico, the American Southwest, and Texas, which contain a diversity of ecological settings and archaeological records of past hunter-gatherer and early farming societies. Our work in northwest Chihuahua, Mexico documented rapid and early adoption of farming in the form of a hilltop defensive settlement known as Cerro Juanaqueña. In contrast, on the Texas Coastal Plain, our stable isotope studies have demonstrated a long record of hunter-gatherer adaptations involving the intensive use of aquatic resources. Currently, we are working in southern Chihuahua attempting to understand the adoption of farming in this little known region that lies near northern boundary of Mesoamerica.
My teaching at the freshman and sophomore levels gives students the opportunity to alter their view of the world through the use of an anthropological lens, particularly in Introduction to Anthropology (Ant 1013). In Introduction to Archaeology (Ant 2043) we examine the methods and insights gained from studying long-term changes in ancient societies. At the junior and senior level students are exposed to the details of the archaeological records of North America (Ant 3263) and the American Southwest and Northwest Mexico (Ant 4423). At the graduate level, I want students to meet the multitude of challenges to enable them to design and conduct their own archaeological research.
2008 – Exploring Texas Archaeology with a Model of Intensification. Amber L. Johnson and Robert J. Hard. Plains Anthropologist 53:205:137-153.
2008 – “The Emergence of Maize Farming in Northwestern Mexico.” Robert J. Hard, Karen R. Adams, John R. Roney, Kari M. Schmidt and Gayle J. Fritz. In Case Studies in Environmental Archaeology, second edition, edited by Elizabeth J. Reitz, C. Margaret Scarry and Sylvia J. Scudder, pp. 315-333. Springer, New York.
2007 – “Cerros de Trincheras in Northwestern Chihuahua: The Arguments for Defense.” Robert J. Hard and John R. Roney. In Trincheras Sites in Time, Space and Society, edited by Suzanne K. Fish, Paul R. Fish, and M. Elisa Villalpando, pp 11-52. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
1998 – A Massive Terraced Village Complex in Chihuahua, Mexico, 3000 Years Before Present. Robert J. Hard and John R. Roney,. Science. Vol 279:1661-1664.