Alexander Geurds

Dr Alexander Geurds

Associate Professor in Middle and South American Archaeology

Institute of Archaeology
36 Beaumont St, Oxford, OX1 2PG

Tel: +44 (0)1865 278292

Fax: +44 (0)1865 278254


Alexander Geurds is Associate Professor and Senior Researcher in the School of Archaeology and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University. He also holds a position as Assistant Professor Adjunct at the University of Colorado (Boulder) and currently serves as Academic Director of the Netherlands Research School for Archaeology ARCHON. He is the founding editor of the book series ‘The Early Americas: History and Culture’ at Brill Publishers.

Alex is Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Society and a National Geographic Society Explorer. His research in parts of Central America is consistently supported by external grants, including three National Geographic grants. After obtaining several grant from the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO Rubicon, Veni), his current grants are:

Networked practices of contact: Cultural identity at the Late Prehistoric settlement of Aguas Buenas, Nicaragua, AD 500‐1522 (NWO-2013- 276-60-001 

The Linguistic Past of Mesoamerica and the Andes: A search for early migratory relations between North and South America (ERC-2013-AvG 295918-MesoAndLin(g)k)


•  ERC Advanced Grant MesoAndLin(g)k  

•  Personal page National Geographic Society 

•  The Early Americas: History and Culture (Brill Publishers)

Research interests

Regionally, my focus is on the archaeology of Middle and South America, where I study stone sculpture practices, monumental architecture, and mound building, alongside the potential for interregional networks of contact. Theoretically, I engage with thinking on material culture in, and through, regional archaeological field research, including survey and excavation, as well as in museum settings. I am also concerned with critically examining contemporary heritage dynamics involving both archaeological objects and the archaeological process itself.

Select Publications


In prep

The Archaeology of the Fonseca Gulf, Honduras. (with Claude Baudez)

In prep

Chronology and its Discontents: The effects of crisis and change on the ordering of events in Ancient America. Under contract with Springer, London. (with Chloé Andrieu, Charlotte Arnauld and Peter Eeckhout).

In prep

Stone sculpture of Central Nicaragua: Contextual analysis and corpus description.


Breaking down Borders: The Archaeology of Nicaragua. Under contract with University Press of Colorado, Boulder. (with Larry Steinbrenner,Geoffrey McCafferty, and Carrie Dennett).


The Routledge Handbook of Globalization and Archaeology. Routledge, London. (with Tamar Hodos, Paul Lane, Ian Lilley, Martin Pitts, Gideon Shelach, Miriam Stark, and Miguel-John Versluys).


Creating authenticity: Authentification processes in ethnographic museums. Sidestone Press, Leiden. (with Laura NK Van Broekhoven)


Grounding the Past: The praxis of participatory archaeology in the Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca, Mexico. CNWS Publications, Leiden.



Vlaskamp R.J.C., Geurds A. & Jansen R., Reporte de las investigaciones arqueológicas entre 2011-2014 en el sitio prehispánico de Aguas Buenas, Chontales, Nicaragua, Mi Museo y Vos 8(29): 6-12.


Geurds, A., The Cuapa complex: A note on the last pre-Hispanic period from Central Nicaragua, Mexicon: Zeitschrift für Mesoamerikaforschung 35(6): 148-151.


Broekhoven LNK Van & Geurds A., Indigenous religious traditions in Central Nicaragua.. In: Bakels C, Kamermans H (Eds.) The End of Our Fifth Decade no. 43/44. Leiden: Leiden University. 51-63.


Geurds A., The Social in the Circum-Caribbean: Toward a Transcontextual Order. In: Hofman C.L, Duijvenbode A. van (Eds.) Communities in Contact: Essays in archaeology, ethnohistory & ethnography of the Amerindian circum-Caribbean. Leiden: Sidestone Press.

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