Severin Morris Fowles

Severin Morris Fowles

Research Interests

Research Concentrations

Historical Archaeology, Iconology, Materiality, Landscape History, Indigeneity


North America; American Southwest


Severin Fowles is an archaeologist whose work examines the images, landscapes, countercultures, religions, indigenous worlds, and colonial histories of the American Southwest. He has directed various collaborative fieldwork projects in New Mexico: from excavations at a thirteenth-century Ancestral Pueblo village, to rock art surveys in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, to excavations at a Spanish colonial village, to excavations at a 1960s hippie commune. His work prioritizes collaborations with descendant communities, most recently with Picuris Pueblo, on whose behalf he is codirecting a new landscape survey of late precolonial agricultural systems, and with the Comanche Nation, the latter of which resulted in a recent PBS documentary on the tribe’s eighteenth-century rock art traditions.

His works include An Archaeology of Doings: Secularism and the Study of Pueblo Religion (SAR, 2013), The Oxford Handbook of Southwest Archaeology (Oxford, 2017), and numerous essays.


University of Michigan, PhD in Anthropology and Archaeology, 2004
Dartmouth University, BA in Anthropology, 1993

In press. Coeditor with Lindsay Montgomery. “Rock art counter-archives of the American West.” In Murals of the Americas, edited by Victoria Lyall. Denver: Denver Art Museum.

2019. Coauthor with B. Sunday Eiselt. “Apache, Tiwa, and Back Again: Ethnic Shifting in the American Southwest.” In Movement and Becoming in the American Southwest, edited by Sam Duwe and Robert Pruecel, 166-194. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

2018. Coauthor with Benjamin Alberti. “Ecologies of Rock and Art in Northern New Mexico.” In Multispecies Archaeology, edited by Suzanne E. Pilaar Birch, 133-153. New York: Routledge.

2018b. “The Evolution of Simple Society.” Asian Archaeology 2: 19-32. 

2018c. “Pueblo Emergence on the Taos Frontier.” In Life Beyond the Boundaries: Constructing Identity in Edge Regions of the North American Southwest, edited by Karen Harry and Sarah Herr, 57-87. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.

2018d. “Taos Social History: a Rhizomatic Account.” In Puebloan Societies: Cultural Homologies in Time and Space, edited by Peter M. Whiteley. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research.

2017. “Absorption, Theatricality, and the Image in Deep Time.” Cambridge Archaeological Journal 27, no. 4: 679-689.

2017b. Coauthor with Jimmy Arterberry, Heather Atherton, and Lindsay Montgomery. “Comanche New Mexico: the Eighteenth Century.” In New Mexico and the Pimería Alta: The Colonial Period in the American Southwest, edited by John G. Douglass and William M. Graves, 157-186. Denver: University of Colorado Press.

2017c. Coeditor with Barbara Mills. The Oxford Handbook of Southwest Archaeology. New York: Oxford University Press.

2017d. Coauthor with Benjamin Alberti. “Surface Revelations: Epistemologies and Ecologies of Rock Art.” In Anthropology of the Arts: A Reader, edited by Gretchen Bakke and Marina Peterson, 107-115. New York: Bloomsbury.

2016. “The Perfect Subject (Postcolonial Object Studies).” Journal of Material Culture 21, no. 1: 9-27.

2016b. “The Stress of History: Stories of an Unfinished Kiva.” In Exploring Cause and Explanation: Historical Ecology, Demography, and Movement in the American Southwest, edited by Cynthia Herhahn and Ann Ramenofsky, 177-198. Denver: University of Colorado Press.

2015. “Writing Collapse.” In Social Theory in Archaeology and Ancient History: The Present and Future of Counternarratives, edited by Geoffrey Emberling, 205-230. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2014. “On Torture in Societies Against the State.” In Violence and Civilization, edited by Rod Campbell, 152-178. Providence: Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology.

2013. Coauthor with Kaet Heupel. “Absence.” In Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World, edited by Paul Graves-Brown, Rodney Harrison, and Angela Piccini, 178-191. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2013b. An Archaeology of Doings: Secularism and the Study of Pueblo Religion. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press.

2013c. Coauthor with Jimmy Arterberry. “Gesture and Performance in Comanche Rock Art.” World Art 3, no. 1: 67-82.

2012. “The Pueblo village in an age of reformation.” In Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology, edited by Timothy Pauketat, 631-644. London: Oxford University Press.

2011. Coauthor with Norman Yoffee. “Archaeology in the humanities.” Special issue, Diogenes 229: 77-103.

2011b. Coauthor with Wesley Bernardini. “Becoming Hopi, becoming Tiwa: two Pueblo histories of movement.” In Movement, Connectivity, and Landscape Change in the Ancient Southwest, edited by Margaret Nelson and Colleen Strawhacker, 253-274. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.

2011c. “Movement and the unsettling of the Pueblos.” In Rethinking Anthropological Perspectives on Migration, edited by Graciela Cabana and Jeffrey Clark, 45-67. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.

2011d. Coauthor with Alberti, Benjamin, Martin Holbraad, and Yvonne Marshall, Christopher Witmore. “‘Worlds otherwise’: archaeology, anthropology and ontological difference.” Current Anthropology 52, no. 6: 896-912. 

2010. “A people’s history of the American Southwest.” In Ancient Complexities: New Perspectives in Pre-Columbian North America, edited by Susan Alt, 183-204. Provo: University of Utah Press.

2010b. “People without things.” In The Anthropology of Absence: Materialisations of Transcendence and Loss, edited by Mikkel Bille, Frida Hastrup, and Tim Flohr Sørensen, 23-41. New York: Springer Press.

2010c. “The Southwest School of landscape archaeology.” Annual Review of Anthropology 39: 453-468.

2009. “The enshrined Pueblo: villagescape and cosmos in the northern Rio Grande.” American Antiquity 74, no. 3: 448-466.

2008. “Steps toward an archaeology of taboo.” In Religion, Archaeology, and the Material World, edited by Lars Fogelin, 15-37. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

2007. Coauthor with Leah Minc, Sam Duwe, and David Hill. “Clay, conflict, and village aggregation: compositional analyses of pre-Classic pottery from the Taos district, NM.” American Antiquity 72, no. 1: 125-152. 

2006. “Our father (our mother): gender, praxis, and marginalization in Pueblo religion.” In Engaged Anthropology, edited by Michelle Hegmon and Sunday Eiselt, 27-51. Ann Arbor: Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan.

2005. “Historical contingency and the prehistoric foundations of Eastern Pueblo moiety organization.” Journal of Anthropological Research 61, no. 1: 25-52.

2004. “Tewa versus Tiwa: settlement patterns and social history in the northern Rio Grande, AD 1275 to 1540.” In The Protohistoric Pueblo World, AD 1275-1600, edited by E. Charles Adams and Andrew Duff, 17-25. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

2002. “Inequality and egalitarian rebellion: a tribal dialectic in Tonga history.” In The Archaeology of Tribal Societies, edited by W. Parkinson, 74-96. Ann Arbor: International Monographs in Prehistory.

2002b. “From social type to social process: placing ‘tribe’ in a historical framework.” In The Archaeology of Tribal Societies, edited by W. Parkinson, 13-33. Ann Arbor: International Monographs in Prehistory.