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Photo of Solinis-Casparius, Rodrigo

Rodrigo Solinis-Casparius

"Bridge to Faculty" Postdoctoral Research Associate


Building & Room:

BSB 2138D


1007 W. Harrison Street

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I am a Mexican archaeologist. I studied Archaeology at Universidad Veracruzana (BA) in Mexico, an MA in Cultural Heritage and Conservation at Universidad de Salamanca, Spain, and a PhD at the University of Washington, Seattle. I have been active in the field collaborating for research projects as well as Cultural Heritage Institutions, Museums, Labs and CRM firms in Mexico, USA, Europe and Central America.

I practice landscape archaeology. My research focuses on the social implications in the development of urban layout of ancient cities. I conducted my PhD research studying the road network of the prehispanic city of Angamuco (250-1530 CE), located in the core-area of the Purépecha Empire (Lake Pátzcuaro Basin), Michoacán in Mexico. I explore how people moved around their cities during their daily activities. This helps me understand how such cities emerge, develop, are inhabited and experienced by its residents, and the roles that roads play during these processes. I am particularly interested in integrating spatial analysis (e.g. GIS and geographic network analysis), image analysis, and remote sensing (lidar) with other traditional lines of evidence in archaeology (survey and excavation) to study movement and urbanism in Mesoamerica. My other areas of research include ethics of archaeological practice, cultural heritage, and community-based participatory research at mestizo and indigenous communities in Mexico.

I am the co-director of two archaeological research projects in Mexico within the states of Jalisco (with Universidad de Guadalajara) and Michoacán (with Colorado State University)  that include past landscape interaction and urbanism, as well as working with local communities on the understanding and protecting their cultural heritage. I also have other active research projects on the use of digital technologies in Archaeology at Digital Archaeology and Research Lab at University of Washington, Seattle and the Center for Archaeology and Center of Remote Sensing at Colorado State University.

Selected Grants

National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Award: 2015-2017. "The Role of Road Systems In Social Definition And Integration", Principle Investigator

Selected Publications

Cohen, A., and Solinis-Casparius, R., (2017) “The Micropolitics of Public Archaeology: Working with the Ejido in Michoacán, Mexico” Journal of Social Archaeology 17(3), 326-348.

Fisher, C.T., Cohen, A.S., Solinis-Casparius, R., Pezzutti, F.L., Bush, J., Forest, M., Torvinen, A., (2019) “Typology of Ancient Purépecha (Tarascan) Architecture from Angamuco, Michoacán, Mexico”. Latin American Antiquity 30(03):510-528.

Notable Honors

2020, Alfonso Caso Award. Best Archaeology Dissertation in Mexico, INAH

2019-2020, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Anthropology & Geography / Department of History. Colorado State University, Fort Collins

2010-215, Mexican National Council of Science and Technology PhD Fellowship, CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tenología)

2010-2013, PhD Fellowship, Fulbright


Ph.D., University of Washington, 2019. Archaeology
M.A., University of Washington, 2013. Anthropology
M.A., Universidad de Salamanca, Spain, 2008. Cultural Heritage and Conservation
B.A., Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico, 2003. Archaeology

Professional Memberships

Associated researcher at:

- Center for Archaeology and Remote Sensing, Colorado State University
- Digital Archaeology and Research lab, University of Washington, Seattle
- Laboratorio de Estudios Mexicanos y Mesoamericanos, Universidad de Guadalajara, MX

Selected Presentations

Solinis-Casparius, R. (2019), Angamuco’s Socio-Spatial Organization: roads and pedestrian circulation among household complejos. INAH, Michoacán 4th Annual Meeting

Solinis-Casparius, R. (2019), The use of digital technologies to understand pedestrian traffic patterns and urbanization at Angamuco. 5th Annual Rocky Mountains Pre-Columbian Association Research Colloquium

Solinis-Casparius, R. (2019), Ancient roads: How archaeologists study roads and cities. TEDx Event. Colorado Chapter

Solinis-Casparius, R. Cohen, A. (2018) Toward Community-Supported Archaeology: Archaeological Practice on Ejido Land in Michoacán, Mexico INAH, Michoacán 3rd Annual Meeting

Solinis-Casparius, R. (2018), Archaeological Practice and Public Engagement in Cultural Heritage sites of Mexico Center for Anthropological Research in Museums and Cultural Heritage, Berlin

Solinis-Casparius, R., Fisher, C., Fernandez, J., Bush, J., Cohen, A. (2018), Current Archaeological Research in Eastern, Central, and Southern Honduras,  Society of American Archaeology 83rd Annual Meeting

Solinis-Casparius, R. (2017), Infraestructura vial prehispánica: Caminos de Angamuco a través del tiempo. INAH, Michoacan 2nd Annual Meeting

Solinis-Casparius, R. Cohen, A. Fisher, C. (2017), Integrating LiDAR with Pedestrian Survey at the Ancient City of Angamuco, Michoacán, Mexico, Society of American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting

Research Currently in Progress

Active Research projects:

Co-PI   Legacies of Resilience: Lake Patzcuaro Basin Archaeological Project (LORE-LPB), Phase II Urbanism in Michoacán 250-1530 CE (Angamuco site). Projected next field season: Summer 2022 UIC in collaboration with Colorado State University.

Co-PI   Proyecto Arqueológico Cuenca de Sayula (PACS), Phase IV Landscape and Cultural transformations 1500 BCE-1520 CE (Four sites around Sayula Basin). Projected next field season: Winter 2023. UIC in collaboration with Universidad de Guadalajara, MX

Co-Leader   Cultural Heritage Ethnographic Summer Field school, Mexico. 2-week ethnographic school on different models of Archaeological Heritage Management (Teotihuacan, Guachimontones, Tzinztunztan and Angamuco). Next field season: Summer 2022 In collaboration with Anna S. Cohen from Utah State University, UT