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Reading: History of Bolivian Archaeology: Max Portugal Ortiz


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History of Bolivian Archaeology: Max Portugal Ortiz


David L. Browman

Washington University, St. Louis, US
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One of the continuing problems for students of the history of our discipline is the tendency for retrospectives to identify and discuss the same ‘big names’ in the field, as if these individuals were the only ‘players’ or ‘actors’ involved. Thus in Bolivia, for example, a list of prominent archaeologists working in the mid-20th century often gets limited to Europeans such as Stig Ryden and Heinz Walter, Americans such as Wendell C. Bennett and Alfred Kidder, and Bolivians such as Arturo Posnansky and Carlos Ponce Sanginés. With respect to the in-country, Bolivian contributors, then, one comes away with the impression that the baton passed rather seamlessly from Posnansky to Ponce.

There is a vibrant community of young archaeologists in La Paz, Bolivia, who have started new web-sites, new journals, new advanced degree programs, and even pushed through some ‘cultural resource management’ legislation. Two of these scholars, Carlos Lémuz Aguirre and Claudia Rivera Casanovas, are the new editors of the recently revived journal Nuevos Aportes. The first (and for many years only) issue of Nuevos Aportes came out in 1992. There thus has been nearly a fifteen year gap between that premier issue and the current issue No. 2. Utilizing new web-technology, this journal now is wholly a web-based publication, accessible through <>.

How to Cite: Browman, D.L., 2007. History of Bolivian Archaeology: Max Portugal Ortiz. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, 17(1), pp.40–42. DOI:
Published on 10 May 2007.


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