Universiteit Leiden

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Alexander Geurds

Assistant professor

Dr. A. Geurds
+31 71 527 2206

Office days

Tuesday to Thursday


Alexander Geurds (PhD 2007, Leiden University) is currently Associate Professor at Leiden University and Assistant Professor Adjunct at the University of Colorado – Boulder. He is an anthropological archaeologist specialized in the prehispanic past of Central America and Mexico. He has directed archaeological fieldwork in Mexico and Nicaragua, has conducted museological research into archaeological collections in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia and directs the Central Nicaragua Archaeological Project since 2007. He has published on the role of archaeological sites and objects in contemporary contexts of state heritage management and local perceptions in Middle America. He is writing about a book on the prehispanic sculptural tradition in central Nicaragua, co-editing a volume on the Archaeology of Nicaragua (University Press of Colorado), and co-editing the Handbook on Globalization in Archaeology (Routledge). A recent volume, co-edited by him, discusses questions of authenticity in museum practice. In his work, matters of monumentality, materiality and networks of contact are critically examined for the cultural contexts of Mesoamerica and Lower Central America.  Alongside this, Geurds also works along the lines of an ‘engaged archaeology’; stressing the contemporary societal roles of the archaeological record and the importance therein of the archaeological specialist. 

Dr. Geurds is a National Geographic Society Explorer and three-time grantee, and a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. After obtaining an NWO Rubicon Grant (2007), his research projects have been consistently supported through US and Dutch external grants, including an NWO Veni Grant (2010) and most recently an NWO Vidi Grant (2013). Since 2013, he also serves as Senior Researcher in the MesoAndLin(g)k Project (ERC Advanced Grant, PI Willem Adelaar), analyzing the archaeological and (ethno)historical correlates of language contact between Mesoamerica and the Middle Andes. He is the founding editor of the book series The Early Americas: History and Culture, by Brill Publishers.

• ERC Advanced Grant MesoAndLin(g)k 
• NWO Vidi Networked practices of contact 
• NWO Veni Fixing History 
• NWO Rubicon Roadmaps to ancient communication 
•  Personal page National Geographic Society 
•  The Early Americas: History and Culture (Brill Publishers) 

Assistant professor

  • Faculteit Archeologie
  • World Archaeology
  • Caribbean and Amazonia

Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number B201



  • University of Colorado at Boulder Associate Professor Adjunct
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