Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Rathje, William Laurens

  • Michael Brian Schiffer
  • J. Jefferson Reid
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1093

Basic Biographical Information

William Laurens Rathje (1945–2012) was born in South Bend, Indiana. After receiving his B.A. degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1967, he attended Harvard University on a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, where in 1971 he was awarded the Ph.D., also in anthropology. His museum-based dissertation, Lowland Classic Maya Socio-Political Organization: Degree and Form Through Time and Space, was directed by Gordon R. Willey. Even before the dissertation had been completed, Rathje in 1970 returned to the University of Arizona as a faculty member, where he remained until retirement in 2000. After retirement, he spent several years at Stanford University teaching with Michael Shanks.

Major Accomplishments

Rathje’s contributions to anthropological archaeology were significant in a wide range of research areas. His numerous papers on Mesoamerican archaeology published in 1970–1978 established Rathje as one of the preeminent...

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Further Reading

  1. Rathje, W. L. 1970. Socio-political implications of Lowland Maya burials: methodology and tentative hypotheses. World Archaeology 1: 359–74.Google Scholar
  2. - 1971. The origin and development of Lowland Classic Maya civilization. American Antiquity 36: 275–85.Google Scholar
  3. - 1974. The Garbage Project: a new way of looking at the problems of archaeology. Archaeology 27(4): 236–41.Google Scholar
  4. - 1979. Modern material culture studies. Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory 2: 1–37. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  5. - 1979. Trace measures, in L. Sechrest (ed.) Unobtrusive measures today: new directions for methodology of behavioral science: 75–91. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.Google Scholar
  6. Rathje, W. L., W. W. Hughes, D. C. Wilson, M. K. Tani, G. H. Archer, R. G. Hunt & T. W. Jones. 1992. The archaeology of contemporary landfills. American Antiquity 57: 437–47.Google Scholar
  7. Rathje, W. L., M. Shanks & C. Witmore. (ed.) 2012. Archaeology in the making: conversations through a discipline. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Reid, J. J., M. B. Schiffer & W. L. Rathje. 1975. Behavioral archaeology: four strategies. American Anthropologist 77: 864–69.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of AnthropologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA