Mexican museum honors ASU archaeologist with symposium
In the world of Mesoamerican archaeology, Arizona State University’s Barbara Stark is a heavyweight. A professor emerita in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Stark has made a name for herself through decades of work uncovering the underpinnings and evolutionary paths of ancient civilizations, primarily in Mexico’s Gulf lowlands.
Earlier this month, Stark attended a symposium held in her honor at the Museum of Anthropology of Xalapa in Veracruz, Mexico. Several international and U.S. scholars presented at the event, which recognized Stark’s contributions to the archaeology of the region, including a growing understanding of tropical urbanism, sociopolitical organization and prehistoric economy. Stark also spoke, giving her personal observations on archaeology and her prolific career.
University of Veracruz historical anthropology professor – and former Stark student – Sergio Vázquez Zárate commented on Stark’s work with colleagues from his institution. Calling her research “pioneering,” especially regarding settlement patterns in the La Mixtequilla region, he praised her for opening a line of collaborative dialogue and increasing field work opportunities for archaeologists.
The symposium and Stark’s legacy as a researcher and professor were recently highlighted in a Proyecto Veracruz article.