Photo Credit: Charles Mann
MPPP Project Archaeologist
Dr. Chester Liwosz
An expert on rock art of the Southwest and well beyond, Dr. Chester Liwosz joined the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project as the Project Archaeologist starting in spring of 2019. He brings with him a solid background in iconography, database management, and geospatial reasoning to build on MPPP's legacy. Using currently emerging methods digital archaeology, he is also expanding the scope of research at Mesa Prieta.
B.A. with honors in Anthropology from Kenyon College. He attended the University of California Santa Cruz for graduate school, from which he received his M.A. in Anthropology in 2014. In 2018 Chester was awarded his Ph.D. in Anthropology (archaeology) for his dissertation Benchmarks: Ontological Considerations at Two Mojave Desert Petroglyph Labyrinths, in which he used acoustics, 3D modeling, and indigenous oral traditions to understand the religious implications of petroglyphs, pictographs, and the landscapes they embellish.
Dr. Liwosz’s experiences are diverse, spanning Mesoamerica, the Mojave Desert and Great Basin, and Polynesian Hawai‘i. He has supported an array of public and non-profit bodies as an archaeologist, including California State Parks, the National Park Service, and the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research. His current research interests focus on acoustics of rock art landscapes, and archaeological applications of 3D computerized models and virtual reality.
In August 2022, Chester accepted a temporary, one-school-year appointment at New Mexico Highlands University as a visiting professor of archaeology. This arrangement marks a major step in the already developing partnership between MPPP and NMHU, with significant benefits to the Project. First, this guarantees our Summer Youth Intern Program (SYIP, held annually in June of each year) will be accredited, allowing the youth interns to earn college credit for completing the program. More immediately, Highlands graduate students have begun assisting with entering records into our newly updated petroglyph database, an application that provides researchers advanced search functions. This also places MPPP as a leading candidate site for NMHU's next archaeological field school, bringing the project closer to accomplishing this long-held goal. When Professor Liwosz completes his teaching contract this coming May (just in time to fully dedicate himself to our SYIP educational program) the partnership this arrangement has fostered will remain, along with its benefits.
Chester can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out Dr. Liwosz's guest appearances, interviews, and lectures below.
2021 SAA Presentation
2021 ARARA Presentation