1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Stephen Plog

David A. Harrison Professor of Archaeology

Ph.D. University of Michigan 1977

Brooks Hall, 308


My research focuses on culture change in the prehistoric American Southwest, particularly the changing nature of ritual and social organization from approximately A.D. 800 to the present. My recent focus has been on the Chaco Canyon region of northwestern New Mexico, perhaps the most important center of the Pueblo world in the 11th and 12th centuries. I address what I believe are key aspects of organization, ritual and cosmology during the Chacoan era. More specifically, some of my recent research has explored the application of "house theory" to our understanding of change and organization in the Southwest.

Another significant focus has been a cooperative effort with several other scholars—assisted by the financial support of the Andrew Mellon Foundation and a partnership with University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities—to create an online digital archive (www.chacoarchive.org) for Chaco Canyon. Our goal has been to enhance testing of hypotheses by increasing access to much of the unpublished excavation data from such settlements as Pueblo Bonito, particularly the important early fieldwork of the Hyde Exploring Expedition (1896-1900), the National Geographic Society Expedition (1920-1927), and the University of New Mexico field school in the 1930s and 1940s. Through a relational database, we provide access to room and kiva-specific information on ca. a dozen sites and access to over 17,000 images and almost two thousand unpublished manuscripts, field notes, accession catalogs, etc.


Southwestern Archaeology, The Emergence of Social Inequality, Chiefs and Chiefdoms, Pueblo Social Organization


Social and ritual change, digital research archives, ceramic and stylistic analysis, demography, exchange.

Department Faculty

Ira Bashkow
Associate Professor
Frederick H. Damon
Eve Danziger
Professor; Affiliated Faculty: Linguistics Program; Cognitive Science Program
Lise Dobrin
Associate Professor & Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Linguistics
Carrie Douglass
Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies
Gertrude Fraser
Associate Professor
Richard Handler
Professor & Director of Global Development Studies Program
Jeffrey L. Hantman
Associate Professor
James Igoe
Associate Professor
Ravindra Khare
Professor & Director of the Center on Critical Human Survival Issues
Adria LaViolette
Associate Professor
Daniel Lefkowitz
Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies
Susan McKinnon
Professor & Chair
George Mentore
Associate Professor
Rachel Most
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs & Professor
Fraser D. Neiman
Stephen Plog
David A. Harrison Professor of Archaeology
China Scherz
Assistant Professor
John Shepherd
Associate Professor
Margaret Smith
Director & Curator, The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection
Edith Turner
Roy Wagner
Patricia Wattenmaker
Associate Professor
Kath Weston