Dr. Carl J Wendt's Home Page


Dr. Carl Wendt

I graduated with a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the Pennsylvania State University in 2003 with a specialization in anthropological archaeology.  I have been engaged in archaeological fieldwork in Mesoamerica since 1995.  My primary research interests lie in the development and organization of ranked and state-level societies in Mesoamerica, and I have two research programs presently under way in Mexico. I have also begun a research project in South Asia. My research addresses complex society, political economy, culture ecology, exchange systems, households, and settlement patterning.

My major research focus is Mesoamerica, where I am engaged in research on Mexico’s southern Gulf coast that on one level is investigating the development and organization of the Olmec culture (1200-500 B.C.), and on another level investigating the archaeology of Olmec households. I have also begun laying the foundation for research in eastern Sri Lanka, with a focus there on Early Iron Age developments (ca. 900 B.C. – A.D. 100). In all of my research I employ a range of quantitative (e.g., statistical), spatial (GIS), technological (e.g., GC/MS analysis), and field (GPS, remote sensing, etc.) tools to aid in data management, pattern identification, and analysis.

Field Projects:


Proyecto Arqueológico Arroyo Pesquero


Proyecto Arqueológico Chapopote


Nilgala Archaeological Project



Research Interests:


Anthropological Archaeology

Complex Societies

Political Economy        

Cultural Ecology          

Formative Period Cultures

Olmec Archaeology

Exchange Systems

Household Archaeology

Settlement Patterns

Quantitative Methods

Ceramic Analysis                        


Archaeometry (materials analysis, GC/MS)

Sri Lanka


Courses Taught:


ANTH 103      Introduction to Archaeology                 

ANTH 327      Origins of Civilization 

ANTH 418      GIS and Archaeology             

ANTH 423      The Ancient Maya

ANTH 424      Aztecs and Their Predecessors

ANTH 428      Prehistoric North America

ANTH 481      Contemporary Anthropology

ANTH 504T    Origin and Development of Social Inequality

ANTH 504T    GIS and Archaeology

ANTH 504T    Ceramic Analysis


Recent Publications:

Wendt, Carl J.
2012    Olmec Indians.  World Book Encyclopedia

Wendt, Carl J. and Roberto Lunagómez Reyes
2011    Investigating the Arroyo Pesquero Olmec.  Mexicon 33(3):73-79.

Wendt, Carl J.

2010   A San Lorenzo Phase Household Assemblage from El Remolino, Veracruz. Ancient Mesoamerica 21(1):107-122.



Wendt, Carl J.

2009    The Scale and Structure of Bitumen Processing in Early Olmec Households. In Housework: Specialization, Risk, and Domestic Craft Production in Mesoamerica, edited by Kenneth G. Hirth, Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 19(1):33-44.


Wendt, Carl J.

2009    William Sanders: Vida y Obra en la Costa del Golfo.  In Excavando en Silencio: Homenaje a Arqueólogos en Veracruz, edited by Lourdes Budar, Sara Ladrón de Guevara, and Roberto Lunagómez, pp. 103-108. Museo de Antropología de Xalapa, Facultad de Antropología, Universidad de Veracruzana, Xalapa, Mexico.


Wendt, Carl J.

2008    El Antiguo Procesamiento y Uso de Chapopote en las Tierras Bajas de San Lorenzo, Veracruz, Mexico.  In Ideología Política y Sociedad en el Periodo Formativo (Political Ideology and Society in the Formative Period): Ensayos en homenaje al doctor David C. Grove, edited by Ann Cyphers and Kenneth G. Hirth, pp. 55-92. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, Mexico.


Wendt, Carl J. and Ann Cyphers

2008    How the Olmec Used Bitumen in Ancient Mesoamerica.  Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 27(2):175-191.


Wendt, Carl J.

2007    Los Olmecas: Los Primeros Petroleros. Arqueología Mexicana (septiembre-octubre de 2007) (Cultura Olmeca) 15(87):56-59. (http://www.arqueomex.com/S2N3nPetroleros87.html)


Wendt, Carl J. and Shan-Tan Lu

2006    Sourcing Archaeological Bitumen in the Olmec Region. Journal of Archaeological Science 33(1):89-97.


Wendt, Carl J.

2005    Using Refuse Disposal Patterns to Infer Olmec Site Structure in the San Lorenzo

Region, Veracruz, Mexico. Latin American Antiquity 16(4):449-466.


Wendt, Carl J.

2005    Excavations at El Remolino: Household Archaeology in the San Lorenzo Olmec Region. Journal of Field Archaeology 30:163-180.


Wendt, Carl J.

2005    Bitumen Sourcing in the Olmec Region. Final report submitted to The Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc.

(English, http://www.famsi.org/reports/03059/index.html,

Español, http://www.famsi.org/reports/03059es/index.html)


Wendt, Carl J.

2003    Buried Floodplain Deposits at Tres Zapotes: The Results from an Auger Testing

Program.  In Settlement Archaeology and Political Economy at Tres Zapotes, Veracruz, Mexico, edited by Christopher A. Pool, pp. 32-46.  Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California at Los Angeles.


Wendt, Carl J.

2002    Investigations at an Olmec Community.  Final report submitted to The Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc.

(English, http://www.famsi.org/reports/99068/index.html,

Español, http://www.famsi.org/reports/99068es/index.html)


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