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William Parry
Position: Professor
Campus Affiliation: Hunter College
Degrees/Diplomas: PhD U Michigan, 1983
Research Interests: Hunters and gatherers, lithic technology; American Southwest, Mesoamerica
Subfield: Archaeology

I received the degree of A.B. from Franklin and Marshall College in 1976, M.A. from University of Michigan in 1977, and Ph.D. (Anthropology) from University of Michigan in 1983.


I have participated in archaeological field research in Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Mexico (Garnsey site, Roswell), Arizona (Black Mesa), Philippines (Negros Island), Oaxaca (San Jose Mogote), Peru (Norte Chico), and the Teotihuacan Valley of Mexico (including many years of work at the Aztec site of Otumba and the Classic city of Teotihuacan).


My analytical specialty is the study of lithic artifacts (chipped stone tools). I have studied stone tools in various cultural contexts, ranging from the technologies of highly mobile foragers to the products of craft specialists in ancient urban centers.


I also have an interest in the colonial archaeology and history of the New York City area, and serve as an Emeritus Member of the Board of Directors of the Old Stone House of Brooklyn. I am currently researching the pioneering excavations of Reginald Pelham Bolton and William L. Calver (1904-1918).



Courses Taught Recently:


ANTHC 126: Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology

ANTHC 320.89: Archaeology of Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America)

ANTHC 328: Origins of Technology

ANTHC 426.59: Archaeology of North America (Prehistoric Native Americans)

ANTH 837: Seminar: Lithic Analysis in Archaeology (Stone Tools)

ANTH 844: Seminar: Teotihuacan – Rise, Fall, and Legacy



Selected Publications [some are available at]:


2019 (Alejandro Pastrana, Patricia Fournier G., William J. Parry, and Cynthia L. Otis Charlton) Obsidian Production and Use in Central Mexico After the Spanish Invasion. In Technology and Tradition in Mesoamerica After the Spanish Invasion, Rani Alexander (ed.), pp. 15-33. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.


2014 Reflections on Reflections. In Obsidian Reflections: Symbolic Dimensions of Obsidian in Mesoamerica, Marc N. Levine and David M. Carballo (eds.), pp. 279-318. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.


2013 (William J. Parry and Michael Glascock) Obsidian Blades From Cerro Portezuelo: Sourcing Artifacts From A Long Duration Site. Ancient Mesoamerica 24 (1): 177-184. 


2008 Expedient Lithic Technology from Oldowan to Ethnographic: Some Reflections, Twenty Years Later. Paper presented at 73rd Annual Meeting of Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver.


2004 (William J. Parry and Shigeru Kabata). Chronology of Obsidian Artifacts from the Moon Pyramid. Paper presented at Society for American Archaeology, 69th Annual Meeting, Montreal.


2002 Aztec Blade Production Strategies in the Eastern Basin of Mexico. In Pathways to Prismatic Blades, Kenneth Hirth and Bradford Andrews (eds.), pp. 36-45. Monograph 45, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles.


2002 When and How Did Humans Populate the New World? In Archaeology: Original Readings in Method and Practice, Peter N. Peregrine, Carol R. Ember, and Melvin Ember (eds.), pp. 167-179. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River NJ.


2001 Production and Exchange of Obsidian Tools in Late Aztec City-States. Ancient Mesoamerica 12: 101-111. 


2000 (Are Tsirk and William J. Parry) Fractographic Evidence for Liquid on Obsidian Tools. Journal of Archaeological Science 27 (11): 987-991


1994 (William J. Parry, F. E. Smiley and Galen R. Burgett) The Archaic Occupation of Black Mesa, Arizona. In Archaic Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology in the American Southwest, Bradley J. Vierra (ed.), pp. 185-230. Contributions in Anthropology 13, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales.


1994 Prismatic Blade Technologies in North America. In The Organization of North American Prehistoric Chipped Stone Tool Technologies, Philip J. Carr (ed.), pp. 87-98. International Monographs in Prehistory, Ann Arbor.


1994 The "Heirs of Anneke Jans Bogardus" Versus Trinity Church: A Chronicle of New York's Most Prolonged Legal Dispute. The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 125: 67-73, 160-167. [reviewed in New York Times, July 10, 1994, p. CY 11]


1990 (John E. Clark and William J. Parry) Craft Specialization and Cultural Complexity. Research in Economic Anthropology 12: 289-346.


1987 (William J. Parry and Robert L. Kelly) Expedient Core Technology and Sedentism. In The Organization of Core Technology, Jay K. Johnson and Carol A. Morrow (eds.), pp. 285-304. Westview Press, Boulder.


1987 (William J. Parry and Andrew L. Christenson) Prehistoric Stone Technology on Northern Black Mesa, Arizona. Occasional Paper No. 12. Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. xix+312pp, ISBN 0-88104-052-5


1987 Chipped Stone Tools in Formative Oaxaca, Mexico: Their Procurement, Production and Use. Prehistory and Human Ecology of the Valley of Oaxaca Vol. 8. Memoirs No. 20. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. xv+178pp, ISBN 0-915703-10-6


1984 (William J. Parry and John D. Speth) The Garnsey Spring Campsite: Late Prehistoric Occupation in Southeastern New Mexico. Technical Reports No. 15. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. xi+228pp, ISBN 0-932206-99-9


1982 Observations on the Arrow Technology of the Negritos of Northern Negros, Philippines. In Houses Built on Scattered Poles: Prehistory and Ecology in Negros Oriental, Philippines, Karl L. Hutterer and William K. Macdonald (eds.), pp. 107-116. Humanities Series No. 12. University of San Carlos, Cebu City.