Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1995; Professor
Dr. Walker is an archaeologist who studies southwestern archaeology and ritual in prehistory.
My general research interests focus on the development of archaeological method and theory for the study of prehistoric ritual and religion. I am developing a technology-based understanding of religion in order to explore various ritual activities such as pilgrimage, ritual persecution and the ritualized abandonment and discard of artifacts and architecture. Currently, my data for these topics derives from archaeological evidence recovered from southern New Mexico and northern Chihuahua. Specifically, I am exploring the ritual organization of the Casas Grandes Culture of Northern Chihuahua and Southern New Mexico. This research is accomplished largely by NMSU Archaeological Field School students and involves the survey and excavation of late prehistoric (AD 1200-1400) sites in southern Hidalgo County, New Mexico.This past summer our excavations at the Joyce Well site focused on a Casas Grandes style ceremonial ballcourt. Next summer we plan to excavate pueblo rooms as well as conduct a survey of the nearby Deer Creek drainage. These data should help us to identify patterns in the ritualized discard and abandonment of artifacts and architecture in the ancient Casas Grandes world.