Alan L. Kolata


Contact Information

Office: Haskell 135
Phone: (773) 702-7729/(773) 702-7742
Website: n/a

(PhD, Harvard 1978) Bernard E. and Ellen C. Sunny Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College. Kolata Leads ongoing interdisciplinary research projects studying human-environment interactions over the past 3000 years in the Lake Titicaca basin of Bolivia, on the north coast of Peru and most recently in Thailand and Cambodia. His recent research interests include comparative work on agroecological systems, human-environment interactions, the human dimension of global change, agricultural and rural development, and archaeology and ethnohistory, particularly in the Andean region. For an update on the research in Cambodia see

Selected Works

Selected Publications

Year Title / Publications PDF
n.d. Livelihood Strategies Conditioned by Financial Credit Access, Market Remoteness and Forest Proximity in Rural Cambodia (with John Felkner, Sabina Shaikh, Hyun Lee, Michael Binford, and Matti Kummu). In Review
2017 "Climate, Environment and the Tiwanaku State" (with Lonnie Thompson). In Megadrought and Collapse: From Early Agriculture to Angkor, edited by Harvey Weiss, pp. 231-246. New York: Oxford University Press.
2016 Scientific Research Priorities for Water Sustainability in the Lower Mekong Region of Cambodia (with John Felkner, Sabina Shaikh, Michael Binford, and Matti Kummu). Cambodian Journal of Natural History (In Press)
2015 Territoire Écologique, Quelle Écologie, Quelle Économie pour un Territoire (Editor with Gilles Benest). Paris: Edition l'Harmattan.
2015 Local Politics, Global Impacts: Steps to a Multi-Disciplinary Analysis of Scales. (Editor with Olivier Charnoz and Virginie Diaz-Pedregal). Ashgate Publishers. Global Governance Series
2013 Ancient Inca New York: Cambridge University Press.
2012 "Paleoenvironmental History of the West Baray, Angkor (Cambodia)" (with Mary Beth Day, David Hodell, Mark Brenner, Hazel J Chapman, Jason H Curtis, William F Kenney and Larry C. Peterson) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 109(4):1046–1051 PDF
2011 “Middle to Late Holocene Initiation of the Annual Flood Pulse in Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia” (with Mary Beth Day, David Hodell, Mark Brenner, Jason Curtis, George Kamenov, Thomas Guilderson, Larry Peterson) Journal of Paleolimnology 45: 85-99. PDF
2009 Paisajes culturales en el valle del Jequetepeque: los yacimientos arqueológicos Peru, Lima, Peru: Instituto Nacional de Cultura. (with Tom Dillehay and Edward Swenson)
2006 “Before and After Collapse: Reflections on the Regeneration of Social Complexity,” In After Collapse: The Regeneration of Complex Societies, edited by Glenn M. Schwartz and John J. Nichols, pp. 208-221. Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Press. PDF
2006 “Deglaciation and Holocene climate change in the western Peruvian Andes“ (with Chengyu Weng, Mark B. Bush, Jason H. Curtis Tom. D. Dillehay and Michael W. Binford) Quaternary Research 66:87-96 PDF
2004 "The Flow of Cosmic Power: Religion, Ritual, and the People of Tiwanaku". In M. Young-Sanchez, ed., Tiwanaku: Ancestors of the Inca. Denver Art Museum and the University of Nebraska Press, 97-125. PDF
2004 "Top-down or Bottom-up: Rural Settlement and Raised Field Agriculture in the Lake Titicaca Basin of Bolivia" (with J.W. Janusek). Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 23(4): 404-430. PDF
2004 "Long-Term Human Response to Uncertain Environmental Conditions in the Andes". (with T. Dillehay and M. Pino) Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences. 101(12): 4325-4330. PDF
2004 "Pre-Industrial Human and Environment Interactions in Northern Peru during the Late Holocene". (with T. Dillehay) The Holocene. 14(2): 272-281 PDF
2003 Tiwanaku and Its Hinterland: Archaeology and Paleoecology of an Andean Civilization. Volume 2: Urban and Rural Archaeology. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
2000 "Environmental Thresholds and the ‘Natural History’ of an Andean Civilization". In G. Bawden & R. Reycraft, eds., Environmental Disaster and the Archeology of Human Response. Univ. of New Mexico Press, 163-178. PDF
2000 “Environmental Thresholds and the Empirical Reality of State Collapse” (with Michael W. Binford, Mark Brenner, John W. Janusek and Charles Ortloff) Antiquity 74, No. 284:424-426. PDF
1999 "Nitrogen Fixation in Soils and Canals of Rehabilitated Raised-Fields of the Bolivian Altiplano" (with D. Biesboer & M.W. Binford). Biotropica. 31(2):255-267. PDF
1998 Cultural Environments and Development Debates: Latin America. Alan L. Kolata, editor. Chicago: The Globalization Project, University of Chicago Center for Latin American Studies.
1997 "Climate Variation and the Rise and Fall of an Andean Civilization" (with M.W. Binford, M. Brenner, M. Abbott, J.W. Janusek, M.T. Seddon & J. Curtis). Quaternary Research. 47:235-248. PDF
1997 "Of Kings and Capitals: Principles of Authority and the Nature of Cities in the Native Andean State". In D.L. Nichols & T.H. Charlton, eds., The Archaeology of City States: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 245-254. PDF
1996 “Principles of Authority in the Native Andean State,” In Structure, Knowledge and Representation in the Andes: Gary Urton, guest editor. Journal of the Steward Anthropological Society Vol. 24, Numbers 1 and 2: 61-84 PDF
1996 "Mimesis and Monumentalism in Native Andean Cities" RES 29/30: 223-236. PDF
1996 Tiwanaku and Its Hinterland: Archaeology and Paleoecology of an Andean Civilization. Volume 1: Agroecology. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
1996 Valley of the Spirits. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
1993 "Nutrient and Sediment Retention in Andean Raised-Field Agriculture" (with H.J. Carney, M.W. Binford, R.R. Marin and C.R. Goldman). Nature, 364:131-133. PDF
1993 The Tiwanaku: Portrait of an Andean Civilization. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, Mass: Basil Blackwell.
1993 “Climate and Collapse: Agro-ecological Perspectives on the Decline of the Tiwanaku State” (with Charles Ortloff) Journal of Archaeological Science, 20: 195-221. PDF
1993 "Understanding Tiwanaku: Conquest, Colonization and Clientage in the South Central Andes" In Latin American Horizons, edited by Don S. Rice, pp. 193-224. Washington, D.C.:Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, Harvard University. PDF
1992 "In the Realm of the Four Quarters" In America in 1492, edited by Alvin M.Josephy, pp. 215-247. New York: Alfred Knopf. PDF
1992 “Tiwanaku: The City at the Center” (with Carlos Ponce) In The Ancient Americas: Art from Sacred Landscapes, edited by Richard F. Townsend, pp. 317-334. Munich: The Art Institute of Chicago and Prestel Verlag PDF
1992 "Economy, Ideology and Imperialism in the South Central Andes" In Ideology and the Cultural Evolution of Pre-Columbian Civilizations, edited by Arthur Demarest and Geoffrey W. Conrad, pp. 65-85. Santa Fe: School of American Research.
1992 “The Andean World in 1492” In Occasional Papers in Curriculum 15: 114-132. Chicago: D’Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian, The Newberry Library.
1991 “The Technology and Organization of Agricultural Production in the Tiwanaku State” Latin American Antiquity 2: 99-125. PDF
1990 "The Urban Concept of Chan Chan" In The Northern Dynasties: Kingship and Statecraft in Chimor : 107-144. Michael Moseley and Alana Cordy-Collins, editors. Washington, D. C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, Harvard University PDF
1989 "Hydraulic Analysis of Tiwanaku Aqueduct Structures at Lukurmata and Pajchiri, Bolivia" (with Charles Ortloff) Journal of Archaeological Science 16: 513-535. PDF
1989 "Thermal Analysis of Tiwanaku Raised Field Systems in the Lake Titicaca Basin of Bolivia" (with Charles Ortloff) Journal of Archaeological Science 16: 233-263. PDF
1986 "The Agricultural Foundations of the Tiwanaku State: A View from the Heartland" American Antiquity 51 (4): 748-762. PDF
1997 "A 3500 14C yr High-Resolution Record of Water-Level Changes in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia/Peru" Quaternary Research 47: 169-180 PDF