Curator Emeritus James B. Richardson III
412.665.2751 (fax)

Academic Training
PhD 1969 University of Illinois
MA 1963 Syracuse University
BA 1960 St. Lawrence University

General Research Interests 

Since 1954 I have participated in or directed prehistoric and historic archaeological investigations in

  • Peru and northeast United States archaeology
  • Maritime adaptations worldwide
  • Geoarchaeology
  • New York: Fort William Henry, Kipp Island, Lamoka Lake, O'Neil, Potts, and Roundtop sites
  • Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts: Cunningham, Frisby-Butler, Howland, Hornblower II, Mayhew, Petersen and Pratt sites
  • Western Pennsylvania: Hannastown
  • South Dakota: Black Partizan site
  • Peru: Honda, Ostra, Ring and Siches sites, plus testing and surveys of Preceramic to Inca Period sites from the Llescus Peninsula, Upper Piura Valley, Chira Valley and Amotape Mountains to Tumbes

Research Emphases 

  • Impact of natural catastrophes (El Nino, tectonics, volcanism, tsunamis, drought and floods) on cultural development and change, especially in the Central Andes and in the Eastern United States
  • Human adaptations to changing Late Pleistocene-Holocene environments and resources in the New World: This includes adaptations to coastal environments and marine resources of the west coast of South America and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Focus is upon sea level change, Holocene beach ridge formations, and changing oceanographic resource parameters, including archaeological evidence for El Niño origins
  • Precolumbian contact between the Central Andes, Polynesia (particularly Easter Island), the Galapagos Islands and West Mexico
  • Historic archaeology, focussing upon military sites of the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars in the northeastern United States and WWII sites in Talara, Peru and on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Exhibition Development 

Since 1978, I have directed or been involved in three major permanent exhibition halls: Polar World: Wyckoff Hall of Arctic Life (1983), Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt (1990) and Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians (1998). In addition I have been involved in numerous temporary exhibits such as Spirits of the Rainforest: The Yanomami of Brazil, Mr. Carnegie's Museum, Carnegie Museum Centennial, etc. Most recently I worked with anthropologist Dale Mudge in developing Needle to the North, an exhibition based on Carnegie Museum researchers and their contact with the Inuit of the Belcher Islands. The exhibition is based on expedition photos and field journals from the early 1900s through 2004. As a board member and chair of the exhibit committee, I am working with the staff of the Martha's Vineyard Museum in the development of the permanent exhibits for a new museum to open in the future

Selected Publications  

  • 2008. Sandweiss, D.H. and J. B. Richardson III. Andean Environment. In Handbook of South American Archaeology, edited by Helaine Silverman and William Isbell, pp. 93-104. Springer, NY.
  • 2008. Richardson, J. B. III and D.H. Sandweiss. Climate Change, El Niño, and the Rise of Complex Society on the Peruvian Coast during the Middle Holocene. In El Niño, Catastrophism, and Culture Change in Ancient America, edited by D.H. Sandweiss and J. Quilter, Pre-Columbian Studies, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC., pp. 59-75.
  • 2007. Sandweiss, D. H., K.A. Maasch, C. F. Andrus, E. Reitz, J.B. Richardson III, M. Riedinger-Whitmore and H.B. Rollins. Mid-Holocene Climate Change and Culture Change in Coastal Peru. In Culture Change and Cultural Dynamics: A Global Perspective on Mid-Holocene Transitions edited by D.A. Anderson, K. A. Maasch, and D.H. Sandweiss. Elsevier, pp.25-50.
  • 2007. Richardson, J.B. III. The Destruction of Hanna’s Town, Part 1. Western Pennsylvania History 90(2):16-25. and
    Who Were Those Guys?: The Destruction of Hanna’s Town Part 2, Western Pennsylvania History 90(3):26-35.
  • 2007. Bouck, J. and J.B. Richardson. Enduring Icon: A Wampanoag Thunderbird on an Eighteenth-Century English Manuscript from Martha’s Vineyard. Archaeology of Eastern North America 35:11-19.
  • 2006. Richardson, J. B. III. Peopling the New World: The View from South America. Western Pennsylvania History 89(2):18-25 (Issue devoted to the 50th anniversary of the discovery of Meadowcroft Rockshelter).
  • 2006. Richardson, J. B. III. Looking in the Right Places: Maritime Adaptations in Northeastern North America and the Central Andes. In From the Arctic to Avalon: Papers in Honor of Jim Tuck, edited by L. Rankin and P. Ramsden. BAR International Series 1507:83-98.
  • 2002. Richardson, J. B., III. The Disappearance of the Monongahela: Solved? Archaeology of Eastern North America 20:81-96.
  • 2001. Sandweiss, Daniel H., Kirk A. Maasch, Richard L. Burger, James B. Richardson III, Harold B. Rollins and Amy Clement. Variation in Holocene El Nino Frequencies: Climate Records and Cultural Consequences in Ancient Peru. Geology 29(7):603-606.
  • 2001. DeFrance, Susan D., David K. Keefer, James B. Richardson III and Adan Umire Alvarez. Late Paleo-Indian Coastal Foragers: Specialized Extractive Behavior at Quebrada Tachuay, Peru. Latin American Antiquity 12(4):413-426.
  • 1999. Sandweiss, D., D.K. Keefer and J.B. Richardson III. First Americans and the Sea. Discovering Archaeology 1 (1): 59-65.
  • 1998. Richardson, J. B., III. Looking in the Right Places: Pre-5,000 B.P. Maritime Adaptations in Peru and the Changing Environment. Revista de Arqueologia Americana No. 15: 33-56.
  • 1998. Keefer, D.K., S.D. deFrance, M.E. Moseley, J. B. Richardson III, R.D. Satterlee, and A. Day-Lewis. Early Maritime Economy and El Nino Events at Quebrada Tachhuay. Science 281: 1833-1835.
  • 1997. Sandweiss, D. H., J. B. Richardson III, E. J. Reitz, H. B. Rollins, and K. A. Maasch. Determining the Early History of El Niño: Response [to comments]. Science 276:965-967.
  • 1996. Richardson, J. B., III, and J. L. Swauger. The Petroglyphs Speak: Rock Art and Iroquois Origins. Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology 12:43-51.
  • 1996. Sandweiss, D. H., J. B. Richardson III, E. J. Reitz, H. B. Rollins, and K. A. Maasch. Geoarchaeological Evidence from Peru for a 5000 Years B.P. Onset of El Niño. Science 273:1531-1533.
  • 1994. Richardson, J. B., III. People of the Andes Smithsonian Series Exploring the Ancient World. Washington and Montreal: Smithsonian Institution Press and St. Remy Press.
  • 1993. Richardson, J. B., III. Early Hunters, Fishers, Farmers and Herders: Diverse Adaptations in Peru to 4,500 B.P. Revista de Arquelogía Americana 6:71-90.
  • 1991. Moseley, M. E., D. Wagner, and J. B. Richardson III. Space Shuttle Imagery of Recent Catastrophic Change Along the Arid Andean Coast. In Paleoshorelines and Prehistory: An Investigation of Method, edited by L. L. Johnson and M. Stright, pp. 236-249. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
  • 1990. Richardson, J. B., III, M. A. McConaughy, A. Peña, and E. Zamecnik. The Northern Frontier of the Kingdom of Chimor: The Piura, Chira, and Tumbez Valleys. In The Northern Dynasties: Kingship and Statecraft in Chimor, edited by M.E. Moseley and A. Cordy-Collins. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, pp. 419-445.
  • 1989. Sandweiss, D. H., J. B. Richardson III, E. J. Reitz, J. T. Hsu, and R. A. Feldman Early Maritime Adaptations in the Andes: Preliminary Studies at the Ring Site, Peru. In Ecology, Settlement, and History in the Osmore Drainage, Peru, edited by D. S. Rice, C. Stanish, and P. R. Scar. BAR International Series 545 (i):35-84.
  • 1986. Rollins, H. B., J. B. Richardson III, and D. H. Sandweiss. The Birth of El Niño: Geoarchaeological Evidence and Implications. Journal of Geoarchaeology 1(1):3-16.
  • 1985. Richardson, J. B., III. Prehistoric Man on Martha's Vineyard. Oceanus: The International Magazine of Marine Science and Policy 28(1):35-42.
  • 1983. Richardson, J. B., III. The Chira Beach Ridges, Sea Level Change and the Origins of Maritime Economies on the Peruvian Coast. Annals of Carnegie Museum 52:265-276.
  • 1983. Sandweiss, D. H. , H. B. Rollins, and J. B. Richardson III. Landscape Alteration and Prehistoric Human Occupation on the North Coast of Peru. Annals of Carnegie Museum 52:277-298.
  • 1981. Richardson, J. B., III. Modeling the Development of Sedentary Maritime Economies on the Coast of Peru: A Preliminary Statement. Annals of Carnegie Museum 50(5):139-150.
  • 1980. Richardson, J. B. III and R. Carlisle. The Archaeological Significance of the Mausoleums in the Allegheny and Homewood cemeteries of Pittsburgh: A Preliminary Statement, Markers. Annual Journal of the Association of Gravestone Studies 1:157-165.
  • 1978. Richardson, J. B., III. Early Man on the Peruvian North Coast: Early Maritime Exploitation and the Pleistocene and Holocene Environment. In Early Man in America from a Circum-Pacific Perspective, edited by A. Bryan. University of Alberta Press, pp. 274-289.
  • 1977. Richardson, J. B., III. A Bibliography of Archaeology, Pleistocene Geology, and Ecology of the Departments of Piura and Tumbes, Peru. Latin American Research Review 12(1):122-137.
  • 1977. Richardson, J. B., III. The Impact of European Contact upon the Art Styles of the Northeastern Iroquois and Algonkian. In Current Perspectives in Northeastern Archaeology, Essays in Honor of William A. Ritchie, edited by R. Funk and C.F. Hayes. Researches and Transactions of the New York Archaeological Association 26(1):113-119.
  • 1976. Richardson J. B., III, and K. C. Wilson. Hanna's Town and Charles Foreman: The Historical and Archaeological Record: 1770-1806. The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine 59:52-83.
  • 1973. Richardson, J. B., III. The Preceramic Sequence and the Pleistocene and Post-Pleistocene Climate of Northwest Peru. In Variation in Anthropology: Essays in Honor of John C. McGregor, edited by Donald Lathrap and Jody Douglas, pp. 199-211. Illinois Archaeological Survey.
  • 1972. Richardson, J. B., III. The Pre-Columbian Distribution of the Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria): A Re-Evaluation. Economic Botany 26:265-273.
  • 1971. Richardson, J. B., III, and W. L. Allen. The Reconstruction of Kinship from Archaeological Data: The Concepts, the Methods and the Feasibility. American Antiquity 36(1):41-53.