Jeffrey Blomster

Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs
301 Hortense Amsterdam House
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Rise of complex societies, interregional interaction in Mesoamerica, symbolism and ideology, archaeological approaches to gender, material culture.

Jeffrey Blomster is an anthropological archaeologist specializing in social complexity, interregional interaction and approaches to style, ritual and ideology. His regional and spatial research interests lie primarily in Mesoamerica, where he has focused on Mixtec, Zapotec and Olmec cultures. He received undergraduate training in anthropology and political science at Washington and Lee University, and graduate training in anthropology and archaeology at Yale University.

For nearly a year, Professor Blomster conducted archaeological fieldwork in the Mixteca Alta of Oaxaca, Mexico. This fieldwork, and subsequent laboratory analysis in Oaxaca, examines the emergence of social complexity in the Nochixtlan Valley, and explores the impact of interregional interaction in this area. His academic writings have focused on manipulation and movement of style, looking at both traditional stylistic analyses as well as chemical approaches. He is interested in the movement of cults and ideology in Latin America, with regional interests beyond Oaxaca.

Current Research

  • Early Formative socio-political complexity and interaction, especially the role of the Olmec. Ongoing laboratory analyses, with additional excavations to come, to understand the nature of both local and non-local ceramic and figurine traditions, and interaction's impact on socio-political complexity.
  • Diachronic change in urbanism and pottery production in Oaxaca. Research devoted to defining a new ceramic phase, the Yucuita (from 500 – 300 BCE), for the Mixteca Alta, and investigate the related but different processes of urbanism, specialization, and standardization.
  • Sociopolitical collapse and transformation in Oaxaca following the collapse of major Zapotec and Mixtec states around 800 CE.


Ph.D., Yale University


Professor Blomster is the editor of After Monte Albán: Transformation and Negotiation in Oaxaca, Mexico (University Press of Colorado, Boulder 2008). He also authored two of the book's chapters.