Ronald Spores

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Ronald Spores in the Mixteca Area of Oaxaca, July, 2009

Ronald M. Spores (born January 25, 1931) is an American academic anthropologist, archaeologist and ethnohistorian, whose research career has centered on the pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica. He is Professor Emeritus of anthropology at Vanderbilt University's College of Arts and Science, where he has been a faculty member for over four decades. Spores is most renowned for his scholarship conducted on the cultural history of the Oaxacan region in southwestern Mexico. In particular, he has made many contributions on the Mixtec culture, investigating its archaeological sites, ethnohistorical documents, political economies, and ethnohistory in both the pre-Columbian and Colonial eras. He was Co-Director of the Proyecto Arqueológico de la Ciudad Yucundaa Pueblo Viejo de Teposcolula, Oaxaca, sponsored by the Fundación Alfredo Harp Helu, the National Geographic Society, and INAH (2004–2010), and currently (2017) directs research on the sixteenth century Casa del Cacique de Yanhuitlan, Oaxaca, and related investigation of the surrounding Prehispanic-Colonial city and region. He is also Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, and at the University of Oregon and investigator on the Proyecto Geoparque de la Mixteca Alta, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México/UNESCO, centered at Yanhuitlan, Oaxaca (2016-2017). Recent research relates to the colonial Manila Galleon trade between the Philippines and Acapulco.


Spores obtained his undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Oregon in 1953. His graduate studies were undertaken at the Universidad de las Américas in Cholula, Mexico, where he obtained an M.A. in 1960. Spores continued graduate studies at Harvard, where he completed a Master's thesis in 1963 and his doctorate in anthropology in 1964.[1]

Published works[edit]

Authored books[edit]

Spores, Ronald and Andrew Balkansky (2013) The Mixtecs of Oaxaca: Ancient Times to the Present. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

  • Spores, Ronald (2007). Ñuu Ñudzahui: La Mixteca de Oaxaca. Oaxaca: Instituto Estatal de Educación Pública del Estado de Oaxaca. 
  • Spores, Ronald (1984). The Mixtecs in Ancient and Colonial Times. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 
  • Spores, Ronald (1967). The Mixtec Kings and Their People. The Civilization of the American Indian series, no. 85. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. OCLC 484409. 

Spores, Ronald and Nelly Robles Garcia (eds.), Yucundaa. La Ciudad Mixteca y su Transformación Prehispánica-Colonial, México: INAH, 2015.



  1. ^ Division of Public Affairs, Vanderbilt University (2007). "Faculty – College of Arts and Science" (PDF). Undergraduate Catalog, 2007–2008 (PDF online publication). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University. p. 754. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 

Further reading[edit]

Cirigo, Guillermo (2007-09-21). "En Huajuapan el investigador Ronal Spores presenta libro sobre la Cultura Mixteca". Culturas populares Huajuapan: Sala de prensa (in Spanish). E-Mixteca. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
Marcus, Joyce (1994). Judith Francis Zeitlin, ed. Caciques and their People: A Volume in Honor of Ronald Spores. Anthropological papers of the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, no. 89. Ann Arbor: Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan. ISBN 0-915703-37-8. OCLC 31076945. 

External links[edit]