Gordon R. Willey

Pioneer of Southeastern Archaeology

Gordon Willey

Gordon R. Willey in the Viru Valley, Peru, c. 1946. PM 2002.26.19

Gordon Willey, one of the best known archaeologists of the twentieth century, conducted the bulk of his fieldwork in South and Central America, but also pioneered new methods of archaeology in the Southeastern United States, including Florida. After serving as an anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution in the 1940s, Willey was named the first Charles P. Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology at the Peabody Museum in 1950, where he taught and conducted research for 36 years. He remained Bowditch Professor, emeritus, until his death in 2002.