College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Robert J. Hard, Ph.D.


Department of Anthropology

Research area: Archaeology


Phone: (210) 458-7409

Office: MH 4.04.32

Research in Progress

I think some of the most important questions in anthropology revolve around the adoption and spread of farming, as the development of a plant producing economy is fundamental to many later cultural changes. I pursue related issues in Northern Mexico, the American Southwest, and Texas, which contain a diversity of ecological settings and archaeological records of past hunter-gatherer and early farming societies. Our work in northwest Chihuahua, Mexico documented rapid and early adoption of farming in the form of a hilltop defensive settlement known as Cerro Juanaqueña. In contrast, on the Texas Coastal Plain, our stable isotope studies have demonstrated a long record of hunter-gatherer adaptations involving the intensive use of aquatic resources. Currently, we are working in southern Chihuahua attempting to understand the adoption of farming in this little known region that lies near northern boundary of Mesoamerica.

Find more at Dr. Hard's website.

Honors and awards: UTSA President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Research (2016).


Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 1986


My teaching at the freshman and sophomore levels gives students the opportunity to alter their view of the world through the use of an anthropological lens, particularly in Introduction to Anthropology (Ant 1013). In Introduction to Archaeology (Ant 2043) we examine the methods and insights gained from studying long-term changes in ancient societies. At the junior and senior level students are exposed to the details of the archaeological records of North America (Ant 3263) and the American Southwest and Northwest Mexico (Ant 4423). At the graduate level, I want students to meet the multitude of challenges to enable them to design and conduct their own archaeological research.

Current Ph.D. Students: Michelle Carpenter,Clinton McKenzie

Current Masters Students: June Burke, Robert Gardner, Amber Hefner, Desiree Quintinilla, Steve Wendel, Gabriella Zaragosa

Representative Publications

2017.  A Theory of Regime Change on the Prehistoric Texas Coastal Plain. Jacob Freeman, Robert J. Hard, and Raymond P. Mauldin. Quaternary International.

2015.  Rainfed Farming and Settlement Aggregation: Reflections from Chihuahua, Mexico. Robert J. Hard, William L. Merrill, A. C. MacWilliams, John R. Roney, Jacob C. Freeman, and Karen R. Adams. In Traditional Arid Lands Agriculture: Understanding the Past for the Future, edited by Scott E Ingram and Robert C. Hunt. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp. 237-272, 2015.

2011. Stable Isotope Study of Hunter-Gatherer-Fisher Diet, Mobility, and Intensification on the the Texas Gulf Coastal Plain.  Robert J. Hard and M. Anne Katzenberg. American Antiquity76:709-751.

2009. The Diffusion of Maize to the Southwestern United States and Its Impact. William L. Merrill, Robert J. Hard, Jonathan B. Mabry, Karen R. Adams, Gayle J. Fritz, John R. Roney, A. C. MacWilliams. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol 106:50:21019-21026.

2008. Exploring Texas Archaeology with a Model of Intensification. Amber L. Johnson and Robert J. Hard. Plains Anthropologist 53:205:137-153.

2007.  Cerros de Trincheras in Northwestern Chihuahua: The Arguments for Defense." Robert J. Hard and John R. Roney. In Trincheras Sites in Time, Space and Society, edited by Suzanne K. Fish, Paul R. Fish, and M. Elisa Villalpando, pp 11-52. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

1998.  A Massive Terraced Village Complex in Chihuahua, Mexico, 3000 Years Before Present. Robert J. Hard and John R. Roney. Science 279:1661-1664.


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Main Office: MH 4.03.38

Department of Anthropology

University of Texas at San Antonio

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

One UTSA Circle

San Antonio, TX 78249-1644