Alicia Boswell

Alicia Boswell
Assistant Professor

Office Hours

2023-2024: On Sabbatical

Office Location

Arts 1266


Pre-Columbian art and archaeology; cultural heritage; conservation; cultural landscapes; culture contact; frontiers; metalworking and ancient technology; craft production.


Ph.D. University of California, San Diego
M.A. University of California, San Diego
B.A. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Alicia Boswell is an anthropological archaeologist who specializes in the art and archaeology of the ancient Americas. Her research focuses on understanding the relationships between and within culture groups of the Andes through the material record. Her current project examines the production and display of elite regalia of the Moche culture from the north coast of Peru (AD 200–800) and its implications for understanding regional identities and sociopolitical relationships throughout the Moche world.

She has more than a decade of experience carrying out archaeological fieldwork in Peru and also has worked on archaeological projects in Mexico and California. Collaboration with modern communities in the Andes is an equally important part of her research. She has a decade of experience carrying out community-based heritage preservation projects in Peru through Mobilizing Opportunities for Community Heritage Empowerment (MOCHE, Inc.). One of her long-term research goal is to integrate heritage conservation more directly into academic research.

Boswell received her PhD from the University of California, San Diego in 2016. From 2016–2018 she was the Andrew W. Mellon “Cultures of Conservation” Fellow at Bard Graduate Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara.


2022. “Metalwork in the Past and Present: Lord of Sipán and Tumi del Oro in Peru Link opens an external site,” in West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture.

2022. Life at the Margins of the State: Comparative Landscapes from the Old and New Worlds Link opens an external site, Alicia Boswell & Kyle Knabb, eds. University Press of Colorado.

2021. "Reflexiones personales de una arqueóloa extranjera." Mujeres del Pasado y del Presente: Una Visión desde la Arqueología Peruana Link opens an external site. Tavera Medina y Santana Quispe, editoras, IPEA, Lima, Perú.

2019. Actas de la Primera Mesa Redonda de Trujillo: Nuevas Perspectivas en la Arqueología de los Valles de Virú, Moche y Chicama Link opens an external site. Gabriel Prieto & Alicia Boswell, eds. Fondo Editorial de la Universidad Nacional de Trujillo. Trujilo, Peru.

2017. “Facing Extreme El Niños at the Local Level Link opens an external site.” Just Environments series (with Celeste Gagnon and Patrick Mullins), Social Science Research Council.


Undergraduate Courses

INT137RS   Recovering Untold Stories from the First Millennium to Today

6H   Survey: Arts of the Ancient Americas
130D   Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Andes
130F   Art and Archaeology of Mesoamerica
186L   Seminar in Art of the Americas

254   Topics in Pre-Columbian/Colonial Latin American Art