Gary Urton, PhD

Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian Studies, Harvard University
Gary Urton is the Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian Studies and chairman of the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. He earned his MA in ancient history and his PhD in anthropology at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. His research focuses on pre-Columbian and early colonial Andean cultural and intellectual history. He is the author of many articles and of numerous books and edited volumes on Andean/Quechua cultures and Inka civilization. His books include At the Crossroads of the Earth and the Sky, The History of a Myth, The Social Life of Numbers, Inca Myths, Signs of the Inka Khipu, and Inka History in Knots. A former MacArthur Fellow (2001-2005) and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014-15, Urton is the founder and director of the Harvard Khipu Database Project, which seeks to decode the Inka recording device, the khipu (or quipu).


  • PhD University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaigne