Matthew R.E. Des Lauriers

Dr. Matthew R.E. Des Lauriers
Full-Time Faculty
(818) 677-3329
Office location:
Sierra Hall, Room SH262A



  • Ph.D - UC Riverside
  • M.A. - UC Riverside
  • B.A. - CSU, Bakersfield

Courses Taught

  • Anthropology 153 Introduction to Archaeology
  • Anthropology 307 Native Peoples of California and the Southwest
  • Anthropology 319 Prehistoric Archaeology
  • Anthropology 490 Lithic Technology
  • Anthropology 427 Archaeology of North America
  • Anthropology 430 Ecological Anthropology
  • Anthropology 521 California Archaeology
  • Anthropology 607 Cultural Resource Management 

Selected Publications and Presentations

Publications As First or Sole Author

2011 Chapter 7: Of Clams and Clovis: Paleocoastal Archaeology on Isla Cedros, Baja
California. In: Trekking the Shore: Changing Coastlines and the Antiquity of Coastal
. Nuno Bicho, Jonathan Haws, Loren Davis, eds. pp 161-177 Springer Press, New

2010 Island of Fogs: The Archaeology and Ethnohistory of Isla de Cedros, Baja California. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.

2009 ‘‘Good Water and Firewood’’: The Island Oasis of Isla Cedros, Baja California, Mexico.
Pacific Science 63(4):649–672

2007  The Huamalgüeños of Isla Cedros, Baja California, as Described in Father Miguel Venegas’ 1739 Manuscript Obras Californianas. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 26(2):1-30. (With Claudia Garcia-Des Lauriers)  

2006  The Terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene Occupation of Isla Cedros, Baja California. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 1:255-270.  

2006 Chapter 10: Isla Cedros.  In: Archaeology of Baja California . D. Laylander and J.D. Moore, eds.  pp 153-166.  University Press of Florida, Gainsville. 

2005  The Watercraft of Isla Cedros, Baja California; Variability and Capabilities of IndigenousSeafaring Technology Along The Pacific Coast of North America. American Antiquity 70:342-361.

Collaborative Efforts

Erlandson, J., M. Moss, and M. Des Lauriers In Press  Living on the Edge:  Early Maritime Cultures of the Pacific Coast of North America.  Quaternary Science Reviews 28:??-??

M. Des Lauriers Chapter 7. Of Clams and Clovis: Paleocoastal Archaeology on Cedros Island, Baja California.  In:  Advances  in the Pleistocene Prehistory of the Pacific Coast: A New World Perspective.  Loren Davis, ed.  pp ??-??

Willis, S.C., and M. Des Lauriers Chapter 3.  New World Pacific technological traditions and patterns.  In:  Advances in the Pleistocene Prehistory of the Pacific Coast: A New World Perspective.  Loren
Davis, ed.  pp ??-??.

Research and Interests

Dr. Des Lauriers is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Anthropological Research Institute at California State University, Northridge. He has conducted research in Baja California since 2000, focusing primarily on the island of Isla Cedros, located off the Pacific Coast of the Peninsula. Working with scholars from the Insituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia of Mexico, Oregon State University, and the University of California, Irvine, Dr. Des Lauriers has documented a rich archaeological record stretching from historic period otter hunters and miners to the very earliest colonization of the Baja California Peninsula. The Proyecto Arqueologico Isla Cedros has produced results which have dramatically changed our understanding of the indigenous history of Baja California, challenged models of indigenous social organization and resource management, and have pushed back the colonization of the California Coast to over 12,000 calendar years ago.

Current Projects:

My current research centers on the ongoing project in Baja California (the Proyecto Arqueologico Isla de Cedros, or PAIC), which has recently emphasized the examination of the earliest societies to occupy the Peninsula (please check out the recent online radio interview: The next phase of the research will focus on the emergence of large villages during the time period of AD 400 and 1200 AD and the dynamic changes in architecture, human ecology , and social organization that may challenge pre-existing ideas about the emergence and permanence of complex societies among hunter-gatherers

5 keywords that describe your topical areas of specialization:

Peopling of the New World, Lithic Technology, Maritime Hunter-Gathterers, Human Ecology, Sustainability

Geographic areas of specialization: Mesoamerica