Michael W. Love

Michael Love
Full-Time Faculty
(818) 677-3323
Office location:
Sierra Hall, Room 240L


Preferred Title: Jefe Maximo


  • Ph.D, Anthropology; University of California at Berkeley
  • M.A., Anthropology: University of California at Berkeley
  • Ph.D, Anthropology; University of California at Berkeley

Courses Taught

  • Anthropology 150
  • Anthropology 428
  • Anthropology 473
  • Anthropology 606
  • Anthropology 696b

Selected Publications and Presentations


Love, Michael W.
2002 Early Complex Society in Pacific Guatemala: Settlements and Chronology of the Río Naranjo, Guatemala. Papers of the New World Archaeological Foundation, Number 66. Provo.

Love, Michael and Jonathan Kaplan (editors)
2011 The Southern Maya in the Late Preclassic: The Rise and Fall of an Early Civilization. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.


2012 Domestication and the Formative Period in Mesoamerica. In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of World Prehistory, edited by Colin Renfrew and Paul Bahn.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. In Press

2011 La Blanca and the Soconusco Formative. In The Prehistory of the Soconusco, edited by Richard Lesure. Berkeley: University of California Press. (Michael Love and Julia Guernsey).

2011 City States and City-State Culture in the Southern Maya Region. In, The Southern Maya in the Late Preclassic: The Rise and Fall of an Early Mesoamerican Civilization, edited by Michael Love and Jonathan Kaplan. Boulder: Colorado University Press.

2010 Thinking Outside the Plaza: Varieties of Preclassic Sculpture in Pacific Guatemala and their Political Significance. In The Place of Stone Monuments in Mesoamerica’s Preclassic Transition: Context, Use and Meaning, edited by Julia Guernsey, John E. Clark and Bárbara Arroyo, pp. 149-175. Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC.

2009 Estilo y sociedad en el Preclásico de la costa del Pacífco. In, Olmeca: Balance y Perspectivas. Memorias de la Primera Mesa Redonda Olmeca, edited by María Teresa Uriarte and Rebecca González Lauck, pp. 89-111. UNAM: Mexico City. (Love, Michael and Julia Guernsey).

2007 Recent Research in the Southern Highlands and Pacific Coast of Mesoamerica. Journal of Archaeological Research.

2007 Monument 3 from La Blanca, Guatemala: A Middle Preclassic Earthen Sculpture and its Ritual Associations.  Antiquity (With Julia Guernsey. In Press).

2007 Estilo y sociedad en el Preclásico de la costa del Pacífco.  In,  Memorias de la Segunda Mesa Redonda Olmeca, edited by Rebecca González Lauck.  INAH: Mexico City. (With Julia Guernsey. In Press).

2006 The Context and Associations of Monument 3 from La Blanca, Guatemala, Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc.

2005 La Blanca y el Mundo Olmeca. Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala City.

1999 Ideology, Material Culture, and Daily Practice in Preclassic Mesoamerica: A Pacific Coast Perspective.  In Social Patterns in Pre-Classic Mesoamerica, edited by David Grove and Rosemary Joyce, pp. 121-153.  Washington: Dumbarton Oaks.

1999 La Cultura Olmeca en Guatemala. In, La Historia General de Guatemala, Vol. 1., edited by Jorge Lujan and Marion Popenoe de Hatch. Guatemala.

1991 Style and Social Complexity in Formative Mesoamerica. In The Formation of Complex Society in Southeastern Mesoamerica, William R. Fowler, editor, pp. 47-76. Boca Raton: CRC Press).

Research and Interests

My principal interests are in Mesoamerica, the development of social complexity, and household archaeology. My research to date has concentrated on the Pacific coast region of Guatemala and investigating the early complex societies found there during the Preclassic period. In these investigations I have sought to link the development of social differentiation, inequality, and political power with regional patterns of economic intensification and material culture change. I participated in the UC Berkeley project at Takalik Abaj and have directed research at La Blanca and El Ujuxte. I’ve been a researcher at Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara, and have taught at Stanford, the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, and CSU Northridge.

Current Projects:

ν La Blanca: The La Blanca project is investigating an early city on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. The project focusing on household archaeology, but is also investigating early monumental architecture and public ritual.

5 keywords that describe your topical areas of specialization:

early social complexity, early urbanism, household archaeology, Mesoamerica, household archaeology

Geographic areas of specialization: