Steven B Kosiba

Photo of Steven B Kosiba

Contact Me


Steve Kosiba, (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2010) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. He is an archaeologist and historical anthropologist whose research is concerned with the practices that constituted social authority and constructed political subjects in the ancient and early modern world, with particular focus on the Andes under the Inca and the Spanish Empires. He is currently conducting two research projects in the Inca capital of Cuzco, Peru. One project investigates the rites by which select Andean people became Inca warriors and elites at the sacred shrine of Huanacauri. The other examines the hidden economic practices by which forcibly resettled workers empowered themselves and their communities at the Inca and Spanish labor colony of Rumiqolqa. Kosiba is the author of multiple articles and book chapters pertaining to politics, environmental organization, and identity in ancient and early modern Cuzco. He has also written articles that address general political theories regarding how people constituted social value in the precapitalist world and how material things contributed to social action in both ancient and modern contexts. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright-Hays Program, the National Geographic Society, the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, and the Brennan Foundation.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • PhD: Anthropology, University of Chicago, Chicago, 2010.
  • BA: Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa, 2000.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Environmental Anthropology
  • Political Theory
  • Colonialism
  • Colonial Latin American history
  • Andean culture
  • Indigenous politics in the Andes
Courses Taught
  • Archaeology of Ritual and Religion
  • Anthropology of Landscapes and Ecologies
  • Archaeology of South America
  • Anthropological GIS (Geographic Information Systems)
  • The Urban Environment
  • 2016 Bauer, A. and S. Kosiba. “How Things Act: An Archaeology of Materials in Political Life.” Journal of Social Archaeology 14(2): 1-27. Download
  • 2016 Kosiba, S. “Where we Draw Lines: Weighing Commitments to Community and Heritage.” Ethics blog for the American Anthropological Association.
  • 2016 Kosiba, S. Review of Izumi Shimada, The Inka Empire: A Multidisciplinary Approach. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX. Antiquity 90(349): 267-269. Download
  • 2015 Kosiba, S. “Tracing the Inca Past: Ritual Movement and Social Memory in the Inca Imperial Capital.” In Perspectives on the Inca, Monica Barnes, Inés de Castro, Javier Flores Espinoza, Doris Kurella, and Karoline Noack (eds.), pp. 178-205. Linden-Museum, Sonderband/Tribus. Stuttgart, Germany. Download
  • 2015 Kosiba, S. “Of Blood and Soil: Tombs, Wak’as, and the Naturalization of Social Difference in the Inka Heartland.” In The Archaeology of Wak’as: Explorations of the Sacred in the Pre-Columbian Andes. Tamara Bray, Editor. Pp. 167-212. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. Download
  • 2015 Kosiba, S. “Inka by Privilege.” In The Encyclopedia of the Inkas. G. Urton and A. von Hagen, Editors. Pp. 160-162. Altamira Press, Lanham, MD. Download
  • 2014 Kosiba, S. and A. Bauer. “Mapeando el paisaje politico: hacia una análisis SIG de las diferencias medioambientales y sociales.” Cuadernos de Qhapaq Ñan 2: 120-160.
  • 2014 Kosiba, S. Review of Ian Farrington, Cusco: Urbanism and Archaeology in the Inka World. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 24: 553-554. Download
  • 2013 Kosiba, S. and V. Galiano Blanco. “Construyendo un paisaje inka: La conversion de centros ceremoniales y la constitución de la autoridad durante la formación del estado inkaiko (Cusco, Perú).” Arqueología y Sociedad 26: 301-338. Download
  • 2013 Kosiba, S. and A. Bauer. “Mapping the Political Landscape: Toward a GIS Analysis of Social and Environmental Difference.” Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 20(1): 61-101. Download
  • 2013 Kosiba, S. Review of Steven Wernke, Negotiated Settlements: Andean Communities and Landscapes under Inka and Spanish Colonialism. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Fl. Historical Archaeology 47(4): 234-236. Download
  • 2012 Kosiba, S. “Emplacing Value, Cultivating Order: Places of Conversion and Practices of Subordination throughout Early Inka State Formation (Cusco, Peru).” In Constructions of Value in the Ancient World. Gary Urton and John Papadopoulos, Editors. Pp. 99-127. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, Los Angeles. Download
  • 2011 Kosiba, S. “The Politics of Locality: Pre-Inka Social Landscapes of the Cusco Region.” In The Archaeology of Politics: The Materiality of Political Practice and Action in the Past. Peter Johansen and Andrew Bauer, Editors. Pp. 114-150. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne. Download
  • 2011 Kosiba, S. Review of Richard Burger, The Life and Writings of Julio C. Tello. University of Iowa Press, Iowa City. The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 16(1): 185-187. Download
  • 2007 Kosiba, S., Tykot, R., and D. Carlsson. “Stable Isotopes as Indicators of Change in the Food Procurement and Food Preference of Viking Age and Early Christian Populations on Gotland (Sweden).” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 26: 394-411. Download