Anthropology Prof. Fash Joins Faculty

William L. Fash has joined the faculty of the anthropology department as Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology and Ethnology.

A specialist in Mesoamerican anthropology and archaeology, Fash has been a faculty member at Northern Illinois University's anthropology department since 1984.

"I'm very pleased to be here at Harvard because I got my Ph.D. here [in 1983] and I know what it means to be a student here," Fash said yesterday.

Fash said he will be teaching Anthropology 181: Mesoamerican Civilizations and Anthropology 210: History and Pre-History in the Americas.

"I look forward to many years of interchange and to working with the faculty and staff and Department of Anthropology and the Peabody Museum," Fash said. "[They] have the best facilities and collections for Mesoamerica in the world."


Fash's main work is with the excavation of Copan in Honduras. The Copan Project is a Mayan dig whose contentsdate from the classic period (250-900 AD).

Fash began work at Copan in 1978 and iscurrently the director of the Copan MosaicsProject and the Copan Acropolis ArchaeologicalProject.

"We are excavating in the center of the cityand recovering the remains of the royal court andassociated buildings," Fash said.

Bowditch Professor of Central American andMexican Archaeology and Ethnology Emeritus GordonR. Willey, whom Fash succeeds, also worked on thisdig.

"It's nice to have that site representedagain," Associate Professor of Anthropology RobertW. Preucel said.

Fash said yesterday that he will conduct aHarvard Summer School Course at Copan forundergraduates. This year will be the first thatsuch a course will be offered, Preucel said.

Fash's wife Barbara, an expert in the art andiconography of Copan, has received an appointmentat the Peabody Museum, Preucel said.

Fash received the "Outstanding Teacher inAnthropology" award from the students and facultyof the anthropology department at NorthernIllinois University for four consecutive yearsbetween 1986 and 1989.

He was also director of the Anthropology Museumof Northern Illinois University from 1987 to 1992.

In Honduras and at Northern IllinoisUniversity, Fash has organized six museumexhibits. He has also helped design a Copan museumwhich is slated to open in October