- central America Transnational Region
Background And Education
- Ronald L. Bishop is a Research Archaeologist and Curator for Mexican and Central American Archaeology. He specializes in the use of instrumental methods of artifact analysis, especially neutron activation and petrography for the characterization of archaeological materials. The generated data contribut to studies of social, economic and political activities of ancient polities.
Dr. Ronald Bishop is a Research Archaeologist and Curator in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and a long-term Research Associate at the NIST National Center for Neutron Research. Ron grew up in California, spending his formative summers among the states’ ferns and magnificent redwoods that influenced his love for the Central American jungles. Initially focusing on a university undergraduate program in the natural and physical sciences, he fell under the influence of a charismatic Maya archaeologist, transferring in his senior year to major in Anthropology.
Bishop received his PhD at Southern Illinois University in Anthropology but by opportunity of time and place he was selected to receive training in the application of instrumental methods of artifact analysis, especially neutron activation analysis, at Brookhaven National Laboratory. As a result he has devoted 40 years to the study of archaeological material composition and the use of the objectively derived data to study patterns for raw material procurement, object manufacture, and trade for insights aspects of social and economic organization among the ancient inhabitants of Mexico and Central America. His research illuminates the value for national and international interdisciplary collaborations.