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Alexander Geurds  

Archaeologist, National Geographic Explorer, Associate Professor Leiden University.

Alexander Geurds (Ph.D. 2007, Leiden University) research interests are the built environment and material culture of Mesoamerica and the Isthmo-Colombian Area. Since 1998 he has been involved in archaeological survey activities in Oaxaca, southern Mexico and Nicaragua. A principal research interest is situating theoretical questions about monumentality, materiality and networks of contact in contexts of Mesoamerica and Lower Central America. He has also published on the role of pre-Hispanic sites and objects in contemporary contexts of state heritage management and local perceptions in Middle America.

Currently, he is writing about a monumental sculptural tradition in central Nicaragua, funded by the National Geographic Society and the Waitt Foundation, as well as conducting postdoctoral research in the context of a Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research grant into museum collections in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia.

In 2007, Geurds received a Rubicon Fellowship for a one-year postdoctoral position at the University of Colorado. His archaeological research in Nicaragua was also supported by a Leiden University Fund seed grant.

Dr. Alexander Geurds is currently working as a postdoc in the NWO-research Communicating Communities.

In October 2010 Dr. Alex Geurds was awarded a Veni grant by NWO. He will receive 250,000 euros for a three year research project. Alex Geurds recently discovered a pre-Columbian pyramid complex in the archaeologically unexplored Central Nicaragua. The region is strewn with man-high basalt statues. Were these gods, rulers or warriors? This study looks at how, when and why these statues were created.

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