Office hoursMondays, 2:00 - 5:00 pm; and By Appointment
Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson. Dissertation: "Conquest Polities of the Mesoamerican Epiclassic: Circum-Basin Regionalism, A.D. 550-850"
MA, Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson
BA, Anthropology/History, California State University, Bakersfield
Dr. Rubén G. Mendoza is an archaeologist, writer, and photographer who has explored the length and breadth of Mexico, Central America, Europe, and the US Southwest documenting both pre-Columbian and Colonial era sites and collections.
A CSU Monterey Bay founding or Planning Faculty member, and current Chair of the School of Social, Behavioral, and Global Studies, Professor Mendoza has participated in a host of archaeological undertakings in the US and Mexico, including those on the Colorado Front Range at the Crescent Rock Shelter, Precolumbian and Colonial era sites in Puebla, and Cholula, Puebla, and la Cañada de la Virgen in Guanajuato, Mexico. He has in turn directed major archaeological investigations and managed multi-million dollar conservation projects in the California missions. The largest such ventures were undertaken at missions San Juan Bautista, San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, and Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, among others. A three year archaeological investigation at the Royal Presidio of Monterey resulted in the tandem discovery of the earliest Serra era Christian houses of worship in California dated to 1770 and 1771.
A charter member of the California Missions Foundation, his Mission Solstice Survey has resulted in the astronomically and liturgically significant discoveries of solstice, equinox, and feast day solar illuminations of mission church altars throughout California, the US Southwest, and Mesoamerica.
He has published some seventy-five manuscripts and scores of images spanning a range of topics, including pre-Columbian and Colonial era art and architecture, California missions’ art and architecture, American Indian science, technology, and medicine, and modern material cultures. In addition to his role as co-Editor, with Richard Chacon, of the University of Arizona Press books North American Indigenous Warfare and Ritual Violence (2007) and Latin American Indigenous Warfare and Ritual Violence (2007), Mendoza once again teamed up with Richard Chacon for the recent Springer Press publications: The Ethics of Anthropology and Amerindian Research (2012), and Feast, Famine, or Fighting? Multiple Pathways to Social Complexity (2017). His most recent book-length treatment is that of Rizzoli International's The California Missions with world renowned photographer Melba Levick (2018). Mendoza’s credits include Oxford University Press, Charles Scribner’s Sons, Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge University Press, Kluwer Academic, Springer, Arte Publico, Grolier, Indiana University Press, Salem, and the University Press of Florida.
He is also a proud father to daughters Natalie and Maya Mendoza, and a devoted husband to wife Linda Marie Mendoza, whose loving support continues to enable his many scholarly contributions.