Kidder, Alfred Vincent, 1885-1963

Alternative names
Birth 1885-10-29
Death 1963-06-11

Biographical notes:

Kidder was an archaeologist who excavated sites in the Southwest. He became a member of the Advisory Board for the Laboratory of Anthropology in 1927.

From the description of Alfred Vincent Kidder Pecos papers, 1915-1935. (Museum of New Mexico Library). WorldCat record id: 37992640

Kidder was an archaeologist who excavated sites in the southwest. He became a member of the Advisory Board for the Laboratory of Anthropology in 1927.

From the description of Alfred Vincent Kidder, Cannonball and McElmo Canyon site records, [1908?]. (Museum of New Mexico Library). WorldCat record id: 37992641

Alfred V. Kidder was an archaeologist and conducted excavations in the southwestern United States. He and Neil Merton Jedd, also an archaeologist, were colleagues and friends.

From the description of Correspondence, 1920-1962 : with Neil Merton Judd. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122364917

Born in 1885, Alfred Vincent Kidder received both the A.B.(1908) and the Ph.D. (1914) from Harvard. His Ph.D. in archaeology was the first effective application of pottery typology to the problem of prehistory in the American Southwest. From 1927 to 1950, Kidder was research associate and chairman of the Division of Historical Research at the Carnegie Institute. He was also a member of the faculty of the Peabody Museum at Harvard University from 1939-1950. Kidder died in 1963.

From the description of Papers of Alfred Vincent Kidder, 1896-1963 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 76977306

Born in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on October 25, 1885, Alfred V. Kidder enjoyed an outstanding education. As a student at elite prep schools in Cambridge and Boston, Mass., and Switzerland, he entered Harvard, where a childhood interest in Indians blossomed into a profession when he was introduced to the formal study of anthropology. After receiving his bachelors in 1908, he became one of the first Americans to receive a doctorate in archaeology in 1914, working on the pottery of the Southwest.

Working at the Phillips Academy, Andover, until 1929 (primarily on the site at Pecos dekl Arroyo), and thereafter as Chair of the Division of Historical Research of the Carnegie Institution, Kidder's interests remained centered on the Southwest. In addition to the Pecos site in New Mexico, he made valuable contributions to the archaeology of Mesoamerica through the Carnegie, coordinating excavations of Mayan sites at Chichen Itza and Uaxactun in Yucatan and Kaminaljuya in Guatemala. Although he was often denigrated by critics in the profession for being too little concerned with synthesizing the abundant data he collected in the field and for reaching too limited conclusions, many of his conclusions on the classification of southwestern basketry, for instance, endured for many years. He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1934, and the American Anthropological Association named an award for eminence in New World archaeology in his honor in the early 1950s.

Kidder retired from the Carnegie in 1950, teaching briefly at the University of California before retiring to his home in Cambridge. He died on June 11, 1963, leaving behind his wife, Madeleine, whom he married in 1910, and five children.

From the guide to the Alfred Vincent Kidder Papers, 1920-1962, (American Philosophical Society)


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Ark ID:


  • Excavations (Archaeology)
  • Pueblos
  • Archaeological surveying
  • Excavations (Archeology)
  • Southwest, New--Antiquities
  • Archaeology
  • Pueblo Bonito (N.M.)--Antiquities
  • Indians of North America--Antiquities
  • Chaco Canyon (N.M.)--Antiquities
  • Pueblo Indians--Antiquities
  • Anthropology publishing
  • Indians of North America--Southwest, New
  • Anthropology


not available for this record


  • Colorado (as recorded)
  • New Mexico (as recorded)
  • New Mexico (as recorded)
  • San Juan Basin (N.M. and Colo.) (as recorded)
  • Chaco Canyon (N.M.) (as recorded)
  • McElmo Canyon (Colo.) (as recorded)
  • Yellow Jacket Site (Colo.) (as recorded)
  • Hovenweep National Monument (Utah and Colo.) (as recorded)
  • Cannonball Ruin (Colo.) (as recorded)
  • Southwest, New (as recorded)
  • Pecos National Monument (N.M.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Chaco Canyon (N.M.) (as recorded)