George "Wolf" Gumerman, IV, PhD

George Wolf Gumerman, PhD

Subject matter expertise

  • Archaeology
  • Hopi culture
  • People and plant relationships
  • Food and culture 
  • The Andes mountains


Dating back to his youth, Dr. Gumerman has had a longstanding connection to the Hopi Reservation in Arizona and has committed much of his work at NAU to helping preserve the tribe’s cultural heritage.

For more than a decade, Dr. Gumerman has served as the principal investigator on an intergenerational learning project, called Hopi Footprints of the Ancestors, which connects Hopi youth to the traditions, language and culture of their tribe, in order to help preserve the customs that allow the Hopi to thrive. The project reflects the challenges that face today’s Hopi youth: Being grounded in their ancestral and traditional cultural roots, yet living with the pressures of the modern world.Their desire is to maintain Hopi core values of kyaptsi or respect, to remain tied to their traditions and land, and to get an education.

The Footprints project brings together Hopi high-school students and elders, cultural specialists, archaeologists, and anthropologists for trips to places of cultural significance, usually archaeological sites in the American Southwest. The students document their experiences along the way, working with Dr. Gumerman and others at NAU to produce films, websites, and museum exhibits that communicate their own perspective on what they've experienced.

Previously, Dr. Gumerman led the Moche Foodways Archaeological Project, which sought to understand the ancient Moche civilization of Peru through the study of prehistoric food systems. His discovery of a funerary feasting complex at ‘El Brujo’ revealed that the feasting cultures of the Moche primarily revolved around death, warfare and human sacrifice.



Footprints of the Ancestors: Reengaging Hopi Youth with their Culture. Museums and Social Issues 7(2): 149-166.


Big Hearths and Big Pots: Moche Feasting on the North Coast of Peru, In Inside Ancient Kitchens: New Directions in the Study of Daily Meals and Feasts, edited by Elizabeth Klarich. Univ. of Colorado.


Commentary on A Model Applied Archaeology Curriculum (with Francis E. Smiley). The SAA Archaeological Record 9 (1): 24-26.


Hopi Culture Curriculum and Resource CD ROM. Curriculum binder submitted to the Hopi Tribe and Hopi teachers.


Santa Rosa-Quirihuac y Ciudad de Dios: Asentameintos rurales en la Parte Media del Valle de Moche (with Jesús Briceño). In Moche: Hacia el Final del Milenio, edited by Santiago Uceda and Elias Mujica, pp. 217-243. Universidad Nacional de Trujillo y Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru


Llama Power and Empowered Fishermen: Food and Power at Pacatnamu, Peru. In The Dynamics of Power, edited by Maria O’Donovan, pp. 238-256. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale.


Southwestern Foodways: Beyond Nutrition. In Examining the Course of Southwest Archaeology: The Durango Conference, September 1995, edited by David A. Phillips, Jr. and Lynne Sebastian, pp. 79-93. New Mexico Archeological Council, Special Publications No. 3, Albuquerque.

Archaeological Practice and Theory: Towards a Better Understanding of the Past and its Application to the Future (with George J. Gumerman). In Examining the Course of Southwest Archaeology: The Durango Conference, September 1995, edited by David A. Phillips, Jr. and Lynne Sebastian, pp. 145-156. New Mexico Archeological Council, Special Publications No. 3, Albuquerque.


Dos asentamientos Moche en la Parte Media del Valle de Moche: Santa Rosa-Quirihuac y Ciudad de Dios (with Brian Billman and Jesús Briceño). Revista Arqueologica SIAN 4(7): 3-8.


Botanical Offerings in Moche Burials at Pacatnamu. In Pacatnamu Papers, Vol. II, edited by C. B. Donnan and G. A. Cock, pp. 243-249. Fowler Museum of Cultural History, UCLA.

Food and Complex Societies. J. of Archaeological Method and Theory 4(2):105-139.


Feeding Specialists: The Effect of Specialization on Subsistence Variation. In Paleonutrition: The Diet and Health of Prehistoric Americans, edited by Kristin Sobolik. Southern Illinois Univ. Press, Carbondale.

Corn for the Dead: The Significance of Zea mays in Moche Burial Offerings. In Corn and Culture in the Prehistoric New World, edited by Sissel Johannessen and Christine A. Hastorf, pp. 399-410. Westview Press, Boulder.


Review of Alfred Vincent Kidder and the Development of Americanist Archaeology. American Anthropologist 95 (4):1012.


Subsistence and Complex Societies: Diet Between Diverse Socio-Economic Groups at Pacatnamu, Peru. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of California, Los Angeles.


Analisis de los Restos Botanicos de los Monticulos C4 y F4. In Investigaciones Arqueologicas en la Costa Sur de Guatemala, edited by David S. Whitley and Marilyn P. Beaudry. UCLA Institute of Archaeology Monograph 31, pp. 199-204.


The Late Prehistoric Period in the Coso Range and Environs (with D. S. Whitley, J. M. Simon and Edward H. Rose). Pacific Coast  Archaeological Society Quarterly 24(1):2‑10.


The Siphon Technique: An Addition to the Flotation Process. (with Bruce S. Umemoto). American Antiquity 52 (2):330‑336.


Abstract of The Complete Visitor's Guide to Mesoamerican Ruins in American Antiquity 48 (2).


Abstract of Camera, Spade and Pen in American Antiquity 46(4).

Special groups and committees

  • Moche Foodways Archaeological Project
  • Co-founder and co-editor of Heritage Management journal, 2007 – 2010
  • Footprints of the Ancestors
  • Society for American Archaeology
  • World Archaeological Congress
  • Friends of the Monuments (Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater, and Wupatki National Monuments), Treasurer and Board Member
  • National Collegiate Honors Council


  • B.A., University of Illinois - Urbana Champagne
  • M.A., PhD, University of California - Los Angeles, 1991

Web pages