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Ross Hassig (born December 12, 1945)  is an Americanmarker historical anthropologist specialising in Mesoamerican studies, particularly the Aztec culture. His focus is often on the description of practical infrastructure in Mesoamerican societies. He is the author of several influential books, among them: Time, History, and Belief in Aztec and Colonial Mexico; Aztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Political Control; and Trade, Tribute, and Transportation: The Sixteenth-Century Political Economy of the Valley of Mexico.

Hassig began his academic career as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt Universitymarker, where his studies initially focussed on non-Western legal systems. He soon developed an interest in anthropology, later obtaining in 1974 his Master's degree from Vanderbilt in Law and Anthropology, with a thesis on political development among the Puebloan peoples at Acoma Pueblomarker. He then went on further his graduate studies at Stanford Universitymarker, obtaining his Ph.D from the Department of Anthropology there in 1980.

During his time at Stanford, Hassig's research agenda switched to the cultures of Mesoamerica, where he investigated the economic and political foundations of pre- and post-conquest societies. Among the first of his studies was directed towards the underpinnings of the pre-Columbian Tarascan state.

For 1989–90 he was a scholar-in-residence of Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaksmarker Research Library and Collection, with a research project entitled "Warfare and the Mesoamerican Past".

In 1997–98 Hassig spent a year as Resident Scholar under the Weatherhead Fellowship program at the School for American Research in Santa Fe, New Mexicomarker, with a primary focus on researching the Aztec calendar.

In the 1999 UKmarker academic year, Hassig was one awarded of the two residential Visiting Fellowships offered annually by the Sainsbury Research Unit at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Artsmarker, University of East Angliamarker, Norwichmarker, towards the study of 'Aztec thought and culture'.

Hassig held a chair as Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahomamarker, until 2003 when he relocated to Tucson, Arizonamarker. Since leaving OU Hassig has remained an independent scholar and author, continuing his research into Mesoamerican cultures and state societies.

Published works

Hassig's published works include:
authored books—
edited books—
contributed chapters—


  1. School for Advanced Research (n.d.)
  2. School for Advanced Research (n.d.)
  3. Since renamed the School for Advanced Research, in 2007.
  4. School for Advanced Research (n.d.)
  5. Raaflaub (2007:x).


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