American Philosophical Society
Member History

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4. Humanities[X]
403. Cultural Anthropology[X]
1Name:  Dr. Patrick Vinton Kirch
 Institution:  University of Hawai'I at Manoa; University of California, Berkeley & P.A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology
 Year Elected:  1998
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  403. Cultural Anthropology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1950
Unsurpassed as a prehistorian of the Pacific, Patrick Kirch was curator of the P. A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology and Class of 1954 Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is now Chancellor's Professor Emeritus and Professor of the Graduate School, Class of 1954 Professor of Anthropology and Integrative Biology Emeritus. In 2019 he moved to the University of Hawai'i as a professor of anthropology. In a succession of outstanding contributions, he has shown how Pacific islanders have made changing adaptations to life in the islands over 3,000 years, exemplifying regional archaeology at its best and greatly clarifying our knowledge of the important Lapita cultural horizon of the first and second millennia BC. His book The Wet and the Dry makes a convincing case for recognizing the importance of intensification of agriculture in connection with shifting cultivation and tree crops as well as through irrigation in environments where irrigation is not feasible. He also demonstrates that, contrary to widely held theory, irrigation systems do not require centralized state authority for their development, maintenance, and management. Dr. Kirch's intellectual interests are broad, incorporating geology, botany, and cultural anthropology into his archaeological research. A native of Hawaii, Dr. Kirch has published numerous other works relating to the Pacific, including Marine Explorations in Prehistoric Hawaii (1979), Tikopia: The Prehistory and Ecology of a Polynesian Outlier (1982); The Evolution of the Polynesian Chiefdoms (1984); and Feathered Gods and Fishhooks: An Introduction to Hawaiian Archaeology Prehistory (1985). He holds a Ph.D. from Yale University (1975).
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