College of Arts & Sciences Anthropology

Matthew Sayre

Matthew Sayre
Assistant Professor
Anthropology, College of Arts & Sciences
UE East Hall 326
Phone: 605-677-6596
I am an anthropologist and archaeologist who primarily works at the site of Chavin de Huantar in the Peruvian Andes. My work focuses on the ecological, agricultural, economic, and ritual practices of Andean peoples. Prior to coming to USD I was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford from 2010-2011.
Teaching Interests:
Anthropology, pedagogy, increased access of underrepresented populations, interactive learning, and collaboration across departments. Teach for America alumnus, 1999-2001.
Research Interests:
Andean Archaeology, Historical Ecology, Sustainability, Agriculture, Ritual, and Food.
  • Ph D, Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley, 2010
  • MA, Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley, 2004
  • BA, Anthropology, University of Chicago, 1999
  • A&S Summer Faculty Research Fund, USD Arts and Science , (2014 - 2014)
  • Conservation Fellow, Global Heritage Fund, (2011 - 2012)
  • Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant- Ecology, Ritual, and Agriculture at Chavín de Huántar, NSF, (2005 - 2006)
  • Graduate Research Fellowship, NSF, (2003 - 2008)
  • Graduate Research Fellowship Summer Travel Grant, NSF, (2004 - 2004)
  • Paleoethnobotanical Research, Templeton Foundation, (2012 - 2014)
  • Travel Grant, Arts and Sciences, (2013 - 2013)
  • Travel Grant , Arts and Sciences, (2013 - 2013)
  • undergraduate research advisor, CURCA, (2013 - 2013)
  • Into the Field: Modern Methods in Archaeology, South Dakota Humanities Council, (2014 - 2014)
  • Diversity Curriculum Transformation Grant, Arts and Sciences, (2013 - 2013)
  • TRACK to Success , Office of Sponsored Research and Programs, (2012 - 2012)
  • Arts and Sciences Travel Grant, Arts and Sciences, (2011 - 2012)
  • CURCA Research Grant, CURCA, (2012 - 2012)
  • Digital Methods in Archaeology, Center for Teaching and Learning, (2011 - 2011)
  • Sayre, M., Miller, M., Rosenfeld, S., Isotopic Evidence for the Trade and Production of Exotic Marine Mammal Bone Artifacts at Chavi´n de Hua´ntar, Peru, Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. (DOI: 10.1007/s12520-015-0230-y )
  • Sayre, M., (2014), Ceremonial Plants in the Andean Region, European Science Foundation/Early Agricultural Remnants and Technical Heritage Program.
  • Sayre, M., (2014), Student-initiated Projects, the Flipped Classroom, and Crowdfunding, Society for American Archaeology, vol. 14, iss. 1, pp. 14-18.
  • Sayre, M., (2013), Archaeology students have the experience of a lifetime at Peru dig, Peru this Week.
  • Sayre, M., A Synonym for Sacred: Vilca use in the Pre-hispanic Andes, University of Florida Press.
  • Sayre, M., (2012), An Andean domesticate adapts to climate change, Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science, vol. 91, pp. 25-31.
  • Sayre, M., (2012), A Marked Preference: Chicha de molle and Huari State Consumption Practices, Nawpa Pacha/Left Coast Press, vol. 32, iss. 2, pp. 231-258.
  • Cane, R., Cuthrell, R., Sayre, M., Soluri, E., Hastorf, C., (2012), The life of building 3 through plant use: The macrobotanical evidence of Neolithic dwelling from the Berkeley Archaeology at Catalhoyuk (BACH) excavation 1997-2003", Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA.
  • Sayre, M., Archaeobotany of Plant Food Processing and Nutrition in Environmental Archaeology, Springer Press.
  • Rick, J., Mesia, C., Rick, R., Kembel, S., Contreras, D., Sayre, M., Wolf, J., (2011), La Cronología de Chavín de Huántar y sus implicancias para el Periodo Formativo, Fondo Editorial Pontifica Universidad Catolica Peruana, vol. 12.
  • Sayre, M., Lopez Aldave, N., (2010), Andean Past, vol. 9, pp. 340-345.
  • Sayre, M., (2007), Chronicling Indigenous Accounts of the Emergence of Agriculture in the Americas, Left Coast Press, vol. One World Series.
Awards and Honors:
  • Belbas-Larson Teaching Award Nominee, USD, 2014
  • Belbas-Larson Teaching Award Nominee, USD, 2013
  • Vidler, L., Sayre, M., Flores, J. (2015, January). Cuba: A New Start?. Presented at the International Forum, USD.
  • Sayre, M. (2014, December). Climate Change and Sustainability at the Unesco World Heritage Site of Chavin de Huantar, Peru. Presented at the Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C..
  • Sayre, M. (2014, November). Burnt Palms and Cultivated Corn: Macrobotanical and Phytolith Evidence from Chavin de Huantar. Presented at the Comparative Studies among the Formative Period Cultures in the Andes, Osaka, Japan.
  • Sayre, M. (2014, January). Sustainable Tourism at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chavin de Huantar, Peru: Archaeology and Sustainable Heritage . Presented at the Tenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, Split, Croatia.
  • Sayre, M. (2014, January). Archaeobotany during the Formative Period (Peru). Presented at the Stanford Conference on the Formative Period (Peru), Stanford, CA.
  • Sayre, M. (2014, January). Domestic life and socioeconomic variability at Chavín . Presented at the Institute of Andean Studies .
  • Sayre, M. (2013, November). "Pilgrimage Across the Ancient Andes: From Machu Picchu to Chavin de Huantar". Presented at the Archaeological Institute of America Public Lecture Series, Lincoln, NE.
  • Sayre, M. (2013, January). From the Andes to the Plains: plant use across the ancient Americas. Presented at the South Dakota Archaeological Society, Vermillion, SD.
  • Sayre, M. (2012, April). Household versus ritual plant use at Conchopata: a Huari, Middle Horizon, center in Ayacucho, Peru. Presented at the Society for American Archaeology.
  • Sayre, M. (2012, February). Life at Chavin de Huantar, a 3000 year old temple in Peru. Presented at the Third Sunday Archaeology Talks, Augustana College, Sioux Falls SD.
  • Sayre, M. (2011, October). Historical Ecology and Sustainability at Chavin de Huantar, Peru. Presented at the Lunch time talk series, Beacom Hall.