Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Gordon Ambrosino

Gordon Ambrosino


7030 Haley Center

Office Hours

  • By appointment

About Gordon Ambrosino
NAGPRA Coordinator

As a landscape archaeologist and art historian, Gordon Ambrosino’s research centers on the agency of art in constructing place-based histories at specific times, and across time. In particular, he focuses on the interrelations between materials, iconographies, past and present peoples, and the land to illustrate the manifold ways in which art links identities to specific places. His 2020 book Rock Art, Water, and Ancestors: The Semiotic Construction of a Sacred Landscape in the Central Andes (1800 BCE – CE 1820) is about the role that a large complex of rock art in highland contexts played in solidifying ancestral relations to venerated rock features and water sources. This research is informed by the prior and current consultation work that he has conducted with Native cultural leaders since 2006 through the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).

At Auburn, Dr. Ambrosino is responsible for facilitating consultations with Native representatives through NAGPRA regarding the University’s collections and for coordinating the repatriation of ancestral remains to descendant communities. Since 2018 Dr. Ambrosino has also been developing a co-curated museum exhibition with cultural leaders from the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition, which will demonstrate the complexity of the Bears Ears National Monument as a culturally plural landscape. This collaborative exhibition is scheduled to open at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in 2023.

Last Updated: October 01, 2020