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Patrick Vinton Kirch is an archaeologist who studies Oceanic and Polynesian prehistory. He is a Professor of Integrative Biology[1] at the Class of 1954 Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. He also serves as Curator of Oceanic Archaeology in the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, and was director of that Museum from 1999 to 2002.

He has published widely: many articles and nine books. He is known for his belief that practitioners of archaeology, historical linguistics, human genetic studies, ethnology, and archival historical research can work together to give a fuller picture of the past than any discipline alone could do. In 1997 Kirch was awarded the John J. Carty Award from the National Academy of Sciences.[2] He is a Doctor Honoris Causa of Universite de Polynesie Francaise (2016).[3]


Kirch was born and raised in Hawaii. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania and at Yale University. He received his Ph.D from Yale in 1975.

From 1975-1984 Kirch served on the staff of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu.

In 1984, Kirch became the Director of the Burke Museum in Seattle, Washington, and an Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

In 1989, he took a position at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Anthropology. He later took a joint appointment in the Department of Integrative Biology.


  • On the Road of the Winds: An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands Before European Contact, University of California Press (published 2002), 446 pages. ISBN 0-520-23461-8, ISBN 978-0-520-23461-1
  • Kirch, Patrick Vinton; Yen, D.E (1982), Tikopia; The Prehistory and Ecology of a Polynesian Outlier, Honolulu, Hawaii: Bishop Museum Press, ISBN 9780910240307 


External links[edit]


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