Dr. Grossman received his Ph.D. as a Fulbright/Special Career Fellow in Peruvian and North American archaeology from the University of California, Berkeley. He received his training in North and South American archaeology in California and the Southwest, with a specialty in high altitude Andean archaeology. His scientific accomplishments include the planning and direction of major prehistoric and historic projects and expeditions throughout North America, the Andes of Peru, the Brazilian Amazon, and Puerto Rico. He was also asked to consult on the transfer of technology in archaeology by colleagues in Peru, Russia and Hungary.
In Peru, after co-directing a joint US-Peruvian expedition to find and investigate a pre-Inca mummy bundle in the south-central Andes, he discovered a 3,500 year sequence of buried Pre-Inca ceramic cultures at a hill-top site called Waywaka in Andahuaylas, Apurimac, Peru. This layer cake of Pre-Inca settlements revealed early pottery making, early gold working, and a gold workers tool kit, dating to the second millennium BC. (The antiquity of the gold has now been confirmed by new high-resolution AMS radiocarbon determinations to date to the 17th century BC versus, as some had argued, a shallower time depth of ca 1,000 BC (Grossman 2013a). In addition to his work in the south-central Andean highlands, he was invited by the government of Peru to spearhead a UNESCO program to conduct field tests at key Pre-Inca and Inca sites (1982a). Besides the mandate to train Peruvian archaeologists in applied technology, the goal of this collaborative initiative was to test the viability of different geophysical remote sensing technologies (conductivity, magnetics and ground penetrating radar) for the identification and definition of buried pre-historic and historic remains in different archaeological environments throughout the coast and highlands of Peru.
Dr. Grossman is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the planning and implementation of advanced applied technology solutions to expedite and enhance the feasibility of important archaeological and environmental initiatives in logistically challenging and hazardous conditions, generally during deep winter months (Grossman 1980a, 2003, 2008a, 2008b). His early work was noted for the 1978 deployment of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), concurrent on-site computerized conservation capabilities, stereo-overhead photogrammetry for non-contact recording and first generation computer transits. The systems were initially deployed to develop a 3D color-coded underground radar map of a buried pre-Revolutionary port settlement, through three feet of laminated rock (shale) fill and flood silts (Grossman 1980a), ahead of a multi-million dollar work-stoppage. Much of his recent work has involved the development of paleo-environmental, and GIS-based, modeling to develop site testing/discovery strategies in buried and submerged environments (Grossman 2008a. 2011). (See profiles of Dr. Grossman in the December 2016 online issue of GeoDataPoint magazine, both as an archaeologist and as a specialist in applied geospatial technology). In this capacity, he has spent over four decades directing large-scale emergency rescue excavations of unexpected discoveries in the path of critical infrastructure programs throughout the United States and Caribbean (Grossman 1980a, 1991, 2004). In addition, he directed the first major U.S. Government-mandated archaeological investigations of contaminated Superfund sites in North America (Grossman 1991a,b,c&d, 1994a&b,1996a, 2008b). His applied technology initiatives in this HAZMAT program culminated in the multidisciplinary archaeological and historical evaluation of the Superfund site of the US Radium Corporation and its associated radium deposits, in central New Jersey (Grossman et al. 1996a).
In the Northeast, he planned and directed the discovery and excavation of the original shoreline block of the 17th Century Dutch West India Company in Lower Manhattan (Grossman 1985, 2011), the discovery of a secret, cadmium-laced, Civil War-era “Super Gun” testing facility at the Superfund site of West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York (Grossman 1991a, 1992a, 1993b, 1994a&b; 2008b). In addition, he led the negotiated resolution of a number of conflict situations over the belated discovery of Native American remains, encountered in the path of what are often described as "discoveries-under-construction". One such large scale mitigation effort resulted in the excavation of a 3,000 year sequence of pre-Iroquois settlements and the 18th century bastion of historic Fort Edward in the upper Hudson River of New York (Grossman et al. 2015). Finally, early on in his career, he directed the discovery and excavation of a deeply buried (beneath 12 feet of hardpan, or "caliche") "early man" San Dieguito site in the California desert, dating to between 5,000 and 7,000 years before present (Grossman and Frederickson 1977).
Dr. Grossman has served as a scientific advisor to municipal, state, U.S. and international agencies, including as a UNESCO scientist to the Peruvian Institute of Culture, and policy advisor to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment. He has been invited to speak before the United Nations, to participate in the State Department People to People exchange program with Russia, and to subsequently return to present a scientific paper before the first post-Soviet archaeology conference held in Stavropol, southern Russia. More recently, he was invited to help celebrate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Henry Hudson in New Amsterdam. Conducted as part of the Dutch Visiting Scholars program, the prestigious exchange was sponsored by the Dutch National AWAD (Atlantic World and the Dutch) and Netherlands Institute of Heritage. Finally, Dr. Grossman has been invited to speak before a large number of high caliber venues both in the United States and overseas. Over the past two years, these included the Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) seminar series, the Fellows lecture series at the New York Botanical Garden, and most recently, the Explorers Club of New York.
Dr. Grossman has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and served as the editor of New World Archaeology for the Encyclopedia Britannica for sixteen years. In recognition of his ongoing research, he was recently invited to present a scientific paper before the 2017 Society of American Archaeology (SAA) annual meeting, in Vancouver, Canada. This symposium presented the discovery, age and metallurgical makeup of early, 7th-8th Century AD, bronze (copper alloy) artifacts from the Andean site of Waywaka, the same site where the earlier, early Initial Period, ceramics, gold foil and gold worker's toolkit were discovered.
JOEL W. GROSSMAN Ph.D.
BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY - 2018