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John Hessler

John Hessler is the curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Archaeology & History of the Early Americas at the Library of Congress, and a lecturer at the Rare Book School, at the University of Virginia, where he teaches courses on the structure, linguistics, and ethnobotany of the Mesoamerican Codex. His research has focused on the linguistics & ethnobotany of the Cahuilla, or Iviluqaletem culture, in the deserts of southwestern California and on the botanical cognates in the Uto-Aztecan language family. His current investigations are centered on the morphosyntax of Nahuatl botanical terms found in Alonso Molina’s Vocabulario el lengua Mexicana y castellana, from 1571. Hessler is the author of more than one hundred articles and books, including the New York Times selection, MAP: Exploring the World, and his work has been featured in many media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, the BBC, CBS News and on NPR’s All Things Considered. His most recent book, Collecting for a New World, examines the history of the archaeological collections at the Library of Congress.

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