Personal profile


Dr. Rubén G. Mendoza is an archaeologist, writer, and photographer who has explored the length and breadth of Mexico, Central America, Europe, and the US Southwest documenting both pre-Columbian and Colonial era sites and collections.

A founding faculty member of the California State University, Monterey Bay, Professor Mendoza has directed major archaeological investigations and conservation projects at missions San Juan Bautista, San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, and Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, among others. Recent efforts at the Royal Presidio of Monterey resulted in the tandem discovery of the earliest Serra era Christian houses of worship in California dated to 1770 and 1771.

A charter member of the California Missions Foundation, his Mission Solstice Survey has resulted in the astronomically and liturgically significant discoveries of solstice, equinox, and feast day solar illuminations of mission church altars throughout California, the US Southwest, and Mesoamerica.

He has published some seventy-five manuscripts and scores of images spanning a range of topics, including pre-Columbian and Colonial era art and architecture, California missions’ art and architecture, American Indian science, technology, and medicine, and modern material cultures. In addition to his role as co-Editor, with Richard Chacon, of the University of Arizona Press books North American Indigenous Warfare and Ritual Violence (2007) and Latin American Indigenous Warfare and Ritual Violence (2007), Mendoza’s credits include Oxford University Press, Charles Scribner’s Sons, Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge University Press, Kluwer Academic, Springer, Arte Publico, Grolier, Indiana University Press, Salem, and the University Press of Florida.

He is also a proud father to daughters Natalie and Maya Mendoza, and a devoted husband to wife Linda Marie Mendoza, whose loving support continues to enable his many scholarly contributions.


  • Historic Preservation and Conservation
  • History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology