Alan Leventhal Bio
Alan Leventhal is an archaeologist/anthropologist/ethnohistorian. During
the early 1970s, Alan had worked at the American Museum of Natural
History in New York in the departments of Anthropology and Education.
Mr. Leventhal completed his undergraduate degree in Anthropology at
City College of New York, and completed he graduate work at San Jose
State University. From 1974 through 1978 he worked as a state
archaeologist at the Nevada Archaeological Survey at the University of
Nevada, Reno, and taught open university classes there. In 1978, Alan
briefly worked as a Forest Service archaeologist in the Lassen National
Forest before coming to SJSU in November 1978 where he spent nine
years in the Department of Anthropology as the Anthropology Lab
Director. From 1987 until his retirement from SJSU in 2019, Alan worked
on the administrative staff in the Office of the Dean, College of Social
Sciences at SJSU while continuing to teach as a lecturer about contemporary Native American
Issues and topics on advanced methods and theory in archaeology in the Anthropology
Department. He has lectured and conducted archaeological excavations in New York, Georgia,
Nevada, and California including the famous 10,000 year old Scott’s Valley Site. His principal
study was titled A Reinterpretation of Some Bay Area Shellmound Sites: A View from the
Mortuary Complex from CA-ALA-329, the Ryan Mound. He is also the author of numerous
publications on Bay Area archaeology and California Indian ethnohistory, as well as the Military
service history of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe.
For the past 42 years he has worked with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay
Area as a tribal ethnohistorian and senior staff archaeologist. Mr. Leventhal has also worked as a
volunteer (1992-1998) on the Congressionally created (HR 2144) Advisory Council on California
Indian Policy’s Unrecognized Tribal Task Force and with the National Congress of American
Indians Recognition Task Force (2006). He was one of the few advocates for the Previously
Federally Recognized Tribes in the state.
Alan has also worked closely with other tribes throughout California as they seek restoration and
reaffirmation of their tribal status. Mr. Leventhal had also served as an ethnohistorian and
archaeologist for two other previously Federally Recognized tribes: the Amah–Mutsun Tribal
Band of Costanoan Indians (since 1989) centered around Mission San Juan Bautista ,and Ohlone-
Costanoan/Esselen Nation (since 1992) centered around Mission San Carlos in Monterey.
Since 2005, He continues to serve on the American Indian Heritage Celebration planning
committee in San Jose. More recently, he has consulted with several Bay Area museums including
exhibitions at the Oakland Museum, Los Alto Historical Museum, New Museum of Los Gatos
(NUMU), Campbell Historical Museum, SFPUC Watershed Center, Museum on Main in
Pleasanton, and de Saisett Museum at Santa Clara University. In 2019 Alan retired from SJSU,
and retains emeritus faculty status at SJSU to continue his research interests.
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