Current Projects include full-coverage archaeological settlement pattern survey, landscape investigation, and geoarchaeological research to explore relationships between climatic fluctuation, landscape change, and the formation of the Prehistoric Purépecha (Tarascan) Empire (A.D. 1350-1520).
The Lake Pátzcuaro Basin is a critical cultural region of México that has seen limited archaeological research. At the time of European contact the region was the core of the Purépecha (Tarascan) Empire with a dense population, centralized settlement system, social stratification, and a highly engineered environment.
The Lake Pátzcuaro Archaeological Project is an innovative program of research focused on:
Better understanding the development of prehistoric societies in the region.
Exploring relationships between cultural development and climate change.
Elucidating the human role in landscape change.
Providing prehistoric case studies that can aid modern conservation in the region.
In 2007/2008 Chris Fisher conducted an archaeological survey of the former island of Apúpato identifying over 15 areas of prehispanic occupation, along with hundreds of agricultural terraces and other features.