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Noted anthropologist William Sanders dies

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., July 16 (UPI) -- Anthropologist William Sanders, best known for a landmark survey of central Mexican sites in the 1970s, has died in State College, Pa., at the age of 82.

A spokeswoman for Pennsylvania Sate University, where Sanders taught from 1959-1993, said he died July 2 from complications after a fall, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

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With his colleagues Jeffrey R. Parsons and Robert S. Santley, Saunders conducted an aerial survey of the Basin of Mexico in attempts to identify and photograph remains of temples, dwellings, outbuildings and farming terraces built by Aztec and Teotihuacan civilizations before Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century.

The three published their findings in 1979 in what became an influential book, "The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization," that included an analysis of the relationship between land and culture, the Times said.

In the 1980s and '90s, Sanders helped lead Penn State's excavations of the important Mayan site known as Copan, in what is now Honduras.

Late in his career, Sanders was host of "Out of the Past," a public television series in the 1990s.

Survivors include his wife, Lili, and three daughters.

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