José Alcina Franch was a Catalan archaeologist and ethnological historian, born in Spain. He studied at the University of Valencia, and developed an interest in archaeology, initially with a historical bias, soon to be transformed into a consideration of anthropology as a science. In the following years he secured two grants for further studies in Paris and Mexico, was appointed to a professorship in Sevilla, then went to Madrid. He is best known for his South American archaeological projects. His many awards include the Orden Nacional al Merito de la Republica del Ecuador, and the Primer Premio Beecham del V Centenario for Medicine.