Use an interactive map to explore the different archaeological projects that I have been involved with, including my doctoral research, or read about my work in the Andes below.
Ecologies of Ancestors: Examining Human-Environment Relationships through Chachapoya Mortuary Landscapes in Northeastern Peru (800-1470 CE)", 2022-Present
This dissertation project investigates how ancestral places mediate the relationship between people and the environment over time. This research is supported by training from the Spatial Archaeology Residential and Online Institute at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville and funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, Northwestern Graduate School, Andean Cultures & Histories and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Data collection is conducted through the Proyecto de Investigación Arqueológica MAPA-SACHA, "Medio Ambiente, Paisaje y Arquitectura de los Sitios Ancestrales Chachapoya" in the Leymebamba District, Amazonas, Peru. In partnership with local and descendant community members, this project combines aerial drone photogrammetry, participatory mapping, architecture survey, dendroarchaeology, ethnoarchaeology, radiocarbon dating and geochemical analyses to study ancestral sites, known locally as "chullpas". This will be conducted jointly with a four-part impact strategy of site evaluation, local employment, youth education, and community engagement. Follow @MAPAchachapoya and @mapa_sacha for updates on this ongoing work.
Narratives of Andean Archaeology Through Online Platforms, 2021-2022
In 2021, I was awarded the opportunity to participate in the Public Humanities Graduate Research Workshop through the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University. For my public humanities project, I organize a photo-story contest through social media @MAPAchachapoya to engage local Peruvian community members in co-creating narratives of Chachapoya archaeology and heritage. With the assistance of a local collaborator (Segundo Aguilar), prizes were purchased from artisans and community tourism organizations to celebrate heritage and culture. I also create short video content to educate English-speaking publics on the diverse histories of the pre-colonial Andes, respectful travel to South American archaeological sites, and insights into the archaeology PhD experience (@andes_archaeology on TikTok).
Arqueología de Paisajes Mortuorios Chachapoya, 2018-2019
The Archaeology of Andean Mortuary Landscapes in the Chachapoya region constitutes my master's and pre-dissertation research project. During this pilot project, I applied minimally-invasive archaeological mapping technologies to identify and survey the geospatial and architectural components of Chachapoya above-ground mortuary structures. In collaboration with local and descendant community members, we used GPS, aerial drone photography, and local land-based knowledge to study these vulnerable sites through sensitive research practices.
Proyecto Arqueológico Tambillo, 2016-2018
A multi-year archaeological project directed by Dr. Anna Guengerich, involving survey and excavation of households, agricultural architecture and public spaces at six Chachapoya settlements in the Tambillo nexus. I assisted Dr. Guengerich over three field seasons with GPS and Total Station mapping, test excavations, unit excavations, inventory and preliminary laboratory analysis, logistics management and community engagement.
Alto Marañón Project, 2017
I collaborated with a team of international botanists to document ecological and archaeological materials within the Alto Marañón region of the north central and eastern Peruvian Andes (Huanuco and Ancash departments). Thanks to the leadership of local guides, we visited over a dozen sites of Yarowilca, Inka and other local Andean cultural traditions. In particular, I focused on documenting above-ground mortuary structures (chullpa) for further investigation into the architectural and geospatial variations of such sites across the Andes.
Proyecto Jatanca y Huaca Colorada, 2014
In 2014, I participated in the University of Toronto (St. George) Department of Anthropology & The Archaeology Center field school in Pacasmayo, Peru. The field school was directed by Dr. Edward Swenson. The project investigated Moche and Late Formative archaeological complexes in the Jequetepeque Valley on the northern Peruvian coast. As an undergraduate excavator, and later unit supervisor, I trained in excavations of middens, monumental architecture, work areas, and laboratory analyses.
Muisca & Panche Interest Project, 2014 - Present
As part of a personal and academic interest project, I am tracing the histories of the Cordillera Oriental in Colombia through published research and local accounts. This region encompasses the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá, ancestral homelands of Muisca/Mhuysca and Panches. This stems from my investment in learning about and (re)connecting with the cultural heritage of my mother's homelands around Vergara, Nimaima and Cerro Sautatumi, Cundinamarca, which was the traditional territory of the Panches. This collection of research material builds on my lived experience visiting places and listening to relatives' stories.