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Archaeological Method and The Hall of South American Peoples

Posted by swang
08 Jun 2017 09:49

As part of a series of museum visits and guest lecturers for the Bard Graduate Center spring 2017 course, “The Inca and Their Ancestors: Andean Objects, Technologies, and Issues of Conservation,” Mellon “Cultures of Conservation” Fellows Alicia Boswell and Jessica Walthew guided students through the American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of South American Peoples. Hosted by Sumru Aricanli, Senior Scientific Assistant for Mexican, Central, and South American Archaeology in the Division of Anthropology, students were given the opportunity to view and examine pre-Columbian artifacts from Lake Titicaca and the Virú valley collected by Wendell C. Bennett, Curator of South American Archaeology at AMNH from 1932-1937. These collections came from Bennett’s fieldwork in the 1930’s when he completed multiple expeditions to Peru and Bolivia to carry out survey and excavations. This was a time when Andean archaeology was just emerging as a field of study. Informed by Bennett’s account of his expedition and subsequent publications by other researchers, the aim of the visit was to better understand methods of archaeological data collection and inference through an exercise in close observation.

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