Puruchuco-Huaquerones Project, Peru


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     Currently I am a member of the Puruchuco-Huaquerones Project, an international collaboration between Peruvian and North American scholars excavating, studying, and conserving the burials from the community interred in the cemetery of Puruchuco-Huaquerones. In order to expand upon my dissertation research, I organized and direct the Puruchuco-Huaquerones Bioarchaeological Project (PHBP).

     Puruchuco- Huaquerones is located just outside the city of Lima in the middle region of the Rimac valley on the central coast of Peru.   Over the course of several years (1999-present), a team of Peruvian archaeologists has conducted salvage excavations that have uncovered one of the largest cemeteries in Andean South America, with a current total of 1,713 burials. The burials range in their preservation from large textile bundles containing mummified individuals to completely skeletonized individuals without any soft tissue preservation. Typically, mortuary offerings accompany the burials and they vary by size, quality, quantity and type.  Various textiles, ceramics, gourds, wooden implements, staffs and canes, metal artifacts, maize, beans, coca and Spondylus shell often accompany the bundles as offerings.

    It appears that the cemetery spans the Inca Empire (1450-1532) and Spanish Conquest and the Early Colonial Period. In addition to Peruvian archaeologists and ethnohistorians, the Puruchuco-Huaquerones Project includes a team of biological anthropologists and bioarchaeologists currently investigating different aspects of population dynamics, ethnicity, diet, health and disease, growth and development, mortuary behavior and more.  Current project members and affiliated project personnel include: Guillermo Cock (Project director), Elena Goycochea az, Trisha Biers, Catherine Gaither, Susan Haun, Melissa Murphy, John Verano, and Jocelyn Williams.



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