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Revealing Pre-Columbian Bundles: Collaborative Student-Faculty Research at the Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College

Author(s): Kylie Quave

Year: 2016

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Summary

Recent research at the Logan Museum of Anthropology combines student and faculty expertise with archaeometric methods to reveal new information about coastal pre-Columbian Andean collections brought to the museum in the early- to mid-twentieth century. With student collaborators we scanned a possible “bird mummy” with computed tomography to reveal that there was no avian body but rather a complex suite of offerings within its cloth wrapping. They included maize cobs, shell, and other materials. These results are helping us to assign cultural and temporal affiliations to an object without archaeological context. Dozens of artifacts that came to the museum as a single mummy assemblage from the Rimac Valley, Peru were analyzed visually, microscopically, and through portable x-ray fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy to reconstruct the identity of the individual(s) with whom the textiles and wooden, ceramic, and metal objects were interred. By combining various methods in collaboration with students, we are working to reconstruct the life of a possible local administrator. This work is vital to bring to light previously unresearched and unpublished archaeological collections, while providing independent and collaborative research opportunities for undergraduate students and promoting interdisciplinary inquiry.


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Revealing Pre-Columbian Bundles: Collaborative Student-Faculty Research at the Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College. Kylie Quave. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403688)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America