The six weeks spent on the Vitor Archaeology Project funded by the Tinker grant provided me with the opportunity to undertake sample collection composing a pilot project for my dissertation research, collaborate and familiarize the project participants with the benefits and procedures necessary for undertaking soil micromorphological and soil chemical analysis, and learn ways to explain such research methods to archaeologists from diverse backgrounds as well as members of the local community. Although I have previously spent several months in Peru on separate occasions and have worked on archaeological projects in Peru and Ecuador, this was the first season I participated in the Vitor Archaeological Project. During the course of the project I developed ways to discuss my research with US students, archaeologists from the US, archaeologists from Peru, and Peruvian residents of the town of Vitor where the project was based. I participated in field work, co-leading an excavation team with a Peruvian colleague which excavated a 36m2 room in a residential compound at the site Millo 2, which dates to around 500-1000CE. I collected samples for soil micromorphological and soil chemical analysis from this structure as well as a 24m2 room in a separate compound excavated by another team. During the sampling process I discovered that although the loose, sandy, rocky sediment which characterizes the site is far from ideal for micromorphological sampling, it is still possible to collect usable samples. These samples, as well as samples from a pilot geological survey I conducted, are currently located in Peru awaiting permitting, processing, and exportation to the US. Once the samples are exported they will be analyzed as a pilot project for my dissertation research on daily life and construction of identity through use of space in the Middle Horizon of southern Peru.
October 17, 2012