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Simposio Paracas-Nasca

Simposio Paracas-Nasca

Simposio Paracas-Nasca – clausura

Museo Nacional

We worked at the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Arqueología e Historia del Perú during four periods in 2011-2012.  This museum holds the majority of the gravelots excavated by Julio C. Tello at the Paracas Peninsula between 1925 and 1929.  In order to reconstruct the original contents of a Paracas Necropolis gravelot as fully as possible, we began with a restudy of the individual(s) in each burial, directed by biological anthropologist Elsa Tomasto.  This also involved working with the museum personnel to catalogue objects that had remained in storage together with the human remains.

Ann Peters, Carmen Carranza and Andrés Shiguekawa worked with museum staff to locate other artifacts that had been separated during the original gravelot studies, forty to eighty years ago, and moved around in the museum on many occasions since.  We then carried out a technical analysis of each relocated object, integrated with preventative conservation practices designed to preserve it for future research and, when appropriate, for exhibit.  We recorded information with digital photographs, including micro-photography.  As part of the Museum’s project to restore context to Tello’s collections, objects from each burial were grouped in new storage containers as appropriate, considering their scale and fragility.

Instead of paying a supervision fee, we were asked to donate equipment that would improve research facilities at the museum, including these we would be using.  The Project purchased improved overhead lighting systems (with full-spectrum bulbs) and variable-speed vacuums for the areas of Human Remains and Textiles, and the storage materials for the artifacts we worked with in all areas of the Museum.  We also purchased a new tent cover for the area outside the Human Remains laboratory where the dusty process of initiating each study can be carried out.

Museo Nacional, with Tello's tomb in the foreground and in the background the new tent cover installed in the area outside the Human Remains laboratory.


Museo Regional de Ica

Between May and September 2011, we have conducted two months of intensive research on the contents of two Paracas Necropolis mortuary bundles housed in the Museo Regional de Ica.  As part of this research, we improved the electric installation and installed new table surfaces in the laboratory spaces at the Museum and carried out preventative conservation measures and rehousing of the textiles associated with burials 136 and 352. We worked with a wonderful group of students and recent graduates of the Universidad Nacional San Luis Gonzaga, with the assistance and supervision of Museum staff.  Project staff in charge of textile analysis included director Ann Peters, professional archaeologists Carmen Carranza  and Anita Murga and archaeological conservator Andrés Shiguekawa.

Permiso – Permission

Proyecto “Prácticas en Vida, Presencia después de la Muerte: Lo estilístico y lo material en Paracas Necrópolis”

We are so happy to report that we have finally received permission to conduct research within the museum system of Peru’s new Ministerio de Cultura, specifically in the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Arqueología e História del Perú (MNAAHP) and the Museo Regional de Ica (MRI).  This is an historic moment, as the museums are working out the oversight protocol for the first archaeological project to undertake substantial new research in a historic collection important to Peru’s national identity and our understanding of Andean history.  If we can meet our goals, together with the goals of each museum and the Ministry, both understanding of the Paracas site and the catalogue and storage of the Paracas materials will be improved.   We are beginning the planning process with directors Carmen Arrellano of the MNAAHP and Susana Arce of the MRI, and will have more news soon.

Equipo de análisis textil y estudiantes, Museo Inka 2010

Equipo del Proyecto con la directora Eva León Farfán

Equipo del Proyecto con la directora Eva León Farfán

Research support

We wish to thank the institutions who support our work:

The National Science Foundation – Archaeology Division, for support for the project Practices in life, presence after death: Style and substance at the Paracas Necropolis.

The Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology of the University of Pennsylvania, where Ann H. Peters holds the position of Consulting Scholar

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Foundation, for a Fellowship in Pre-Columbian Studies (2006-7) and Project Grant (2006) for restoration and conservation of contextual data for artifacts fashioned from organic materials, excavated from 1925-1929 at the Paracas site by a team directed by Dr. Julio Cesar Tello, founder of the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Arqueología e Hstória del Perú.

Cornell University Latin American Studies Program, for two appointments as Visiting Scholar in 2002 and 2008.

Mummy studies – Momias viajeras

In Janury 2010, bio-anthropological studies were undertaken on the human remains from four mortuary bundles sent by Julio C. Tello in 1937 to be studied by his colleagues in the United States.  Though three bundles were opened and studied by Wendell Bennett and Junius Bird at the Amercan Museum of Natural History, and one bundle studied as a graduate class with Alfred Kidder, Jr. at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography at Harvard, the detailed reports and artifacts have never been published.  Bio-anthropologists Elsa Tomasto, Mellisa Lund and Richard Sutter examined the four individuals, while Ann Peters examined the textiles still in immediate contact with the bodies.  We are now busy writing reports and planning further analysis.   Ann Peters will continue to examine the artifacts associated with each bundle and the archives in these US museums, while Alberto Ayarza studies related documents in the Tello archives at the University of San Marcos in Lima.

En enero de 2010, se llevaron a cabo estudios bio-antropológicos de los restos humanos de cuatro fardos mortuorios enviados por Dr. Julio C. Tello en 1937 para ser estudiados por sus colegas en los EEUU.  Aunque tres fardos fueron abiertos y estudiados por  Wendell Bennett y Junius Bird en el American Museum of Natural History, y un fardo estudiado como clase de pos-grado con Alfred Kidder, Jr. en el Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography de la Universidad de Harvard, los informes detallados y los artefactos nunca fueron publicados.  Los bio-anthropólogos Elsa Tomasto, Mellisa Lund y Richard Sutter han examinado los cuatro individuos, mientras Ann Peters examinaba los textiles todavia en contacto inmediato con los cuerpos.  Nos ocupamos ahora en escribir los informes y en planificar el análisis a futuro.   Ann Peters continua en examinar los artifactos asociados con cada fardo y los archivos en estos tres museos estadoaunidenses, mientras Alberto Ayarza estudia documentos relacionados en el Archivo Tello de la University of San Marcos, en Lima.