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My 2014 Field Season in Huaylas, Peru


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A presentation on my July 2014 Field Season in Huaylas, Peru work with the nonprofit archaeological and community development organization, PIARA including the opening of the Museum in Hualcayán, Craft Workshop, and pictures of cute children.

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My 2014 Field Season in Huaylas, Peru

  1. 1. My  Summer  in  Huaylas,  Perú,  2014  by  Robert  Connolly    
  2. 2. 2014  Trip  to  Hualcayán,  Perú  was  in  collabora@on  with  Proyecto  de  Inves@gación   Arqueológico  Regional  Ancash  (PIARA).    
  3. 3. The  actual  community  of  Hualcayán  is  situated  in  a  complex  of  prehistoric   archaeological  features  that  span  nearly  4000  years  of  human  occupa@on  of   the  region.    The  open  field  in  the  foreground  is  where  the  village  plays  soccer.     The  linear  features  on  the  hillside  in  the  background  are  prehistoric   agricultural  terraces.  
  4. 4. In  July  of  2014,  I  made  my  second   trip  to  Hualcayán.    The  village,   with  a  popula@on  of  about  400,  is   located  in  the  department  of   Ancash  at  about  3200  meters   (10,500  feet)  above  sea  level  in  the   Cordillera  Blanca  Mountain  Range   northeast  of  Lima,  Perú.           The  purpose  of  the  trip  was  as  a   follow-­‐up  to  my  2013   inves@ga@ons  exploring  the   poten@al  for  collabora@ve  projects   between  PIARA,  students  in  the   Museum  Studies  Graduate   Cer@ficate  Program  at  the   University  of  Memphis,  and  the   C.H.  Nash  Museum  at  Chucalissa  in   Memphis  Tennessee,  U.S.  
  5. 5. PIARA  was  founded  in  2009  by   Rebecca  Bria  (le[)  who  currently  is   Co-­‐Director  of  the  organiza@on  along   with  Elizabeth  Cruzado  Carranza   (right).     Rebecca  is  comple@ng  her  doctoral   program  in  Anthropology  at   Vanderbilt  University.    Elizabeth  is   currently  enrolled  in  the  Masters  of   Science  program  in  the  Department   of  Earth  Sciences  at  the  University  of   Memphis.     Both  Rebecca  and  Elizabeth  are   commi`ed  to  PIARA’s  goals  of   accomplishing  important  scien@fic   research  and  working  in  equal   partnership  with  their  host   communi@es  to  create  sustainable   solu@ons  to  economic,  educa@onal,   healthcare,  and  wellness  needs.  
  6. 6. In  2013,  PIARA  ac@vi@es  included  the  following:   •  Conducted  archaeological  research   •  Sponsored  and  organized  the  first  cultural  heritage  fes@val   •  Created  and  funded  a  library  for  the  village  school   •  Organized  and  funded  a  Children’s  Christmas  Celebra@on   •  Organized  exhibits  on  Hualcayán  site  excava@ons  in  the  ci@es  of  Caraz  and  Huaraz     •  And  more  .  .  .    
  7. 7. What  follows  are  some  of  the  highlights   of  the  2014  field  season.    A  key  focus  of   our  work  this  year  was  to  aggressively   respond  to  the  community  request  for   support  in  the  cultural  heritage   development  of  the  community.     PIARA  also  partnered  with  the   American  Climber  Science  Program  to   inves@gate  and  conduct  educa@onal   workshops  on  climate  change  in  the   region.     One  of  the  first  tasks  undertaken  this   summer  by  PIARA  Co-­‐Director  Elizabeth   Cruzado  Carranza  and  Erick  Casanova   Vasquez,  both  mul@-­‐year  veterans  of   PIARA  research,  was  to  construct  and   install  a  suitable  antenna  to  assure   television  recep@on  in  Hualcayán  of  the   World  Cup  Soccer  Match.      
  8. 8. Archaeological  Research  in  2014  primarily  focused  on   laboratory  analysis  of  previously  excavated  materials  coupled   with  limited  field  survey.  
  9. 9. The  PIARA  Team  also  co-­‐created  programs  for  the  village  school  with  local  teachers.    Co-­‐ crea@on  priori@zes  the  expressed  needs  of  the  local  community.    PIARA’s  role  is  to  provide   logis@cal  support  and  other  exper@se  to  accomplish  the  needs  iden@fied  by  the  community.  
  10. 10. The  Hualcayán  oral  history  project  launched  this  summer  is  an  excellent  example  of  co-­‐ crea@on.    The  village  teachers  iden@fied  the  lack  of  a  local  wri`en  history  as  a  serious   problem.    We  discussed  that  a  solu@on  could  include  local  students  conduc@ng  an  oral   history  project  with  community  residents  that  could  be  compiled  and  published.    Above,   Hualcayán  students  prac@ce  their  interviewing  skills  on  PIARA  Team  members  before   working  with  local  residents.    PIARA  donated  the  video  cameras  and  laptop  for  the  project   and  will  coordinate  the  publica@on  of  a  book  and  DVD  based  on  the  interviews.  
  11. 11. PIARA  provided  trash  containers  for  the  area  school  and  village  along  with  educa@onal   programs  on  recycling.  
  12. 12. PIARA  also  led  cra[  ac@vi@es  in  the   school  that  were  not  only  fun  but  related   to  the  tradi@onal  culture  of  the  area  .  .  .    
  13. 13.  .  .  .  students  recreated  iconography  based   on  prehistoric  designs  recorded  at   archaeological  sites  in  their  region  .  .  .    
  14. 14.  .  .  .  and  crea@ng  a  class  quipu  based  on  the  record  keeping  method  of  their  Inca  ancestors.  
  15. 15. Using  start-­‐up  funds  provided  by  St.  John’s  Episcopal   Church  in  Memphis,  Tennessee,  US,  PIARA  was  able   to  help  launch  a  handcra[  workshop  in  which  over   20  women  from  Hualcayán  par@cipate.    Besides  an   economic  s@mulus  to  the  village  economy,  the   a[ernoon  sessions  are  an  opportunity  for  the   par@cipants  to  visit  and  socialize.    
  16. 16. The  cra[s  produced  will  be  sold  both  in  Perú  and  the  United  States  with  all  proceeds   directly  controlled  by  the  women  ar@sans.  
  17. 17. The  cra[  workshops  have  also  resulted  in   an  a[erschool  child  care  center  for  the   children  of  the  women  ar@sans.    The   children  spend  @me  crea@ng  their  own   cra[s  or  learning  computer  skills.  
  18. 18. This  summer  the  PIARA  Team  also   traveled  to  Huaripampa  to  cheer  on   the  Hualcayán  school  teachers  and   students  in  a  parade  compe@@on  on   the  the  anniversary  of  the  Santa  Cruz   District.  
  19. 19. In  July  of  2014,  PIARA  took  a  major  step   in  its  commitment  to  develop  a  regional   focus  in  the  Huaylas  Municipality.    We   were  featured  guests  at  the  inaugura@on   of  the  new  library  in  the  city  of  Caraz   (upper  le[  photo).         The  next  day,  Elizabeth  Cruzado  and  I   made  a  presenta@on  to  the  Mayor  of   Huaylas  proposing  a  12-­‐point   collabora@ve  project  with  the  Municipal   Museum  in  Caraz  and  PIARA.    The   collabora@on  will  draw  on  the  resources   of  both  ins@tu@ons  in  the  United  States   and  Peru.     We  an@cipate  signing  a  formal  agreement   by  September  of  2014.  
  20. 20. ARQUEOLOGÍA, COMUNIDAD Y EDUCACIÓN Lic.  Elizabeth  Cruzado,  Universidad  de  Memphis,  TN,  USA. Dr.  Robert  Connolly,  Profesor  del  Departamento  de  Antropología  -­‐  UM.  
  21. 21. One  area  of  the   collabora@on  will   be  to  develop  a   joint  proposal  for  a   Museum  Connect   Grant  through  the   American  Alliance   of  Museums.  
  22. 22. A  highlight  of  the  2014  field  season   was  the  crea@on  of  a  museum  and   cultural  center  for  the  village  of   Hualcayán.    The  community  had  a   long-­‐standing  request  of  PIARA  to   assist  in  the  crea@on  of  the  facility.     This  summer  we  took  those  first  steps.     A  single  room  of  the  community   center  was  refurbished  by  PIARA  for   the  center.         A[er  a  thorough  cleaning,  a  fresh  coat   of  paint,  and  the  construc@on  of   divider  walls,  the  museum  began  to   take  shape.  
  23. 23. The  Museum  consists  of  a  virtual  exhibit  of  cultural  materials  excavated  from  the   Hualcayán  site,  informa@on  on  the  archaeology  of  the  region,  culture  history   @melines,  an  iconography  display  created  by  local  ar@sans,  and  photographic  displays   of  archaeological  research  and  contemporary  village  life.    My  Museum  Prac@ces   graduate  seminar  at  the  University  of  Memphis  this  fall  will  consider  a  set  of   improvements  and  upgrades  that  will  be  installed  in  the  museum  in  January  of  2015.  
  24. 24. But,  as  is  always  the  case,  the  greatest   experiences  are  mee@ng  and  being  in   community  with  the  folks  one  meets  on   travels  to  loca@ons  such  as  Hualcayán.  
  25. 25. I  look  forward  to  a  return  trip  in  January,  2015.     For  project  updates  follow  my  blog  at:          The  PIARA  blog  at:    h`p://     Visit  the  PIARA  website  at:     Or  like  us  on  Facebook  at: