Cultures of South America: Research

Jonathan Haas- is the MacArthur Curator of the Americas in the Department of Anthropology. He is an anthropological archaeologist, with over 30 years of field experience in both North and South America. In 2000, in collaboration with Dr. Winifred Creamer, he initiated a new project looking at the foundations of civilization in Andean Peru in the 3rd millennium B.C. Working on the "Norte Chico" region of the Peruvian coast, they are investigating a previously unknown civilization that arose in the 3rd millennium B.C. Haas is actively seeking graduate students with interests in Andean South America, the origins of complex societies, and the archaeology of warfare.

Ryan Williams-Associate Curator and Chair and his colleague, Dr. Donna Nash, Adjunct Curator in the Department, have been working on the rise, development, and collapse of expansive Andean states. They are examining the nature of Wari, Peru's first empire, and its interaction with its competing peer centered in the Bolivian altiplano, Tiwanaku. The focus of this research has been at the site of Cerro Baul on the Wari-Tiwanaku frontier and is expanding to include comparative regional work with colleagues working on Tiwanaku and other contemporaneous cultures. They are also beginning work with Field Museum collections from Nasca and Ancon to assess the impact of Wari expansion on the peoples of these pre-existent complex societies. By examining these issues, they are making contributions to the understanding of the influence of multiethnic politics on the stability of global states.