Wrapping up the 2019 field season

The 2019 field season for the ‘Rise of Divine Lordships in the Ancient Andes‘ project is winding up after a tremendously successful summer!

Seven units, including two large horizontal exposures, have been excavated across Pashash this season and some amazing discoveries have been made, including an array of decorated ceramics, figurines, beads and other offerings. Last week the team completed excavations and finished backfilling the units they worked on in early September.

The group have mapped the visible walls and produced a 3D model, orthomosaic, and digital elevation model (DEM) of the site. The archaeological survey recorded over 25 sites in the area around Cabana and the new settlement pattern data helps to locate Pashash in its broader regional, environmental and cultural landscape context.

The team also worked full-time on lab work this month, photographing artefacts, filling out field forms, and finalizing inventory. The work has involved cleaning, labelling materials, boxing and prepping for museum storage: over 50,000 fragments and 80 boxes of ceramics!

On September 12th, the PIARP team held a conference in Cabana to present the initial findings of the project. George Lau, Milton Luján, and Jacob Bongers gave presentations on their work at Pashash. At the end of the conference, project members were honoured with certificates of recognition from the municipality and school community. 

The ‘Rise of Divine Lordships in the Ancient Andes‘ project will continue back in UK and US now, as team members develop and write up their findings from the field, alongside planning the next stages of the project.

Excavation visits

The team have recently been hosting a number of visitor and school groups to the excavation sites, to inform the local community about field activities, the value of archaeology and archaeological heritage, and their role in the future. They have received over 200 visitors in the space of just a few days, hosting up to five groups a day!

With project finds and local members of the project team on hand, regional museums will also serve as key venues for additional outreach and presentations. In years 3-4 of the project, staff and local archaeology BA students will oversee temporary exhibitions and posters at the museums, to highlight the richness and potential of local archaeology.

The archaeological record is one of Peru’s greatest resources; and educating groups about its heritage value is a crucial first step in nurturing long-term protection and development strategies, especially for underdeveloped areas.