Project team

Dr George Lau : Principal Investigator (Lead Agency, AHRC)

Dr George Lau is Reader in the Arts and Archaeology of the Americas at the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. His research on the Recuay culture of ancient Andes has included excavations at the village of Chinchawas, near Huaraz, and the large fortress-town of Yayno (Pomabamba), as well as collections and field studies in different regions of Peru and Europe. 

George’s publications focus on Amerindian societies, particularly their art, ritual, economy and cosmology.  These works examine how local social life and material things articulate with regional processes of complexity and change.  He has written on warfare, death practices, architecture, ancient languages, faunal remains, and the rich chiefly imagery of finely made ceramics, textiles, metalwork and stone sculpture. For interpretations about the past, he emphasises the convergence of multiple lines of data, including archaeological, ethnographic, iconographic and historical forms of evidence.  He is also editor of the journal World Art.

Dr David Chicoine : Co-Principal Investigator (Partner Agency, NSF)

Dr David Chicoine is Associate Professor at Louisiana State University, USA. Previous to this he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. He gained his PhD at the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

Since 2003 David has directed excavations in the Nepeña Valley of the north-central coast of Peru. His fieldwork has focused on Ancash’s coastal river valleys and early ceremonial centres (ca. 1000-100 BC); his research highlights GIS, spatial analysis of built environments, and food remains. As part of his dissertation fieldwork, he directed excavations at the Early Horizon elite center of Huambacho to understand changes in public architecture and the social organization of coastal populations. In 2009-2010, he directed field research at the Early Horizon settlement of Caylán. Analyses of the Caylán data are still ongoing and incorporates spatial analyses, material culture studies, paleoethnobotany, paleoclimate, and zooarchaeology to understand early urban lifeways in the Andes.

Milton Reynaldo Luján Dávila : Co-Director

Milton serves as the Peruvian Co-Director of the Divine Lordships project and holds a degree in archaeology from the Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal. He has helped lead archaeological research projects throughout Peru, including in Lima, Cajamarca, Ancash and Ica, publishing his work widely in research contributions.

Milton has co-directed field and laboratory analyses projects for more than a decade. He presents regularly at conferences and symposia organized by Peruvian institutions, including the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, Universidad Nacional Gonzaga de Ica, Universidad Católica Sedes Sapientiae and Peru’s Ministry of Culture.

Dr Jacob Bongers : Senior Research Associate

Dr Jacob Bongers received his Ph.D. in Archaeology from the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA. His research explores how religion and ritual practice mediated interactions between complex societies and contributed to sociopolitical change. Jacob’s dissertation explores the dynamic between mortuary practice, imperial conquest, and sociopolitical change in southern Peru (ca. AD 1200 – 1650).

Before joining the Sainsbury Research Unit, he conducted archaeological fieldwork in Portugal, Chile, Ethiopia, Oman, and Peru. Jacob brings his skills in archaeological excavation and survey, mapping, GIS, photogrammetry, aerial photography, and 3D modeling to the project team.

Dr Helen Sibley : Project Administrative Assistant

Dr Helen Sibley gained her PhD at the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

Helen’s research interests include early colonial Mexican feather art and the role of birds and feathers in Aztec art and society. She provides editorial assistance for the journal World Art.