As part of the PASJM Field School, the Bioarchaeology Field School students will have the unique experience of take part in the investigation process at one of the most complex and important archaeological sites on the Peruvian coast. Through a dynamic combination of lectures, laboratory practices with archaeological bones, field archaeological work and personal investigation, the Bioarchaeology Field School students will acquire or improve their knowledge and skills for the interpretation of archaeological and forensic bones. The information recovered and elaborated by the FS students will become part of the archives and publications of the PASJM. This learning experience will be guided by leading Peruvian professionals from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú who have ample experience in archaeological and forensic investigation in Peru and also have participated in international forensic missions.
During the first weeks the lectures and laboratory practices will be intense. As a culmination of the learning process, the students will make the comparative analysis of archaeological tombs dating to one of the archaeological periods represented at the site (Moche, Transitional or Lambayeque), combining information from the bones with the field information that is kept in our archives.
During the first week the students will choose among three lines of investigation proposed by the professors and the next weeks will be devoted to develop it. A written report will be required. Also in the next weeks and depending on the advances and needs of the excavation areas, the bio-advanced students will participate actively in the registering and recovering of human remains.
Elsa Tomasto Cagigao is a Bioarchaeologist and Forensic Anthropologist with a Masters degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. She is also graduated in Archaeology by the same university and has also followed short courses on Bioarchaeology and Paleopathology with Dr. Jane Buikstra and Dr. Donald Ortner. Ms. Tomasto Cagigao teaches courses on Bioarchaeology, Andean Archaeology and pre-Hispanic Technology in the Faculties of Humanities and Engineering of the PUCP. She also has been invited to give lectures and conferences on Forensic Anthropology and Bioarchaeology in foreign academic institutions in Latin America,USAandGermany. Her work with archaeological human remains includes the analysis of coastal ancient Peruvian populations such as Paracas, Nasca and Moche and her studies had been published in scientific journals and edited volumes. She has been Chief Curator of the Human Remains Collection of the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History, consistent in more than 15,000 items covering a period beginning 10,000 years ago until Inca Times. Also, as a member of the Forensic Team of the Peruvian Truth Commission, she has participated in the identification of victims of human rights violations.
Richard Sutter is a Bioarchaeologist and Professor of Anthropology at the Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne. He received his MA in anthropology at the University of Buffalo and PhD at the University of Missouri. He teaches courses on Biological Anthropology, Andean Archaeology, Human Osteology, and Mortuary Theory. He has worked in Peru and Chile for nearly 20 years and has received funding for his research through a number of sources including the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Fulbright Program. His work has included both the excavation and analysis of human skeletal and mummified remains from a number locations and prehistoric periods including the early maritime Chinchorro culture of southern Peru and northern Chile, the late pre-Hispanic Chiribaya and Tumilaca of southern Peru, and human sacrificial victims from the Moche site of the north coast of Peru. He also participated in the analysis of human remains from the earliest preceramic site excavated to date in the Cuzco Valley. His work has been published in numerous archaeological and biological journals and edited volumes including Current Anthropology, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, and Latin American Antiquity.
María del Carmen Vega has earned her B.A. in Archaeology and her Masters degree in Forensic Anthropology and Bioarchaeology at the PUCP and currently she is making a phD in University of Western Ontario, Canada. She is member of the Archaeology section of the Riva Agüero Institute (PUCP), the Paleopathology Association, the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team (EPAF) and the Latin American Forensic Anthropology Association (ALAF). Ms. Vega has worked for over 10 years in the analysis of human remains of many archaeological sites from coast and highlands including Moche and Inca. Some of these investigations have been presented in national and international meetings and are published in important Andean journals. Recently she has participated as expert in cases of human rights violations and has been lecturer in Peruvian universities
Mellisa Lund Valle is Master in Forensic Anthropology and Bioarchaeology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) and graduated in Archaeology by San Marcos University in Lima. From 1999 till present she is working with Dr. John Verano of Tulane University in the analysis of several human skeletal remains from various archaeological sites in the North Coast of Peru. Also, she has been Assistant Curator of Human Remains collection of the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru. She also has a long experience in Forensic Anthropology, and has participated in Human Rights missions in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo. Today she is working for the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team in Lima