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September 27th, 2012
Since 1983, Professor John W. Verano has collaborated with several major archaeological projects on the north coast of Peru, excavating and analyzing human remains from cemeteries and sacrificial sites. In fall of 2011, two major discoveries of human remains were made at Verano’s Moche dig site. The excavations were halted and covered until summer of 2012 when Verano came to Peru on a Travel Grant from the Stone Center to supervise their removal and study. He was accompanied by three graduate students from Tulane, Ximena Chávez Balderas, Brittany Dement, and Linda Potter.
Verano’s new discoveries offer intriguing evidence about Moche human sacrificial and burial practices. The first find of skeletal remains was associated with a platform mound (Platform III, known as the “New Temple”) near the Pyramid of Moon. The second, of more than 100 burials, was uncovered at a large adobe platform located just north of the Pyramid.
The New Temple
The excavations at the New Temple, co-directed by Verano and archaeologist Nadia Gamarra of the Huaca de la Luna Project, offered compelling new evidence regarding Moche sacrificial practices. The team began their research by photographing and removing the skeletal material that had been found in the previous field season, and then continued excavating the sediment in which bones were found. They dug down to the occupational floor on which the temple had been built.
Over the course of the excavation, the team recovered a number of partial skeletons as well as hundreds of isolated human bones along the western face of the temple. Laboratory analysis of the remains revealed cut marks and fractures on many of the bones. The marks confirmed that the bones were the remains of sacrificed individuals. The patterning of cut marks was similar to that seen on the bones of sacrificial victims excavated from earlier deposits found at the nearby Pyramid of the Moon, indicating that the Moche decapitated and dismembered victims in a similar manner at the two sites.
Verano’s excavations at the New Temple this past summer marked the completion of a project begun more than fifteen years earlier, documenting the sacrifice of captives at the Pyramid of the Moon. Human sacrifices were once believed to be practiced by the Moche only in rare events associated with environmental disasters such as El Niño rains. This latest discovery at the New Temple demonstrates that they were in fact practiced for over six hundred years, from the time of the first construction of ceremonial architecture at the site (c. AD 200) until its final abandonment by the Moche, c. AD 850. Uncovering the history of sacrificial practices at the Pyramid of the Moon is an important element in ongoing scholarly debates about Moche warfare, political organization, and ritual practices. The team is currently working to complete statistical analyses of the sample and are preparing a report to be published by the Huaca de la Luna Project.
Burials at the Adobe Platform
The team completed excavations at the New Temple relatively early in the field season. They then shifted their focus to the more than 100 tombs found in the adobe platform north of the Pyramid of the Moon. In what remained of the summer field season, they were able to excavate and complete lab analysis on nine burials from the adobe platform. They also excavated and analyzed six burials encountered in two other excavations at the site. Some of these dated to the Moche occupation, others to later Chimú and Inca occupations. The burials varied in tomb form, body position, and types of grave goods.
The burials the team excavated in the second half of the field season have the potential to provide important information about the collapse of Moche society and post-Moche occupation of the site. The burials in the platform date to what is now known as the "Transitional Period," a time immediately following the collapse of the Moche civilization, but prior to the rise of later complex societies on the north coast of Peru. As Verano notes, “They comprise the largest known sample of interments from this time period, and will provide important data on changing mortuary patterns and ceramic styles during this poorly-understood time. Study of the skeletal remains should reveal additional information on health, demography, and genetic relationships between the Moche and post-Moche inhabitants of the site.”
LATEST SITE UPDATES
- Feoli and MacKinnon's book on representation and effectiveness in Latin America published
- Graduate and Undergraduate Latin American Photo Contest 2013
- Stone Center hosts annual Awards Ceremony
- Carmelo Mesa presents on Raul Castro's reforms in Cuba
- CIPR Post-doctoral Fellow Jessica Rich Publishes Article in LAPS Journal
- Carmelo Mesa Lago discusses Pension Reform in Cuba
- Edesio Fernandes Presents on Informal Urban Land Development
- Marcello Canuto presents at blockbuster National Geographic conference in Guatemala
- Eduardo Silva's book on transnational activism and national movements published
- Tulane's Latin American Library welcomes the Melgar Collection
- Tulane represents Panama at Model Organization of American States
- Rethinking State-Society Relations in Contemporary Latin America
- Dr. Manuel Alcántara: Politicians
- Singing for the Dead (in Cyberspace): Mazatec Music, On and Off Line
- The Arrival of Humans on the Yucatan Peninsula: Late Pleistocene Evidence from Submerged Caves in the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico
- Taco Trucks
- Futebol: Brazil's National Sport
- Exploring Tropicalia
- Regionalismo of Brazil
- Radio in Brazil
- Roots of Racism in Brazilian Education
- Carmelo Mesa Lago: The Return of the State to Privatized Pension Systems
- Carmelo Mesa Lago: Raul Castro's Economic and Social Reforms in Cuba
- Edésio Fernandes: Informal Urban Land Developme
- Paulo Affonso Leme Machado: A Reforma da legislaçao florestal no Brasil
Rethinking State-Society Relations in Contemporary Latin America
The emergence, crisis, and collapse of neoliberalism gave way to new types of political regimes that set themselves the task of redefining state-society relationships to promote more socially inclusive polities. The accomplishments and shortcomings of those processes need yet to be evaluated, particularly from an encompassing, historically-informed perspective that is not afraid of challenging established assumptions and mainstream understandings of Latin America to do justice to current developments. What are the continuities/ discontinuities in terms of state-society linkages that the various processes of change experienced since the return to democracy introduced in the Latin American landscape? Is Latin America moving towards a more democratic and inclusive society? What is the nature of the new patterns of state-society interaction? Have they drastically altered the legacy of populism, bureaucratic-authoritarianism, and neoliberalism?, in which specific ways? Are emerging regimes promoting new patterns of exclusion or novel forms of authoritarianism?
A group of scholars from different disciplines, country expertise drawn from Latin America, the US and Europe will meet on May 24th at Tulane University to debate empirically and theoretically informed articles that address these questions.
10:00 AM-10:15 AM – Introduction and welcoming
10:15 AM-10.45 AM – Justice and politics: the dialogic alternative by Roberto Gargarella
10:45 AM-11:15 AM – The political economy of post-neoliberal Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay development regimes by Christopher Wylde
11:15 AM-11:45 AM – The impact of taxes and social spending on inequality and poverty in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico and Peru: a synthesis of results by Nora Lustig, George Gray-Molina, Sean Higgins, Miguel Jaramillo, Wilson Jiménez, Veronica Paz, Claudiney Pereira, Carola Pessino, John Scott, and Ernesto Yañez
12:00 PM -1:30 PM – LUNCH
1:45 PM -2:15 PM – Participatory developments and democratic representation in South America by Leonardo Avritzer and Enrique Peruzzotti
2:15 PM -2:45 PM – The second wave of incorporation and territorialized politics in Argentina and Brazil by Federico M. Rossi
2:45 PM -3:15 PM – Indigenous-state relations in Ecuador and Bolivia: challenges and opportunities by Roberta Rice
3:15 PM-3:30 PM – COFFEE BREAK
3:30 PM -4:00 PM – Gender, power, and women's political inclusion in Argentina and Chile by Susan Franceschet
4:00 PM -4:30 PM – Viral politics, the post-liberal imaginary and #Yosoy132 in Mexico by Benjamín Arditi
Summer K-12 Teacher Institute - Exploring Brazil: A Window into the Language & Culture of a Country on the Rise
The University of Georgia, Tulane University, and Vanderbilt University will collaborate to offer a Summer Institute on Brazilian Culture and Portuguese Language. K-12 educators of any discipline and grade-level are welcome to apply to attend this 4 day institute. The goal of this institute is to encourage and promote the teaching of Portuguese and the culture of Brazil through film, literature, service learning, and technology in any K-12 classroom. The institute will focus on the language, history, and geography of Brazil. Sessions will include Portuguese language instruction and participants will explore the culture, history, and geography of Brazil. Film screenings and other presentations will be incorporated into the institute to highlight contemporary and engaging cultural content for the K-12 classroom. During the week, educators will work in teams to develop interdisciplinary units that address applicable state learning standards, which they will bring back to their schools to teach and share with colleagues. Educators may receive a certificate of completion for 20 hours of professional development if desired.
Sponsored in part through a Portuguese Flagship Program at the University of Georgia and through a Title VI U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center grant on Latin America awarded to Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies and Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American Studies.
Registration Information Below:
- Base Registration ($50) includes all materials, parking and registration to entire program with no meals or housing included. You are responsible for making your own housing and dining accommodations.
- Registration with Base Housing ($150) includes everything above as well as breakfast and lunch, and a double room on campus in dormitory housing.
- Registration with Private Housing ($225) includes everything above and assures a private room and bath in dormitory housing.
- Add $50 to registration if interested in receiving Georgia Department of Education approved Professional Learning Units (PLUs)
For more information contact:
Denise Woltering (Tulane University), 504.862.3143, email@example.com
Kathleen Schmaltz (University of Georgia), 706.583.0388, firstname.lastname@example.org
Claire Gonzalez (Vanderbilt University), 615.343.1837, email@example.com
Two-week Public Service summer program in Ecuador
Center for Public Service: International Programs
Ecuador: Tropical Field Biology and Conservation
Chocó Rainforest, Ecuador | Tentative dates: August 9 – August 23, 2013
| Application deadline: January 28, 2013
All majors are welcome to apply to spend two weeks in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. Ecuador: Tropical Field Biology and Conservation gives students the opportunity to apply the theory and knowledge they have acquired in the classroom to the real world. Students will travel with Dr. Karubian and Dr. Duraes to Ecuador for a two-week intensive field course. While on the course, students will experience first-hand the challenges and rewards of conducting field research and implementing conservation activities in tropical environments. These activities will take place within a context of community engagement based on active collaboration and interaction with Ecuadorian local residents in a variety of contexts.
For more information, click here to visit the Center for Public Service’s page on this program.
Call for Papers: Radical Caribbeans
Read the official Call for Papers here.
We welcome papers that address any facet of the Caribbean radicalis and radical approaches to Caribbean identity, culture and social practices. Papers may focus on one country or invoke comparative strategies of any regions contained in the greater Caribbean, beyond the confines of the Caribbean sea, northeast of the Florida straits and into the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans, and south, along the Atlantic coast, past Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil. Papers may be in English, Spanish, French or Portuguese, though English is preferred.
If you are interested in participating, please send a 250 word abstract as an attachment to either of the email addresses listed below by June 15th, 2013. Include the title of your paper, your name (and the names of any co-presenters), institutional affiliation, phone number, mailing and email address. Papers for presentation should be no more than than 20 minutes and may be considered for publication. If submitting a panel for consideration, please include a top sheet with panel title, participant names and a brief abstract of the panel topic in addition to the individual paper proposals.
Notification of acceptance to the conference will be made by July 5, 2013.
For more information on the conference, location and arrangements, visit the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute website for updates at cuba.tulane.edu.
Submit abstracts by June 15 to: