Collecting the Ancestors: skeletons and mummies and their history in reconstructing health and medical practices in the pre-Hispanic Andes
Speaker : John Verano, Professor of Anthropology, Tulane University
Beginning in the nineteenth century, Peruvian, European and North American explorers and archaeologists collected human remains from burial caves in the highlands and cemeteries on the desert coast of the Andes. In Peru, collectors found skulls showing evidence of trepanation (skull surgery) in pre-Hispanic burial houses and caves. These medical practices were brought to world-wide attention by archaeologists like Julio Tello, a descendent of those medical ancestors in the central highlands, who devoted the rest of his life to excavating archaeological sites and building museum collections of ancestral mummies and skulls. This talk will look at how the study of human remains played an important role in documenting health conditions and medical practices in the pre-Hispanic Andes, and how these studies continue to flourish today through the work of a new generation of young bioarchaeologists.
- This keynote event is supported by the Humanities in the World Initiatives Faculty Invites program
Co- sponsors: History Department, Latin American Studies, Committee for Early Modern Studies