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Obsidian source research in 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nicholas Tripcevich   
Saturday, 07 January 2012 07:01

This email is to inform the Andean archaeology community that we are conducting several months of fieldwork at the Quispisisa obsidian source in southern Ayacucho and may have space for a few more participants.

This is not a field school and participants must have archaeological field experience (e.g., a field school or comparable training). The project is focused on lithic technology as we'll be studying the material remains of obsidian quarrying and production in source area and at nearby workshops, and will also include preliminary investigation of the anthropogenic landscape as we extensively survey the surrounding area. The project will be making considerable use of emerging digital methods, GPS technology, and GIS in both the field and the lab.

Ideally participants will have a strong background in at least two of the following three areas:

  1. Experience with technical analysis of lithics: we'll be focusing primarily on core reduction and flake morphology as there are few finished tools at the source area.
  2. Strong proficiency in Spanish: we'll be predominantly working Spanish both in the lab and the field).
  3. A strong background in digital methods in archaeological fieldwork: we'll be managing project data including imagery as well as GPS and total station spatial data in a GIS.

The fieldwork will run from the beginning of July through the end of August 2012, and a month of lab work in Ayacucho, Peru will follow through the end of September. We ask that participants commit to a minium of five weeks of involvement in the project and preference will be given to people who can stay longer and/or through the September lab period. The project will cover room and board while working with us. Travel expenses to the vicinity of the project are the responsibility of the participants. In different phases of the project we'll be based in a small village at 3600m above sea level with electricity but otherwise few modern amenities and camping at the obsidian source itself, a 2 hour moderately strenuous hike in at an elevation of 4000m.

A webpage further describing our project can be seen at

Please contact Nico Tripcevich ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Daniel Contreras ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) for further information. We will also be available at the Institute of Andean Studies meetings in Berkeley, CA on 6-7 January 2012. Thank you for taking an interest in our research and please send this notice along to other interested parties.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 January 2012 07:09

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