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Moche Mural Painting at Pañamarca: A Study of Image Making and Experience in Ancient Peru

Lisa Trever, Harvard University, William R. Tyler Fellow 2011/13

This year in residence as a Tyler fellow in Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks allowed me to complete my doctoral dissertation in History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. Access to the institution’s library, archives, and community of fellows aided the development of my art historical and archaeological study in many invaluable ways. In particular during this last year I worked through the spatial and stratigraphic relationships between fragments of wall painting excavated at Pañamarca in 2010, their iconographic content, and formal relationships to mural painting and relief sculpture at monuments like Huaca de la Luna and Huaca Cao Viejo, elsewhere in the Moche world.

Also during this year at Dumbarton Oaks, I completed the manuscript of a co-authored article on a unique basketry shield decorated with textiles and feathers that was excavated by my field project at Pañamarca. The article will appear in the June 2013 issue of Ñawpa Pacha; Journal of Andean Archaeology, edited by former fellow Dr. Jerry Moore. I also developed a conference paper “Portraits, Potatoes, and Perception: Toward a Sense of Moche Artistic Vision” that I delivered at the College Art Association meeting in New York. As a Tyler fellow I worked part-time inventorying and assessing the arrangement and conservation needs of the Christopher B. Donnan and Donna McClelland Moche Archive, which has recently arrived at Dumbarton Oaks.

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