You are here:Home/Research/ Support for Research/ Fellowships/ Fellowship Reports/ 2015–2016/ The Dead Rose from the Ground: Ancestors and Political Authority in a Post-Collapse Andean Society (1000–1450 CE)

The Dead Rose from the Ground: Ancestors and Political Authority in a Post-Collapse Andean Society (1000–1450 CE)

Erika Brant, University of Virginia, Junior Fellow 2015–2016

During my fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks, I examined the role of ancestor veneration in the political reorganization that occurred after the collapse of the Tiwanaku state around AD 1000. Specifically, my research focused on the Peruvian site of Sillustani, the foremost necropolis and pilgrimage center of the post-collapse Colla ethnic group. The examination of a variety of archaeological materials (including architectural, ceramic, and faunal data) allowed me to conclude that Sillustani was the site of commemorative feasts that both generated and reinforced more equitable forms of sociality in the years following collapse. Over the course of my eight-month fellowship, I finalized three chapters of my dissertation, drafted one additional chapter, presented my research to the Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, DC, and completed an article that is currently under review. In addition, conversations with another Dumbarton Oaks junior fellow, Jennifer Saracino, resulted in an organized session on indigenous landscapes that will be held at the 2016 meeting of the American Society for Ethnohistory; the proceedings of this session will be published by the University Press of Colorado.