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Sarah Kennedy

“Marginalized Labor in the Silver Mining Industry: Reconstructing Power and Identity in Colonial Peru”

Sarah Kennedy

University of Pittsburgh, Pre-Columbian Studies Junior Fellow

Kennedy’s research at Trapiche Itapalluni (Puno, Peru) explores social organization, power dynamics, and labor relations among laborers and administrators in colonial silver mining refineries in the western Lake Titicaca Basin (1650–1750 CE). While previous scholarship on colonial silver mining in the Andes has examined the industry through the lenses of commercialization and technology, Kennedy’s research focuses on the livelihoods of indigenous laborers, examining the embodied character of indigenous labor in isolated mining communities. Using a combination of spatial, archaeological, and soil chemistry analyses, she examines daily, household level patterns of inequality, marginalization, and social control at Trapiche.

Sarah Kennedy is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and Spanish from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Florida. She is director of the Trapiche Archaeology Project and was awarded a Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant to conduct her doctoral research in the summer of 2018. She has previously served as project zooarchaeologist for the Zaña Colonial Archaeology Project (2013–16) and the Yunkaray Archaeological Project (2015–16). Her work has recently been published in the International Journal of Historical Archaeology.