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Nicholas E. Brown

"Interactions, Innovations, and Influences of Chavin Arts through the Central Andes of Peru"

Nicholas E. Brown

Junior Fellow, Pre-Columbian Studies

Brown's research proposes a new understanding of Chavin influence in early Andean art by considering the lived experiences of artists, pilgrims, and caravanners traveling through the Peruvian Central Highlands as they journeyed to and from Chavin de Huantar. This work presents new corpora of ancient art from Chawin Punta and Kunturay, Pasco, Peru to illustrate the diversity of artistic production in the Central Highlands, and re-analyzes the case of Chavin influence in Paracas on the Peruvian South Coast to illuminate the plurality of artistic inspirations involved in the expansion of Chavin styles and symbols. In studying how a diverse yet interconnected community of Chavin artists created a common cosmovision that united much of Peru some three thousand years ago, Brown's work reveals the universalist potential of art to connect people despite differences, highlighting past ways to promote social cohesion relevant for healing today’s increasingly fractured world.

Nicholas E. Brown is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Yale University, having received a BA in Archaeology from Stanford University. Brown directs the Chawin Punta-Kunturay Archaeology Project and the Central Andean-Amazonian Headwaters Survey in Peru. Brown's research explores how the interplay between human interaction and social innovation resulted in widespread circulation of symbols and ideas across different parts of South America in ancient times, focusing on the Chavin phenomenon in Peru during the second and first millennium BCE. Additionally, Brown studies the contemporary mobilization of Andean heritage in Peru, Chile, and Ecuador and its impact around the world on museums, universities, and multilateral fora, focusing on the UNESCO World Heritage Program.