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2012 Symposium, Abstracts

The Measure and Meaning of Time in the Americas

Anthony F. Aveni, symposiarch, is the Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy, Anthropology, and Native American Studies, serving appointments in both Departments of Physics & Astronomy and Sociology and Anthropology at Colgate University, where he has taught since 1963.  He has also served in visiting appointments at the University of South Florida, the University of Colorado, Tulane University, and the University of Padua, Italy.


Aveni helped develop and now is considered one of the founders of cultural astronomy, in particular for his research into the astronomical history of ancient Mexico.  He has done similar research in North America, Peru, Israel, Italy and Greece. In 2004, Aveni was the recipient of the H.B. Nicholson Award for Excellence in Mesoamerican Studies, given by the Peabody Museum and the Moses Mesoamerican Archive at Harvard University.  Professor Aveni has been awarded research grants by the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation, among others.  He has more than 300 research publications to his credit, including works in Science, American Scientist, American Antiquity, Latin American Antiquity, and The Journal of Archaeological Research.


Aveni has written numerous books; his works include: Stairways to the Stars: Skywatching in Three Great Ancient Cultures, Between the Lines, and Nasca: Eighth Wonder of the World, three works chronicling his 10 year research program on the mystery of the ground drawings of Nasca, Peru; Empires of Time, on the history of timekeeping; Ancient Astronomers, Foundations of New World Cultural Astronomy; The Madrid Codex: New Approaches to Understanding an Ancient Maya Manuscript (with Gabrielle Vail); and most recently, The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012. Skywatchers, his revised updated version of Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico has served as a basic textbook in archaeoastronomy.



William Landon Barnes, University of St. Thomas

Divine Reckoning: The Calendrical Ground of Mexican Dynastic Imagery


It is easy to think of divine imagery as timeless, particularly in relation to the religions of the Old World where canonical depictions of deities were often the rule.  Such conceptions are challenged in late Postclassic central Mexico, where artists often portrayed supernaturals with a multiplicity of interrelated and, at times, diagnostically divergent iconographic attributes.  As many of these deities also had calendrical associations, this paper analyzes the way in which these temporal associations were used by artists and their patrons to reference significant periodicities in the Mesoamerican calendar with its 52-year cycle and component 260-day and 365-day divinatory and ritual counts.  Amongst the Mexica of Tenochtitlan, the central focus of this study, such divine imagery played a pivotal role in the weaving together of contemporary events, natural phenomena, dynastic and corporate history, and the distant mythic past.


The current paper will analyze the complex visual system used by central Mexican artists to reckon discrete periods of time, be they specific rites, trecenas, veintenas, or even larger cycles that encompass multiple decades and centuries.  It will then address two key questions:  In what way was this system used to conflate the ‘more historic’ with the ‘more mythic’ and, hence, propose a perpetually sacred present?  How was this system of temporal modeling employed by the ruling elite of Tenochtitlan to reveal themselves as principle actors in their world age, on par with the great protagonists of the mythic past?  I wish to pay particular attention to the ways in which central Mexican works with dynastic and religious imagery, aside from expressing universal and eternal concepts, can be viewed as indices of specific historical contexts and concerns.

William Landon Barnes is an assistant professor of art history at University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His 2009 dissertation, Icons of Empire: The Art and History of Aztec Royal Presentation, focused on depictions of Aztec (Tenochca Mexica) rulers.  His articles have focused on the art and iconography of Pre-Columbian and early colonial central Mexico and include “Aztec Temporal Rhetoric and Moteuczoma II's Temple Stone” (forthcoming), “Secularizing for Survival: The Changing Depictions of Aztec Rulers in Early Colonial Texts” (2004), and “Partitioning the Parturient: An Exploration of the Aztec Fetishized Female Body” (1997).  He was a past junior fellow in Pre-Columbian studies at Dumbarton Oaks.  His current project examines the use of calendrical discourse in central Mexican sculptures and manuscripts of the late Postclassic and early colonial periods.


Victoria R. Bricker & Harvey M. Bricker, Tulane University


Linearity and Cyclicity in Precolumbian Maya Time Reckoning


For the Precolumbian Maya, time was viewed as repeating cycles within an endless, nonrepeating temporal continuity.  Sophisticated measures of time were made possible by two things--an advanced system of numerical notation involving the use of place position with a true zero, and a day count extending forward and backward in time without defined ends.  Numbers are frequent components of the Precolumbian written record as known from Classic monumental inscriptions and the Postclassic codices.  Although numbers, both cardinal and ordinal, are used for several purposes, the majority of occurrences quantify time by describing and commensurating astronomical, historical, and calendrical cycles.  Some temporal statements extend very far back into the mythical past with purported to-the-day accuracy, and some extend into what was then or even still is the future.  It seems likely that new kinds of cycles of time achieved importance for some Maya groups during the Postclassic as a result of their adoption of ideas from Central Mexico.


Victoria R. Bricker is a cultural anthropologist who received her B.A. in philosophy from Stanford University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University.  Her fieldwork in Mexico includes several years with the Tzotzil-Maya Indians of highland Chiapas, first investigating their ritual humor, followed by oral history and archival research on Colonial and Postcolonial revitalization movements in Chiapas, Yucatan, and highland Guatemala.  Since 1971, she has carried out research on the Maya language of Yucatan, including ethnobotanical research for a Maya-English dictionary.  In 1978, she began to study the language of Maya hieroglyphs, later focusing on astronomy in the Precolumbian Maya codices, in collaboration with Harvey M. Bricker.  She was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 1991 and to the American Philosophical Society in 2002.  She is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Tulane University and Courtesy Professor of Anthropology and Research Associate of the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida.

Harvey M. Bricker is an archaeologist who received his B.A. in history from Hamilton College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University. His early research was in French Palaeolithic archaeology. He was associated for many years with the excavation and analysis of a prehistoric rockshelter at Les Eyzies, in the Périgord region of southwestern France, and he directed the excavations of a late Neanderthal site in the French foothills of the Pyrénées.  Since the early 1980s he has been collaborating with Victoria R. Bricker in a program of research on Maya archaeoastronomy, a program that has resulted in numerous articles and, most recently, a co-authored book, Astronomy in the Maya Codices, published by the American Philosophical Society.  Bricker was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1985 "for contributions to paleoarchaeology in France and to the archaeoastronomy of the Maya", and in 1987 he was named "Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques" by the government of France "pour services rendus à la culture française".  He is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Tulane University and Courtesy Professor of Anthropology and Research Associate of the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida.



Linda A. Brown, The George Washington University

“When Pre-Sunrise Beings Inhabit a Post-Sunrise World: Time and the Collection and Curation of Animate Objects by Contemporary Maya Ritual Practitioners”

For contemporary Maya ritual practitioners, concepts of time and the past can take an overtly material and innately permeable form. In the highlands of Guatemala, Tz’utujil Maya ritual practitioners routinely collect small objects - including antiquities - as sacra. Carefully stored on altars and in personal divination bundles, these items hold a unique ontological status as they are considered animate manifestations of the past in the present, beings from a previous era prior to the creation of our present sun. These embodied objects, referred to as Nawales, are understood to possess aspects of personhood as they actively engage with their human caretakers via communication and reciprocal exchange. Reflecting their pre-dawn origins, Nawal objects often communicate during nightly dreams where they impart valuable ancestral knowledge to their curators; knowledge subsequently incorporated into present-day ritual performances to be witnessed and enter the collective of ceremonial practices and cures for future generations. In local epistemology, this is how the past is known and a wealth of ancestral knowledge revealed. Through active engagement with these powerful embodied objects, contemporary Tz’utujil ritual practitioners preserve, generate, and bring renewed meaning to pre-sunrise narratives in the post-sunrise world.

Linda Brown is an anthropological archaeologist who works in the Maya area and professorial lecturer in anthropology at The George Washington University. She is the director of a project examining the ceremonial use of archaeological objects by contemporary Maya ritual practitioners in the Guatemalan Highlands and the co-director of the Say Kah Archaeological Project in the Three Rivers Area of Belize.  Her research interests include the archaeology of ritual and religion, household archaeology, and the uses of archaeological artifacts and sites by contemporary descendant communities. Brown is co-editor (with William Walker) of a special issue of the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory focused on archaeology and animism and has published various articles on her research at Maya sacred sites.  Brown’s work has been supported by numerous institutions including the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, The Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, and Dumbarton Oaks where she was a Junior Fellow (2000-2001) and Fellow (2011-2012) in Pre-Columbian Studies.


Jalh Dulanto, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú


“Time and the Other: The Mythical and Ritual Landscapes of Huarochirí”


The time of myth and ritual and, for that matter, of history, is neither homogeneous nor empty. Whether mythical or ritual, time is always the outcome and condition of specific practices. In this study I follow a syntagmatic / paradigmatic approach to the analysis of the Huarochirí Manuscript –probably the most important Early Colonial testament of Andean religion written in an Andean language. I analyze how a basic set of cosmogonic principles manifest in the myths and rituals described in the manuscript were operationalized in the understanding of specific historical historical events such as the Inka and, particularly, the Spanish invasions of the Huarochirí region. I show how the movement of successive mythical heroes and ritual specialist on the landscape serves to map not only how different groups, defined at different scales of aggregation, are located on the landscape, but also how they are related to each other, and specially how they change these relations through time. I argue that in the Huarochirí Manuscript, history is represented as a progressive, simultaneous expansion and segmentation of space and time in order to include new social groups within the world of successful reciprocal relations. When such expansion is not longer possible time is overturned.

Jalh Dulanto is an Associate Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Humanities at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. He has been a visiting professor in the program of Native American Studies at Colgate University, the Department of Anthropology at Rollins College, and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at DePauw University. He is a specialist in the archaeology and ethnohistory death and mortalities, history and historicities, and time and temporalities in the Pre-Columbian and Early Colonial Central Andes. He is the author of several articles and the co-editor of a volume on Andean ethnology, ethnohistory, and archaeology in honor of Professor R. Tom Zuidema. His current research examines the mythical and ritual landscapes of Huarochirí during the critical transition from Late Pre-Hispanic to Early Colonial times.


Markus Eberl, Vanderbilt University


“To put in order: Concepts of time and space among the Classic Maya”


Time provides the framework for daily behaviors. The concept of time is, however, not constant and universal but culture-specific. In Classic Maya culture, tz’ak “to put in order” is a key expression. It introduces Distance Numbers and relates dates and events to an initial Long Count. Unlike the cyclical calendar components, tz’ak points to a linear concept of time. Tz’ak occurs for example in contexts where a king determines the succession order of his heirs and where he emphasizes his position within a royal dynasty.

Temporal order implies spatial order. Kings follow each other not only in the abstract sense of before and after but also in tangible ways. For example, the 16 kings of Copan’s dynasty line up on the four sides of Altar Q. Hieroglyphic texts and images on stairways and groups of carved monuments mesh temporal and spatial order. The creation of the current era and the foundation of royal dynasties occurred at specific moments in time and at specific places. Palenque’s patron gods descended, for example, at the dawn of time at Matawil. The founding father of Yaxchilan’s dynasty came from a place known as Chi-Witz. The Western intellectual tradition would classify these events as mythological while the ancient Maya reenacted them. Maya cities replicate the world of creation and preserve the Maya concept of spacetime.

Markus Eberl is an assistant professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University. He works as an archaeologist and epigrapher in the Maya area. He published a book on death, burial, and ancestor veneration among the Classic Maya (2005). Various articles and book chapters presented his excavations at Aguateca’s Barranca Escondida (2010 with Takeshi Inomata) and the sites of Nacimiento and Dos Ceibas where he did his dissertation research (2007). Other articles include the identification of the Emblem Glyph at the site of Ek Balam (1999 with Alexander Voß), Classic Maya units of measurements as they were used in the ballgame (2004 with Victoria R. Bricker), soil chemical studies to identify ancient human activities and maize agriculture (2002 with Fabián G. Fernández, Richard E. Terry, and Takeshi Inomata; 2009 with David R. Wright and Richard E. Terry), and the identification of a forged Maya manuscript (2011 with Hanns J. Prem). He is currently the director of the Tamarindito archaeological project. He investigates how Maya commoners interacted with nobles and divine kings at Tamarindito, the capital of a Classic period kingdom.


Richard Landes, Boston University


“From Counting Down to Counting Out: On the Relationship between Apocalyptic and Normal Time in the Western Passion for Precise Time Measurement”


“How long two minutes is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re sitting on.” Thus runs the joking definition of the relativity of time. It points to the fact that however we measure time, the experience of time is the relevant historical focus. While David Landes examines the Western pursuit of precise daily time measurement (the mechanical clock) in the later Middle Ages, he argues that this drive came from, rather than created the Western fascination with such precision. This paper will attempt a pre-history of the phenomenon of the clock, by tracing the Western fascination to an earlier (and continuing) effort to date the apocalyptic moment when Christ would return and judge the quick and the dead. In particular it will focus on a chronological tradition that dated the advent of the Parousia to the year 6000 since creation, a tradition of exceptional vigor in Latin Christianity from at least the second to the ninth Christian century. The year 1000 (and at the latest the year 1033) was the last and most powerful of these “millennial” dates, which, in addition to the failure of its carefully calculated apocalyptic expectations, produced a remarkably vigorous tradition of both chronological and calendrical studies. Indeed one might argue that the effort to count down to the (failed) apocalypse produced in its wake the desire to continue counting, now up (or out) with increasingly great precision. Ironically, one of the unintended consequences the failure of “the end of time” in 1000, was a Promethean passion for precise time measurement and its use in organizing purposeful human activity.


Richard Landes is a professor of history at Boston University.  His work focuses on the role of religion in shaping and transforming the relationships between elites and commoners in various cultures. Trained as a medievalist, his early work focused on the period around 1000 CE, a moment, in his opinion, of both cultural mutation (origins of the modern West), and intense apocalyptic and millennial expectations. His publications in medieval history include: Relics, Apocalypse, and the Deceits of History: Ademar of Chabannes (989-1034) (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1995); and two co-edited volumes: The Apocalyptic Year 1000: Studies in the Mutation of European Culture (Oxford University Press, 2003); The Peace of God: Social Violence and Religious Response in France around the Year 1000 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992). From 1995-2004, he directed the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University which held annual conferences and published an online journal, Journal of Millennial Studies. This involvement refocused his work on millennialism the world over and in different time periods, and has resulted in the editing of the Encyclopedia of Millennialism and Millennial Movements, (Berkshire Reference Works; Routledge, NY, 2000); Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience (Oxford U. Press, 2011), and a co-edited volume, The Paranoid Apocalypse: A Hundred-Year Retrospective on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (NYU Press, 2011). He is now working on a book titled: While God Tarried: Disappointed Millennialism from Jesus to the Peace of God (33-1033).


Alfredo López Austin, UNAM


“Tiempo del ecúmeno, tiempo del anecúmeno”


Se enfocará en esta propuesta una concepción cosmológica que el autor considera que pertenece a la parte central de la cosmovisión mesoamericana. En esta tradición se distinguen dos dimensiones de tiempo-espacio vinculadas causalmente entre sí. Una de ellas, que puede denominarse anecúmeno (lo que no es la casa [de las criaturas]”), dio origen a la otra, al ecúmeno [“la casa [de las criaturas]”), y es el foco causal de su forma de ser, de su dinamismo y de la continuidad de su existencia. El anecúmeno es un ámbito exclusivo de los seres sobrenaturales: dioses, fuerzas y procesos anteriores y generadores del mundo. El ecúmeno, en cambio, es el ámbito de las criaturas: el hombre, los animales, las plantas, los astros, los accidentes geográficos como el mar, los montes, los valles, los ríos y los lagos; los meteoros, como la lluvia, el rayo, el granizo y las nubes; los elementos, etc. Sin embargo, no sólo las criaturas moran en el ecúmeno, pues éste está poblado también por dioses, por muertos que regresan o aún no se han ido, y por fuerzas que proceden de la otra dimensión. Entre estas fuerzas está el tiempo, sustancia divina que llega, transforma todo y retorna a su lugar de partida. Pese a que el tiempo pertenece originalmente al anecúmeno, el cambio de dimensión al penetrar al ecúmeno transforma algunas de sus cualidades. En este trabajo se señalarán algunas de las diferencias entre el tiempo en una y en otra dimensión.


Alfredo López Austin is professor in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters and emeritus researcher in the Institute for Anthropological Research (IIA) at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He has written extensively on Mesoamerican cosmovision, mythology, ritual, medicine, and politics. Among his many volumes are:  The Human Body and Ideology: Concepts of the Ancient Nahuas; Myths of the Opossum: Pathways of Mesoamerican Mythology; Tamoanchan, Tlalocan: Places of Mist; Dioses del norte, dioses del sur. Religiones y cosmovisión en Mesoamérica y los Andes (with Luis Millones); and his most recent work, co-authored with Leonardo López Luján, is Monte sagrado—Templo Mayor. He was a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, and recipient of the Iichiko Prize for Cultural Study (Japan) and Premio Universidad Nacional from UNAM.


John Monaghan, University of Illinois, Chicago


“Bureaucracy, Religion and Divination: The Calendars of Mesoamerica and Bali”


The calendrical systems of Mesoamerica and the Balinese are strikingly similar.  Both, for example, employ a solar calendar that intermeshes with a “ritual” calendar, the latter being 260 days long in Mesoamerica and 210 days in Bali. In both places the various calendars were kept by religious specialists, and at first glance seem to be primarily concerned with divination and the scheduling of religious events.   Research on the Balinese calendar by anthropologists and others suggests some working hypotheses with regard to the way such calendars, which mark cycles within cycles, coordinate social and economic activities that can be used to understand the Mesoamerican case.  This paper also raises questions about the way the way the Mesoamerican calendars have been represented from the time of the Spanish colony up to the present.   It places these images into an historical context, and suggests that Mesoamerican images of the calendar highlight features that have been largely ignored by outside observers.


John Monaghan received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986, and has held appointments at a number of universities. He is currently the Head of the Anthropology Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Monaghan carried out ethnographic fieldwork early in his career among the Maya of Highland Guatemala, and later came to focus on Mixtec-speakers of Western Oaxaca, Eastern Guerrero and Southern Puebla, Mexico.  He has published books and articles on ethnological and ethnographic topics that combine field observations and archival research.   He is currently working on a project that examines how indigenous people responded to the state-imposed liberal and later agrarian reforms in nineteenth and twentieth century Mexico.



Stella Nair, University of California, Riverside


“Memory, Time, and the Inca Landscape”


The Inca’s rapid transformation of the Andean landscape is well known.  Whether in the form of terraces, new settlements, or rock carvings, the Incas were masters in reshaping the landscape to showcase their authority and make visible their links to sacred forces. In addition, the Incas named places that were associated with important people or events in Inca history, thus creating a landscape of memory. The Incas used the material world and naming practices to re-inscribe their place in Andean history. In this presentation, I will examine how Inca architecture and naming practices conveyed time in the landscape.  By revealing how this practice has become interspersed with local community practices, I will discuss the creation of landscapes of memory in which Inca notions of time, space and action have become subsumed into larger Andean notions of place and identity.


Stella Nair is an assistant professor of Art History at the University of California, Riverside.  She received her M.Arch. in architectural design and Ph.D. in architectural history from the University of California, Berkeley.  Nair’s work centers on indigenous architecture and related material culture in the south-central Andes. She has published articles and book chapters on a variety of topics, such as Tiahuanaco architecture and construction practices, Inca landscape transformations as part of their conquest strategies, the continuation of Inca architectural practices after 1532, and an indigenous artist’s rendering of an Inca royal estate during the colonial period. She has recently completed two monographs: The Stones of Tiahuanaco: A Study of Architecture and Construction (co authored with Jean-Pierre Protzen), and Retreats without Surrender: the Architecture of Sanctuary at Chinchero.



Juan M. Ossio, Universidad Pontificia Católica del Perú


“Ages of the World in the Andes”


The belief in ages of the world in the Andes is a subject that has interested several modern scholars since the last century. In the majority of cases its existence has been taken for granted however since John Rowe’s suspicion that Fray Martin de Murua’s description of this belief might have been borrowed from descriptions derived from México doubts have been raised about this supposition. In this paper I shall try to revive this discussion asserting the viability of this belief in the Andes. My point of departure will be “El Primer Nueva Coronica y Buen Gobierno” written by Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, some Southern American ethnography, and the Andean Messianic tradition.


Juan Ossio is Professor of Anthropology in the School of Social Sciences at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima. An Andean anthropologist and historian with wide-ranging interests, his work has appeared in numerous articles in national and international journals and in edited volumes. He has published many books on Andean anthropology, including Ideología messianica del mundo andino, Parentesco, reciprocidad y jerarquía en los Andes, and Las paradojas del Perú oficial: indigenismo, democracia y crisis estructural, as well as several documentaries on festivals and traditional music. He is also known for his work on Andean chroniclers, with works such as En busca del orden perdido: la idea de la historia en Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala and Códice Murúa: historia y genealogía de los reyes incas del Perú del padre mercenario Fray Martín de Murúa. A recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Ford Foundation, he has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago, David Rockefeller Center at Harvard University, and École Practique des Hautes Études in Paris and a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Research Institute. He served as Minister of Culture of Peru during the presidency of Alan García, from 2010-2011.


Tristan Platt, University of St Andrews


“Refounding the Past: Colonial Testimonies and the Tarjeta of a Coat-of-Arms as Sources for Qaraqara Dynastic-State Relations (15th-17th centuries)”


The pre-Hispanic foundation and colonial refoundation of a powerful Aymara-speaking dynasty raises the question of the relation between South Andean persistence and change after the Spanish invasion. I examine a tarjeta, or model, for a colonial coat-of-arms containing emblems of pre-Hispanic derivation, re-framed in a Spanish heraldic format and legal procedure. The emblems evoke native symbols of religious power and beauty (Venus, lightning as the celestial slinger of stars, the white flowers of the amancaya), which were reaffirmed in the 17th century following an important marriage union in the 1590s between two ancestral houses whose first founders had been contemporary with Inca Pachacuti. The application for the coat-of-arms is accompanied by a Probanza of merits and services which provides oral-historical perspectives on the circumstances in which these symbols transformed before and after the end of Inca rule.


Further, by invoking earlier documentation referring to the Atlantic expeditions of Solis and Gaboto to the rivers Paraná and Paraguay in 1516 and 1526, it becomes possible to triangulate the “sierra de plata” which these ancestral houses governed. The paper discusses the identity of the “bearded white man" mentioned in the Atlantic papers by relating them to the 17th century testimonies from the mining federations of Charcas.


The coat-of-arms demonstrates the way in which early colonial Aymara lords tried to prolong their governance, while negotiating terms with Spain that they could relate to their earlier relationship with the Inca. It suggests a new perspective on the mytho-historical view of many South Andean peoples today that the Spanish conquest was less memorable than the Inca’s.


Tristan Platt is Professor in Anthropology and History at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. His first fieldwork with the Macha (Potosi, Bolivia, 1970-71) was followed by research at the Universidad del Norte (Arica, 1973-76), the Museum of Ethnography  (La Paz, 1976-77), and on the relation of North Potosí peasants with the tin-mines (1977-1979). From 1980-1984 he worked with the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (Lima) and the Archivo Nacional de Bolivia (Sucre) on "19th century Mining and Economic Space in Bolivia". In 1982 he published Estado boliviano y ayllu andino (IEP). From 1985-1987 he worked with an ESRC-CNRS project which produced Qaraqara-Charka: Historia antropológica de una confederación Aymara (siglos XV-XVII). La Paz: Plural Editores 2006, 2nd ed. 2011; with T Bouysse-Cassagne, O Harris and Th Saignes). Other projects are: “Appropriate Practices of Childbirth” (with Trinity College Dublin, 1995-1996), “Mining, markets and silver-production” (University of Salamanca 1993-1994, and with a Guggenheim Fellowship 1996-1997), and “The pie-de-monte hinge between Andes and lowlands” (2005-10). His newest project is “Rothschild and the 19th century quicksilver trade.”