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The Sican Capital: Urban Organization in Pre-Columbian Peru

Gabriela Cervantes, University of Pittsburgh, Junior Fellow 2017–2018

My dissertation research analyzes urban patterns at the city of Sican, capital of the Sican State (800–1375) on the north coast of Peru. Using architectural maps, archaeological materials recovered from my survey, and ethnohistorical accounts, I argue that the city had a monumental core for political-religious activities and a dispersed urban pattern with several public and residential architecture complexes. During my fellowship term I worked on sections of my dissertation, wrote a chapter for an edited volume, and presented my research to the Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, DC, and to the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. The Dumbarton Oaks library provided numerous resources for my research. Of exceptional value were unpublished undergraduate theses and field reports that include original drawings and maps not available elsewhere.