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Giving Life, Taking Life: Mortuary Rituals and Social Identities at the Tiwanaku Colony Omo M10, Moquegua, Peru

Sarah Baitzel, University of California, San Diego, Junior Fellow 2014–2015

During my fellowship year at Dumbarton Oaks, I made significant progress on my dissertation, “Many Tombs, One Temple: A Mortuary Approach to the Social Organization of Early Andean State Societies,” completing five chapters and drafting the final two. In particular, I was able to expand my analysis of Andean and Tiwanaku rituals and art that informed the interpretation of my data. In addition to the dissertation, I completed a manuscript for publication (“No Country for Old People: A Paleo-Demographic Analysis of Migration Dynamics in Ancient Andean States”) in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. Over the course of the year, I presented several papers on topics related to my dissertation at regional and national conferences and was invited to speak at the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University and to the Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. I have especially benefited from the connections made with the museum staff at Dumbarton Oaks and the Smithsonian Institute. As a dirt-digging archaeologist, I now feel initiated into the potential and specific possibilities for collection-based research. Above all, Dumbarton Oaks’ unique scholarly community offered a wealth of support, as well as new perspectives and insights for my research, both within and beyond the Pre-Columbian Studies program.