New Book by American Museum of Natural History Anthropologist Explores Ancient City of Festivals

. December 27, 2011 . 0 Comments

More than 500 years ago, the now-desolate Inka city of Huánuco Pampa, located high up in the Andes Mountains in Peru, periodically bustled with tens of thousands of people. But despite its large palace, temples, and public halls, the city was home to only a few hundred year-round guards, administrators, and religious specialists who prepared the massive complex for religious and political festivals that attracted swells of visitors from the surrounding area. A selection of findings from one of the most ambitious archaeological excavations of this unique type of urban center are published in a book recently released as a volume of the Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History.

The Huánuco Pampa Archaeological Project Volume I: The Plaza and the Palace Complex, also available from the Museum as a free e-book, is written by the late Craig Morris, a former curator of South American archaeology and dean of science at the American Museum of Natural History, and his colleagues, R. Alan Covey, an associate professor of anthropology at Dartmouth College, and archaeologist Pat Stein. It is the first of a series of publications presenting data from the Huánuco Pampa excavations that Morris led during the 1970s and 1980s. This work, which included excavating more than 300 of the site’s almost 4,000 buildings, produced discoveries that transformed understanding of Inka urban life.

The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls and galleries for temporary exhibitions, the Rose Center for Earth and Space with the Hayden Planetarium, state-of-the-art research laboratories and five active research divisions that support more than 200 scientists in addition to one of the largest natural history libraries in the Western Hemisphere and a permanent collection of more than 32 million specimens and cultural artifacts. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the first American museum to grant the Ph.D. degree. In 2012, the Museum will begin offering a pilot Master of Arts in Teaching with a specialization in earth science. Approximately 5 million visitors from around the world came to the Museum last year, and its exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents. The Museum’s website and growing collection of apps for mobile devices extend its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond its walls. Visit for more information

Category: Natural History

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.