My dissertation research investigates ongoing processes of community cohesion during times of intense sociopolotical instability and conflict at the site of Mauka Llacta de Nuñoa. Focusing on the Late Intermediate Period (ca.1000 - 1450 C.E.) in the northern Lake Titicaca basin of the Peruvian Andes, my archaeological investigations employ excavation methodologies, ceramic analysis, and spatial analysis in household and neighborhood contexts to examine how people negotiated community tensions in their everyday lives during times of political factionalism.
National Geographic, National Geographic Young Explorer's Grant - "After Collapse: An Investigation of Sociopolitical Transformation and Site Growth at Monte Sierpe, Peru.", Principal Investigator
University of Illinois at Chicago, Provost’s Graduate Research Award - “Architectural Perspectives on Identity and Difference at Mauka Llacta de Nuñoa, Puno, Peru, 2018, Principal Investigator
Service to Community
2017 - 2018 - Hospitality Committee and Session Moderator, 46th Annual Midwest Conference on Andean and Amazonian Archaeology and Ethnohistory, The Field Museum;
2017 - 2018 - Conference Committee, 2018 Second City Anthropology Conference, University of Illinois at Chicago;
2017 - 2018 - Organizer, Second Year Speaker Series, Department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago
2016, Al & Judy Blitz Archaeology Scholarship Fund, Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago
2018 - M.A. Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago
2014 - B.S., Psychology and Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh
Society for American Archaeology
2019 - Penfil, Rachael, Jo Osborn, and Jacob Bongers. “The Effect of Imperial Conquest on Regional Settlement Patterns: A Case Study from the Peruvian South Coast between ca. 1000–1532 C.E.” Poster presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Albuquerque, NM (April 10–14).
2018 - Penfil, Rachael, Jo Osborn, and Jacob Bongers. “From Inkawasi to Tambo Colorado: Macro-Regional Analysis of Settlement Patterns on the Peruvian South Coast (ca. 1000 – 1532 CE).” Poster presented at the 46th Annual Midwest Conference on Andean and Amazonian Archaeology and Ethnohistory in Chicago, IL.
2018 - Penfil, Rachael and Kelita Pérez Cubas. “Control, Visibility, and Storage at Monte Sierpe, a Late Horizon Site in the Pisco Valley, Peru.” Poster presented at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Washington, D.C.
2018 - Weinberg, Camille, Jo Osborn, Rachael Penfil, and Kelita Perez Cubas. “New Evidence of Late Intermediate and Inca Occupation at Jahuay, Quebrada de Topará, Peru.” Poster presented at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Washington, D.C.
2017 - Penfil, Rachael, Patrick Ryan Williams, M. Elizabeth Grávalos, and Lauren Monz. “Craft Production at Cerro Baúl: Unattached Specialization on the Wari Frontier.” Paper presented at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Vancouver, Canada.