My dissertation research investigates ongoing processes of identity formation and maintenance during times of intense sociopolotical instability and conflict. Focusing on the Late Intermediate Period (ca. 1000 - 1450 C.E.) in the altiplano region of the northern Lake Titicaca basin of the Peruvian Andes, my archaeological investigations employ excavation methodologies, ceramic analysis, compositional analysis, and spatial analysis in households contexts to examine how people with disparate social identities maintained cohesion 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
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 Pittsbugh
Society for American Archaeology
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.
Research Currently in Progress
archaeology, the Andes, complex societies, warfare, ritual, sociopolitical control