Andean Archaeology

The joint PhD program at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Field Museum offers a unique concentration of Andean researchers. We have three faculty members conducting archaeological research in Peru and Bolivia, making ours one of the largest concentrations of Andean archaeologists in the United States. Together we cover a wide range of periods as well as various levels of cultural complexity. We also offer a range of technical skills including: survey, excavation, remote sensing, GIS, archaeometry, ancient DNA and archival research.

We are currently accepting students who would like to specialize in Andean Archaeology and Ethnohistory. If you would like to learn more about our PhD program we welcome questions.


Brian BauerBrian S. Bauer, PhD

Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago

Brian S. Bauer is a leading researcher on the Incas, the largest indigenous empire of the Americas. His primary research focus is the development of the Inca state in the Cuzco Valley.
His current research includes an NSF-supported research project in the Vilcabamba region, the final stronghold of the Inca Empire.

Patrick Patrick Ryan Williams, PhD

Assistant Curator and Chair of the Department of Anthropology, Field Museum

Patrick Ryan Williams investigates the interaction between two pre-Inca states: the Wari of the central Peruvian highlands and the Tiwanaku from the Titicaca Basin in Bolivia. Williams is currently researching imperialism, colonialism, and political economy through archaeometry, GIS and remote sensing.
His current NSF & NEH-supported research examines the Wari and Tiwanaku occupations of the Moquegua Valley in Peru.

sloanwSloan R. Williams, PhD

Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

Sloan Williams, an expert in ancient DNA, is working with a number of different skeletal collections from both the highlands and the coast, examining the genetic relationship between various groups throughout prehistory.

Graduate Students

We proudly support the research of our Andean graduate students (past and present):

1st Years

Corey Bowen
Topic of Interest: development and production of power
Support: Provost Graduate Internship Award 

Ashley Vance
Topics of Interest: Trade and Exchange, Mortuary
Support: Provost Graduate Internship Award, Star Fellowship

2nd and 3rd Years

Caitlin Monesmith
Dissertation topic: Ancon and the advent of corn to the pre-hispanic diet

Rachael Penfil
Dissertation topic: Households and the Late Intermediate Period in the Lake Titicaca region.
Funding: National Geographic Young Explorers


Emily Baca Marroquin 
Dissertation Topic: "Provincial Economy in Chinchaysuyo: Imperial and Local Ceramic Distribution and Consumption, Asia Valley, Central-Coast, Peru"
Support: National Science Foundation, Field Museum Women in Science Fellowship, Dean's Fellowship UIC, Provost's Award

Beth Grávalos
Dissertation topic: "Social Distinction and Communities of Practice at Jecosh, Peru, 1st Millennium CE."
Funding: Wenner Gren Dissertation Grant, Rust Foundation's Grant, Collections Study Grant AMNH, Field Museum Anthropology Alliance, Chancellor's Research Fellowship

John J. Hicks 
Dissertation Topic: "Disaster, Vulnerability, and Resilience in Indigenous Farmers Communities in Colonial Moquegua".
Support: Wenner Gren Dissertation Grant, Provost's Award

David Reid 
Dissertation Topic: "Road Infrastructure and Ritual in Wari State Expansion in southern Peru during the Middle Horizon (c. AD 600-1000)."
Support: Wenner Gren Dissertation Grant, Sigma Xi Award, Chancellor's Research Fellowship, Provost Award

Our MAs

Andrea Gonzáles Lombardi
Topics of interest: Late Horizon and Early Colonial periods

Gabriel E. Cantaurtti
Dissertation Topic: Mining in the Inca Empire
Support: Wenner Gren Dissertation Grant

Our PhDs

Dr. Douglas K. Smit
Dissertation Topic: "Mercury and the Making of the Andean Market: An Archaeological Study of Indigenous Labor in Colonial Peru"
Support: Wenner Gren, National Science Foundation, Lewis and Clark Award, Dean's Fellowship UIC
Currently at: Visiting Scholar at University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Sofia Chacaltana Cortez (PhD 2015)
Dissertation Topic: Tambos of the Inca Empire
Support: NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant, Women in Science Graduate Fellowship, Field Museum.
Currently at: The Ministry of Culture (Lima, Peru)

Dr. Matthew Piscitelli (PhD 2014)
Dissertation Topic: Ritual and Domestic Architecture during the Late Archaic (3,000-1,800 BC)
Support: UIC University Fellowship, National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, Curtiss T. & Mary G. Brennan Foundation and The Field Museum.  
Currently at: National Geographic Society

Dr. Nicola Sharratt (PhD 2011)
Dissertation Topic: Social identity and the disintergration of the Tiwanaku state.
Support: UIC University Fellowship, NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant, Fulbright Fellowship, Women in Science Graduate Fellowship, Field Museum, UIC Dean's Scholar Award.
Currently: Associate Professor at Georgia State University