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:

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

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

David Reid
Topics of interest: Andean prehistory, human settlement of high-altitude regions, development of complex societies, geoarchaeology
Support: Wenner Gren Dissertation Grant

John J. Hicks
Topics of interest: New World archaeology, cultural ecology, geoarchaeology, Andean civilizations

Douglas K. Smit

Dissertation Topic: Huancavelica and Colonial Mercury Market.

Support: Wenner Gren Foundation, National Science Foundation, Dean's Fellowship UIC


Dr. Sofia Chacaltana Cortez (PhD 2015)
Dissertation Topic: Tambos of the Inca Empire
Support: NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant

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

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 of Natural History, UIC Dean's Scholar Award