I have posted before about the archaeological surprise that my colleague Elizabeth Cruzado Carranza and I experienced last summer in Nivín, Peru. Elizabeth and I presented a paper at the 2015 Meeting of the Society for Amazonian and Andean Studies in Baton Rouge that discussed this project.
Our work in Nivín is a textbook example of co-creation. Elizabeth and I traveled to Nivín at the invitation of Gustavo Valencia, director of the small museum in that rural community. We asked about the museum needs and Professor Valencia immediately responded that he needed books on best practices for collections management in Spanish. In a few weeks we were able to secure two state-of-the-art volumes and created a digital archive of over 50 files on the subject.
We will return to Nivín this June to discuss a long-term collaborative project with the community museum and school. Thus far, based on our conversations with Professor Valencia and his colleagues, their expressed interests and needs in which we can take part include:
- Launch a scholarly and community based research project of the archaeological sites surrounding Nivín.
- Provide resources for English as a Second Language instruction to enable residents to engage with anticipated visitors to the area.
- Assist in instituting best practices in both the analysis and curation of cultural materials in the current museum.
- Provide both formal and informal instruction on these best practices in both the school and community.
What you can do to help this project . . .
. . . and this is where you can help to analyze and curate the archaeological collections of Nivín, Peru. The basic materials for laboratory analysis are in very short supply in this rural community on the north coast of Peru. Below is a list of materials we have identified with Professor Valencia that are of immediate need to launch the curation project this summer:
- pocket loupes
- plastic bags of all sizes
- digital scale or triple beam balance
- calipers – including OD for measuring ceramic vessels.
- Sharpies for labeling bags
- rapidiographs (or similar writing instruments) for labeling artifacts
- osteological board
- Munsell soil book
- nested geological sieves
- laminate sheet for estimating vessel size
- other items?
Does your academic department or CRM firm have some new or gently used items of the above that are not being used that you can donate to Professor Valencia and his students in Nivín? Or would you like to make a financial contribution, large or small, that will be used to purchase the above items? In addition to the listed materials we plan to buy at least two locking display cabinets for the museum. The cabinets are available in the nearby Peruvian city of Casma for $350.00 each.
We ask that you consider supporting this exciting opportunity to empower a rural Peruvian community to present and preserve their cultural heritage through museum studies and archaeology.
Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to find out if the materials you have available are suitable for the Nivín project. Elizabeth or I can also take delivery of any items at the SAA meeting in Orlando this April. As well, you can make financial contributions to the PIARA website that will be used exclusively for the Nivín Project. (Note “Nivín” in the description box on the contribution form.)
Elizabeth, Gustavo and I thank you for your consideration.