As an archaeological conservator, I often have the opportunity to work in the field and conserve objects on an excavation. This summer I returned to norther Ecuador, where I worked in 2009, to be the conservator for the Pambamarca Archaeological Project. I wrote up a short post on some of the work I did there this summer for the project “Day of Archaeology” (this is a blog where archaeologists or people working with archaeological material write posts on what they spend their day doing) if you want to see some of what I did this summer and learn about what an archaeological conservator does on site.
One of my projects this summer (pictured here) was to continue the reconstruction of a red aribalo (a ceramic vessel used to hold liquids) that was excavated and partially treated in 2009. Here I am working on the area of the rim and neck to adjust misaligned joins. The vessel form is Incan, but the surface treatment and some other characteristics are not. It is thought that perhaps this is a hybrid form of an aribalo which combines styles from the Inca, who conquered the area in the 1500’s, and the local indigenous populations, known as the Cayambes.
I spent this summer working as a conservator for the Pambamarca Archaeological Project (PAP), located in northern highland Ecuador, near the town of Cangahua. As the conservator on the project, my job was to examine and conserve the finds excavated to ensure their long term preservation and to aid in archaeological research. Most of the work taking place here is focusing on sites and fortresses located on various hilltops in the region. The research hopes to understand the indigenous cultures known as the Cayambes, that lived here before the Inca conquered this area in the 1500’s, and also to look at the interactions between the groups after that conquest. (continue reading)