Agustina Vazquez Fiorani

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Notre Dame, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10737

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Vazquez Fiorani, Agustina (Notre Dame, U. of) "Assembling the early Andean village: people, ancestors, and meals at the onset of agropastoral lifestyles (Argentina, ca. 200 BCE-AD 800)."

This project investigates how early Andean farmers and herders fed themselves and their families by establishing care relations with each other and their ancestors. I ask how preparing and sharing foods allowed people living in villages and hamlets in the Tafí Valley during the Formative Period (Argentina, ca. 200 BCE-AD 900) to craft social relations of care and culinary reciprocity amongst themselves and their ancestors. When people started to grow their food and raise animals, they enacted profound transformations in terms of worldviews, social institutions, and socio-material relations from which there were no previous traditions available. My project approaches this extraordinary recasting of daily life through the lens of care and culinary reciprocity to understand how Andean farmers and herders constructed a social world with other animated entities enabling fledgling communities to persist successfully over time. I integrate archaeological chemistry, artifactual and spatial analysis, and experimental work into an engaged community-based framework to examine the interconnected realms of care reflected in the material practices of preparing, cooking, eating, and sharing meals amongst the living and the dead. This research will contribute theoretical and methodological innovations in studying the origins of agropastoral lifeways across local, regional, and global disciplinary spheres.