Aleksa Alaica

Grant Type

Workshop Grant

Institutional Affiliation

British Columbia, U. of

Grant number

Gr. CONf-899

Approve Date

October 3, 2022

Project Title

Alaica, Aleksa (British Columbia, U. of) "Breaking Down Borders: Debating Origins and Directions of Interregional Exchange in Latin America"

Archaeological investigations in Latin America are often focused within narrow regional designations of Central vs. South America that are further curtailed by modern country borders. This workshop will bring together emerging and prominent scholars to engage with seminal and developing debates on the origins of key food sources (i.e. cacao and maize), technological advancements (i.e. metallurgy and ceramics), and the changing styles of material remains from prominent pre- and post-colonial contexts (i.e. stonework and textiles) in order to break down the limitations introduced by contemporary frontiers. The goal of this workshop is to renew interest in the way that local and long-distance interactions in Latin America bisected modern political barriers to rejuvenate discussion on the way that strategic planning, resilience, and ingenuity of past societies transformed the trajectory of distinct cultural phases. Chronological overlap between Olmec and Chavin, Maya and Moche, and Aztec and Inca attests to some stylistic similarities but also the emergence of distinct facets of social inequality and political economies. This international workshop provides an unprecedented setting to engage with thoughtful consideration of origins and directions of interregional interaction that will contribute meaningful debate and collective interpretations about the role of cross-cultural exchange in Latin America.