Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationMcMaster U.
Grant numberGr. 10396
Approve DateOctober 11, 2022
Project TitleRoddick, Andrew (McMaster U.) "Unflattening Terminal Late Formative Tiwanaku"
This project will use visualization techniques to produce new knowledge about the earliest occupations at the Bolivian World Heritage Site of Tiwanaku. Researchers have been exploring Middle Horizon (600-1000 AD) Tiwanaku since the 19th century. We know less about earlier Late Formative (200 BC-600 AD) occupations, particularly after reconstructions in the 1960s froze the site as a timeless state capital. There is, however, an extensive archaeological archive, which includes field notes, sketches, and photography. These under-analyzed archives will help clarify the initial founding and construction of Tiwanaku and answer questions about Late Formative time, materiality, and alterity. This potentially transformative dataset will help “unflatten” the emergent urban center. “Unflattening” is the process of using visual practices to present information in a layered and multi-modal fashion. Visualization plays a key role in shifting scientific understanding, changing how one argues, proves, and believes. Expertly made visuals can lead to new knowledge about places like Tiwanaku. Team members will explore early occupation through a variety of visualization techniques, while also exploring ambiguity and uncertainty in archaeological interpretation. The project will produce new Andean archaeological data, contribute to research of emergent urban centers, and explore new possibilities in visual anthropology.