Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationPittsburgh, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9605
Approve DateApril 13, 2018
Project TitleKennedy, Sarah A., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Life in a Colonial Mining Camp: Reconstructing Power and Social Dynamics in Colonial Peru,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Arkush
SARAH KENNEDY, a doctoral candidate at University of Pittsburgh, received funding in May 2018 to aid research for the project ‘Life in a Colonial Mining Camp: Reconstructing Power and Social Dynamics in Colonial Peru.’ The goal of this research is to investigate social dynamics among laborers and administrators of 17th century colonial silver refineries in the western Lake Titicaca Basin of Peru. While previous scholarship on colonial silver mining in the Andes has examined the industry through the lenses of commercialization and technology, this research focuses on the livelihoods of indigenous laborers, examining the embodied character of indigenous labor in isolated mining communities. Using a combination of spatial, archaeological, and soil chemistry analyses, this project examined these themes at the refining site of Trapiche. Results from Trapiche indicate food provisioning was somewhat restricted and controlled, as evidenced through few private cooking hearths. However, most ceramic wares identified lack evidence of mass-production and follow local styles, indicating laborers provided their own household wares and had more autonomy over their subsistence than previously thought in contexts of colonial exploitation. While some aspects of social control are evident at Trapiche, much of the bottom-up, household level evidence of daily life indicates reliance on traditional modes of subsistence and foodways, as well as an active role in the developing colonial market economy.