I am an Andean archaeologist with a focus on empirical field research, site-based excavations, and interdisciplinary collaborations. I favor a holistic approach and hope to bring a nuanced and textured understanding of the ancient complex societies that developed on the north coast of Peru. Over the years, I have developed a series of excavation projects, especially in the Nepeña Valley in the Department of Ancash. My field program has helped document and reflect on early urban life, architecture, material culture, visual arts, feasting, rituals, paleoenvironments, and foodways, among other things. I am dedicated to high impact research, rigorous methodological standards, student training, the protection of cultural heritage, and the building of respectful and reciprocal relations with all research collaborators, especially descendant communities. For more than 20 years, I have nurtured ties with various communities in coastal Peru, advocated for the protection of archaeological sites, and developed outreach programs.
Below are some of my research projects and collaborations based on fieldwork in the Nepeña Valley, coastal Ancash, Peru.
My current and ongoing field initiative centers on Cerro San Isidro (~600 cal BCE-1400 cal CE), an important residential and political center located near the town of Moro in the middle Nepeña Valley. Based on surface evidence, geographic location and preliminary viewshed analyses, the multi-component site is hypothesized as a primary center of political power and elite presence. In 2019, I co-directed nine weeks of excavations at Cerro San Isidro and brought preliminary insights into its complex occupational sequence, spatial organization, and dense archaeological deposits. This project is part of a broader collaboration with Dr. George F. Lau (University of East Anglia). Our joint program explores the “Rise of Divine Lordships in Northern Peru” as seen through comparative datasets from Moro and Pallasca, two neighboring regions in the Department of Ancash. The Moro portion of the divine lordships project, under my guidance, is funded through the NSF (Archaeology + Archaeometry Program, award number 853905) and should generate rich datasets to fuel significant academic outputs. The field report of the 2019 field season as well as an article detailing detailling preliminary results (Chicoine & Navarro 2021) are stored in LSU Digital Commons.