Community

Community engagement is a core aspect of my archaeological practice.  This means integrating community participation in the research process itself, and working toward greater community awareness of archaeological patrimony.

Peru’s archaeological patrimony is being destroyed at an alarming rate.  Since colonial times, looters have scoured the landscape for antiquities, and illicit international antiquities markets remain extremely lucrative and active.  In many ways, colonial ideologies remain entrenched, creating a rupture between present and the prehispanic past.  While national discourses have recently begun again to revalorize Peru’s rich prehispanic past, many community members feel distanced and somewhat ambivalent about their connection to it.

We are working toward greater community awareness and understanding of the prehispanic and colonial past, and the importance of protecting archaeological patrimony through public lectures and children’s educational programs.

Steve Wernke giving a public talk in Tuti

Steve Wernke giving a public talk in Tuti

Community members attending public lecture

Community members attending public lecture

The Tuti Antiguo Archaeological Project is also currently collaborating with the Municipality of the District of Tuti to establish a museum – El Museo Historico y Cultural de Tuti.  This museum is located in the town hall building in Tuti’s central plaza.  It will open in 2009.

Tuti town hall, future site of the museum

Tuti town hall, future site of the museum