Parker VanValkenburgh is an archaeologist whose research focuses on landscapes, politics and environmental change in the Early Modern World – particularly, in late prehispanic and early colonial Peru. He received his Ph.D. in 2012 from Harvard University and previously held positions at the University of Vermont (Assistant Prof. of Anthropology, 2013-15) and Washington University in St. Louis (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry, 2012-13). Among other projects, he is currently director of the Paisajes Arqueológicos de Chachapoyas (PACha) project, an investigation of long-term human-environment interaction in Peru's Chachapoyas region, grounded in the analysis of archaeological survey, archival research, remotely sensed datasets, and work with contemporary communities in the provinces of Luya, Chachapoyas, and Bongará, Amazonas (Peru). He is also a co-director of the GeoPACHA (Geospatial Platform for Andean Culture, HIstory and Archaeology). At Brown, he directs the Brown Digital Archaeology Laboratory (https://browndigitalarch.wordpress.com/) and teaches courses on Geographic Information Systems, cartography, critical digital archaeology, the politics of space and landscape, historical anthropology, and the archaeology and anthropology of the Andean region. From 2008 to 2016, he directed the Proyecto Arqueológico Zaña Colonial, a projects focusing on the impacts of Spanish colonial forced resettlement (reducción) on landscapes and political subjectivities in Peru’s North Coast region. Through the course of this research, he has become deeply invested in the use of digital-spatial technologies in archaeological research, particularly low-altitude aerial photography, three-dimentional modeling, spatial analysis, and mobile technologies. Two recent research collaborations with Brown University undergraduate students resulted in the following products - Socios en Patrimonio (2018) http://www.sociosenpatrimonio.com/ and Building a Tablet-Based Recording System for Archaeological Ceramic Classification (2016) https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2018.12
|Kennedy, Sarah A., Chiou, Katherine L., VanValkenburgh, Parker Inside the Reducción: Crafting Colonial Foodways at Carrizales and Mocupe Viejo, Zaña Valley, Peru (1570–1700). International Journal of Historical Archaeology/International Journal of Historical Archaeology. 2019;|
|Turner, Bethany; VanValkenburgh, Parker; Lee, Kristina; and Benjamin Schaefer Paleodiet among Late Prehispanic and Early Colonial Human Remains from Carrizales, Zaña Valley, Peru. international journal of osteoarchaeology. 2019;|
|VanValkenburgh, Parker The Past, Present, and Future of Transconquest Archaeologies in the Andes. International Journal of Historical Archaeology. 2019;|
|Kelloway, Sarah J., VanValkenburgh, Parker, Iñañez, Javier G., Dussubieux, Laure, Quilter, Jeffrey, Glascock, Michael D. Identifying New World majolica from 16th–18th Century sites on Peru's north coast. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports/Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 2018; 17 : 311-324.|
|VanValkenburgh, Parker, Silva, Luiza O. G., Repetti-Ludlow, Chiara, Gardner, Jake, Crook, Jackson, Ballsun-Stanton, Brian Mobilization as Mediation: Implementing a Tablet-Based Recording System for Ceramic Classification. Advances in Archaeological Practice/Advances in Archaeological Practice. 2018; : 1-15.|
|VanValkenburgh, Parker Whither the History of Forced and Undocumented Migration? Notes for Genealogical and Comparative Approaches. 2018; : 231-238.|
|VanValkenburgh, Parker Historias galonadas: la genealogía de reducción, paisaje y población en los valles de Zaña y Chamán, Perú. 2017; : 223-260.|
|Ben Marwick, Jade d’Alpoim Guedes, C. Michael Barton, Lynsey A. Bates, Michael Baxter, Andrew Bevan, Elizabeth A. Bollwerk, R. Kyle Bocinsky, Tom Brughmans, Alison K. Carter, Cyler Conrad, Daniel A. Contreras, Stefano Costa, Enrico R. Crema, Adrianne Daggett, Benjamin Davies, B. Lee Drake, Thomas S. Dye, Phoebe France, Richard Fullagar, Domenico Giusti, Shawn Graham, Matthew D. Harris, John Hawks, Sebastian Heath, Damien Huffer, Eric C. Kansa, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, Mark E. Madsen, Jennifer Melcher, Joan Negre, Fraser D. Neiman, Rachel Opitz, David C. Orton, Paulina Przystupa, Maria Raviele, Julien Riel-Salvatore, Philip Riris, Iza Romanowska, Jolene Smith, Néhémie Strupler, Isaac I. Ullah, Hannah G. Van Vlack, Nathaniel VanValkenburgh, Ethan C. Watrall, Chris Webster, Joshua Wells, Judith Winters, and Colin D. Wren Open Science in Archaeology. saa archaeological record. 2017; 17 (4) : 8-14.|
|Parker VanValkenburgh, Sarah J. Kelloway, Karen L. Privat, Bill Sillar, Jeffrey Quilter Rethinking cultural hybridity and technology transfer: SEM microstructural analysis of lead glazed ceramics from early colonial Peru. Journal of Archaeological Science. 2017; 82 : 17–30.|
|VanValkenburgh, Parker Unsettling Time: Persistence and Memory in Spanish Colonial Peru. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory/Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. 2017; 24 (1) : 117-148.|
|Weaver, Brendan J. M., Traslaviña, Abel, VanValkenburgh, Parker, Chase, Zachary J. Arqueología histórica en el Perú: la sociedad andina en la transición económica, política y social. Boletín de Arqueología PUCP/Boletín de Arqueología PUCP. 2016; (21) : 5-12.|
|VanValkenburgh, Parker, Chase, Zach, Traslaviña Arias, Abel, Weaver, Brendan J. M. Arqueología histórica en el Perú: posibilidades y perspectivas. Boletín de Arqueología PUCP/Boletín de Arqueología PUCP. 2016; (20) : 5-24.|
|Sobotkova, A., Ross, S., Ballsun-Stanton, B., Fairbairn, A., Thompson, J., & VanValkenburgh, P. Measure twice, cut once: cooperative deployment of a generalised, archaeology-specific field data collection system . 2016; : 337-371.|
|VanValkenburgh, Parker Produciendo Chérrepe: reducción, etnia y performance en los valles de Zaña y Chamán, siglos XVI y XVII. Boletín de Arqueología PUCP/Boletín de Arqueología PUCP. 2016; (20) : 129-148.|
|Kelloway, S. J., Ferguson, T. J., Iñañez, J. G., Vanvalkenburgh, P., Roush, C. C., Gibbs, M., Glascock, M. D. Sherds on the Edge: Characterization of 16th Century Colonial Spanish Pottery Recovered from the Solomon Islands. Archaeometry/Archaeometry. 2015; 58 (4) : 549-573.|
|VanValkenburgh, Parker, Kelloway, Sarah J., Dussubieux, Laure, Quilter, Jeffrey, Glascock, Michael D. The production and circulation of indigenous lead-glazed ceramics in northern Peru during Spanish colonial times. Journal of Archaeological Science/Journal of Archaeological Science. 2015; 61 : 172-185.|
|Kennedy, Sarah A., VanValkenburgh, Parker Zooarchaeology and Changing Food Practices at Carrizales, Peru Following the Spanish Invasion. International Journal of Historical Archaeology/International Journal of Historical Archaeology. 2015; 20 (1) : 73-104.|
|Vanvalkenburgh, Parker, Walker, Chester P., Sturm, Jennie O. Gradiometer and Ground-penetrating Radar Survey of TwoReducciónSettlements in the Zaña Valley, Peru. Archaeological Prospection/Archaeological Prospection. 2014; 22 (2) : 117-129.|
Hybridity, creolization, mestizaje: A comment
Archaeological Review from Cambridge. 2013; 28 (1) : 301-322.
|VanValkenburgh, Parker, Osborne, James F. 1 Home Turf: Archaeology, Territoriality, and Politics. Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association/Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association. 2012; 22 (1) : 1-27.|
|VanValkenburgh, Nathaniel P. Converting Worlds: Maya in the Age of the Cross. William F. Hanks, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. 439 pp.. The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology/Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. 2012; 17 (2) : 351-353.|
The core focus of my current research is the interface between imperial politics, landscape and domestic economy in late Prehispanic and early Spanish Colonial Peru. In the course of pursuing these interests, I have built methodological expertise in geographical information science and ceramic analysis, as well as a strong commitment to engaging archaeological scholarship with interdisciplinary social theory -- particularly in political, historical, and ecological anthropology and cultural geography.
My doctoral dissertation (Harvard University, 2012), explored landscape transformations bridging the late Prehispanic and Spanish colonial occupations of the Zaña and Chamán valleys, in Peru’s North Coast region. Its central case study focused on how the Spanish Colonial reducción (reduction) movement transformed indigenous political subjectivities in the late 16th century. Initiated in 1572 C.E. by viceroy Francisco de Toledo, reducción sought to resettle over one million native people into planned towns over the course of a few short years and to transform them into "civilized" subjects of the Spanish crown. Yet despite being one of the largest waves of forced resettlement in human history, reducción has only been summarily treated in previous historical scholarship, and we know little about how its grand imperial aims were articulated and contested at local scales, by subjects, institutions, and arrays of landesque capital. I have sought to demonstrate archaeology’s potential for demonstrating how reducción and similar state planning projects take shape (and loose ground) in social and material life.
In 2008, I started the Proyecto Arqueológico Zaña Colonial to pursue these objectives. Over the course of two archaeological field seasons and several sustained periods of archival research, I led a pedestrian survey of 150 km2 of the Zaña and Chamán valleys, excavations at three reducción sites, geophysical survey (GPR and magnetometry), and documentary research in Peru and Spain. Through analysis of the resulting data in GIS -- patterns of site clustering and distribution; relationships between sites and major landscape features such as canals, rivers, and roads; and statistical analysis of demographic data and its relationship to settlement patterns -- I found that reduccion’s impacts on native settlement and political affiliation were heavily influenced by its unanticipated demographic and environmental consequences. On the one hand, Spanish misreading of the landscape and placement of reducción villages in marginal environments led to successive waves of site abandonment and undermined the goals of permanent resettlement. On the other hand, indigenous demographic decline closed the door on a return to previously disperse modes of settlement. As regional population rapidly decreased, native communities found that they had to collaborate across longstanding ethnic and political divisions to maintain subsistence infrastructure – namely, irrigation canals and agricultural fields. In turn, these new solidarities worked to congeal the somewhat arbitrary political units into which the viceregal government had resettled them, and indigenous peoples’ collective petitions to protect land and water rights worked to inscribe them as legal subjects of the viceroyalty. Tragically, then, indigenous agency became one of the fundamental vehicles through which the goals of colonial resettlement were realized among native populations.
Through this exploration of the dense and dynamic connections between human lifeways, demography, urban planning, political power, and subjectivity, I have become heavily invested in developing new, integrative approaches to the study of archaeological landscapes. Following recent contributions to the archaeology of political life, I understand landscapes as fields that mediate political relationships. However, I believe that so-called “political landscape approaches” have underplayed the role that the landscape's stubborn materiality plays in shaping processes of subject formation. The story of reducción in Zaña/Chamán has led me to believe that the study of political landscapes benefits greatly from approaches that draw both on the interpretive sophistication of political anthropology and cultural geography and the analytical potential of GIScience.
Beyond resettling populations on a regional scale, reducción was a fractal phenomenon that sought to perform similar processes of ordering at the scale of settlements and houses. To understand these additional dimensions of the resettlement process, I initiated a second stage of research in the lower Zaña valley in 2012, focused on extensive horizontal excavations at two adjacent domestic occupations at the site of Carrizales – one, a late Prehispanic fishing village; the other, the reducción into which its residents were forcibly resettled in the late 16th century. With support from the Wenner-Gren Foundation and National Geographic Society, excavations over our first two seasons allowed us to reconstruct the floor plans of quincha (wattle-and-daub) structures, to create a site-level GIS built around three-dimensional models of house structures (created using low altitude aerial photography and photogrammetry), and to carry out substantial analysis of zooarchaeological and archaeobotanical remains from house floors and middens. Architectural layouts indicate that houses were smaller and increasingly compartmentalized following resettlement, but that they retained essential elements of their earlier organization. At the same time, food remains (particularly marine species) demonstrate a drastic drop in species presence and diversity and a marked increase in economic plants demanded of local populations in Spanish tributary records. My colleagues and I interpret these patterns as indices of native peoples' strategic responses to declining labor availability, increasing tributary demands, and the changing temporality of life under Spanish colonial rule. With support from a National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant, we conducted a final field season in 2015 focusing on domestic structures in both site sectors and additional work around the colonial church, followed by an extensive laboratory season in 2016.
In addition to forming the focus of several research papers, the results of both stages of the Proyecto Arqueológico Zaña Colonial form the core study of a monograph entitled Building Subjects: the Archaeology of Reducción and Forced Urbanism, under contract with teh University of Arizona press. In this volume, I explore the reducción movement's philosophical precedents as well as its linkages to 20th and 21st century projects in "green governmentality" -- e.g., the so-called "sustainable rural cities" of Chiapas, Mexico and the Chinese government's "converting pastures to grasslands" program in Tibet. As the Proyecto Arqueológico Zaña looks to its end date in 2016, I am also laying the groundwork for new archaeological survey and excavation projects, including a collaboration with my colleague Abel Traslaviña, focused on the Inka and colonial period site of Nieve Nieve, in the Lurín valley of Peru.
Finally, in addition to my work in landscape archaeology, I am also actively conducting collaborative research with colleagues Sarah Kelloway and Karen Privat (of the University of New South Wales, Australia) on ceramic technology in colonial Peru, through light microscopy, INAA, LA-ICP-MS and refiring studies of glazed ceramics.
ACLS Digital Extension Fellowship 2018
Brown University Interdisciplinary Team UTRA Grant 2018
National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration 2017
TanDEM-X Science Grant 2017
Spatial Archaeometry Research Collaborations Grant, University of Arkansas 2017
Digital Globe Foundation Grant 2016
Brown University Interdisciplinary Team UTRA Grant, w/extension 2016
National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant 2014
Wainwright Analytical Centre Research Grant, U. of New South Wales 2014
National Science Foundation Subvention, U. Missouri Research Reactor 2014
National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration Grant 2013
Wenner-Gren Post-Ph.D. Research Grant & Osmundsen Supplement 2012
NSF Subvention Field Museum Analytical Research Facility 2010
Program for Cultural Cooperation (Spain’s Ministry of Culture) 2010
International Dissertation Research Fellowship, SSRC 2009
Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship 2009
Anthropology Department Graduate Research Grant, Harvard University 2008
Summer Research Travel Grant, David Rockefeller Center 2008
Graduate Society Summer Research Grant, Harvard University 2006
Building Subjects: the Archaeology of Reducción and Forced Urbanism (under contract, University of Arizona Press)
Traslaviña, T. A., Chase, Z., VanValkenburgh, P. and J.M.B. Weaver, eds. 2016. Arqueología Histórica en el Perú. Boletin de Arqueología PUCP Volumes 20 and 21.
Osborne, James F. and Parker VanValkenburgh, eds. 2013. Territoriality in Archaeology. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 22. Washington, D.C.
VanValkenburgh, Parker. 2019. “The Past, Present and Future of Transconquest Archaeology in the Andes” International Journal of Historical Archaeology. Published online 4 January 2019.
Kennedy, Sarah, Chiou, Katherine and Parker VanValkenburgh. 2019. “Inside the Reducción: Crafting Colonial Foodways at Carrizales and Mocupe Viejo, Zaña Valley, Peru (1570-1700) International Journal of Historical Archaeology. Published online 3 January 2019.
VanValkenburgh, Parker. 2018. “Whither the History of Forced and Undocumented Migration? Notes for Genealogical and Comparative Approaches.” In Hamilakis, Y. (ed.). The New Nomadic Age: Archaeologies of Forced and Undocumented Migration. Sheffield: Equinox. Pp. 231-238.
VanValkenburgh, Parker; Silva, Luiza O. G.; Repetti-Ludlow, Chiara; Crook, Jackson; Gardner, Jake; Ballsun-Stanton, Brian. 2018. “Mobilization as Mediation: implementing a tablet-based recording system for ceramic classification.” Advances in Archaeological Practice.
Kelloway, Sarah; VanValkenburgh, Parker; Iñañez, Javier; Dussubieux, Laure; Quilter, Jeffrey; and Michael D. Glascock. 2018. “Identifying Andean-made Majolica from 16th-18th Century Sites on Peru's North Coast.” Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 17: 311–324.
VanValkenburgh, Parker, Kelloway, Sarah, Privat, Karen, Sillar, Bill, and Jeffrey Quilter. 2017. Rethinking Cultural Hybridity and Technology Transfer: SEM Microstructural Analysis of Lead Glazed Ceramics from Early Colonial Peru. Journal of Archaeological Science 82: 17-30.
VanValkenburgh, Parker. 2017. “Historias galonadas: la genealogía de reducción, paisaje y población en los valles de Zaña y Chamán, Perú,” en Saito, Akira y Claudia Rosas Lauro, eds. Las reducciones indígenas en debate: su impacto en los dominios de la monarquía hispánica. Lima: Fondo Editorial PUCP. Pp. 223-260.
VanValkenburgh, Parker. 2017. Unsettling Time: Persistence and Memory in Spanish Colonial Peru. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 24(1): 117-148.
Weaver, B.J.M., Traslaviña, A., VanValkenburgh, P. and Z. Chase. 2016. “Arqueología histórica en el Perú: La sociedad andina en la transición económica, política y social.” Arqueología Histórica en el Perú (Volumen 2). Boletí de Arqueología PUCP 21: 5-12.
VanValkenburgh, Parker. 2016. “Construyendo a Chérrepe: reducción, etnía y performance en los valles de Zaña y Chamán, siglos 16 y 17,” in Traslaviña, T. A., Chase, Z. VanValkenburgh, P. and J.M.B. Weaver. Arqueología Histórica en el Perú (Volumen 1). Lima: Boletin de Arqueología PUCP 20: 139-158.
VanValkenburgh, Parker, Chase, Zachary J., Weaver, Brendan J.M. and Teddy Abel Traslaviña Arias. 2016. "Arqueología Histórica en el Perú: Posibilidades y Perspectivas." in Traslaviña, T. A., Chase, Z., VanValkenburgh, P. and J.M.B. Weaver. Arqueología Histórica en el Perú (Volumen 1). Lima: Boletin de Arqueología PUCP 20: 5-24.
Sobotkova, A., Ross, S., Ballsun-Stanton, B., Fairbairn, A., Thompson, J., & VanValkenburgh, P. 2017. Measure twice, cut once: cooperative deployment of a generalised, archaeology-specific field data collection system. In E. W. Averett, J. M. Gordon, & D. B. Counts (Eds.), Mobilizing the Past: Recent Approaches to Archaeological Fieldwork in the Digital Age: University of North Dakota Digital Press in conjunction with Mukurtu 2.0 (Center for Digital Archaeology).
Kennedy, Sarah and Parker VanValkenburgh. 2016. "Zooarchaeology and Changing Food Practices at Carrizales, Peru." International Journal of Historical Archaeology.
Kelloway, Sarah J., Ferguson, Timothy Iñañez, Javier G., VanValkenburgh, Parker, Roush, Cody C., Gibbs, Martin, and Michael D. Glascock. 2015. “Sherds on the Edge: Characterisation of 16th Century Colonial Spanish Pottery Recovered from the Solomon Islands.” Archaeometry 58(4): 549–573.
VanValkenburgh, Parker, Kelloway, Sarah, Laure Dussubieux, Quilter, Jeffrey, and Michael Glascock. 2015. “The Production and Circulation of Indigenous Lead-Glazed Ceramics in Northern Peru During Spanish Colonial Times.” Journal of Archaeological Science 61: 172-185
VanValkenburgh, Parker, Chester P. Walker, and Jennie O. Sturm. 2014. “Gradiometer and Ground-Penetrating Radar Survey of two Reducción Settlements in the Zaña Valley, Peru” Archaeological Prospection.
VanValkenburgh, Parker. 2013. “Creolization, Hybridity and Mestizaje: A Comment.” Archaeological Review from Cambridge 28: 301-322.
VanValkenburgh, Parker and James F. Osborne. 2013. “Home Turf: Archaeology, Territoriality, and Politics.” Territoriality in Archaeology, ed. Osborne, James F. and Parker VanValkenburgh, eds. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 22: 1-27.
VanValkenburgh, Parker, Carol Rojas Vega and Rocío Torres Mora. 2013. “Arqueología Histórica en los Valles de Zaña y Chamán.” Revista Argumentos, año 7, n° 3. Lima: IEP.
ARTICLES IN PRESS
VanValkenburgh, Parker. in press. “Consumption and Commerce at Magdalena de Cao Through the Lens of Ceramic Analysis,” in Jeffrey Quilter, ed. Magdalena de Cao: An Early Colonial Town in Northern Peru. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum Press.
VanValkenburgh, Parker, Kennedy, Sarah, Rojas Vega, Carol and Gabriel Hassler. in press. “El Contrato del Mar: Colonial Life and Maritime Subsistence at Carrizales, Zaña Valley, Peru.”, Gabriel and Daniel Sandweiss, eds. Maritime Communities of the Ancient Andes. Gainseville, FL: University Press of Florida.
Book Review. 2014. The Archaeology of Hybrid Material Culture, ed. Jeb J. Card. American Antiquity 79(4): 802-803.
Book Review. 2014. Vertical Empire: The General Resettlement of Indians in the Colonial Andes by Jeremy Mumford (Duke, 2012) and Negotiated Settlements: Andean Communities and Landscapes under Inka and Spanish Colonialism by Steven Wernke (Florida 2013). Colonial Latin American Review 23(2): 280-294
Book Review. 2012. Converting Words: Maya in the Age of the Cross, by William Hanks. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 351-353.
Book Review. 2008. Heads of State: Icons, Power and Politics in the Ancient and Modern Andes, by Denise Arnold and Christine Hastorf. Arqueolog.com.
|2005||MA||University of London|
|2004||MPhil||University of Cambridge|
Cogut Center for the Humanities (Brown) Faculty Fellowship 2018
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship 2017
Haffenreffer Museum Fellow 2016
Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award Nominee, UVM 2014
Harvard Extension School Student Choice Teaching Award Nominee 2012
Dumbarton Oaks Junior Fellowship 2010
Cora DuBois Dissertation Completion Fellowship 2010
Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching 2007&2008 (2x)
Graduate Society Merit Fellowship, Harvard University 2008
Jens Aubrey Westengard Scholarship, Harvard University 2008
Fellow, Cambridge Overseas Trust Society 2004
Phi Beta Kappa, Stanford University 2003
Firestone Medal for Undergraduate Research, Stanford University 2003
British Marshall Scholarship 2003
|Kellner, James||Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Environment and Society, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Environment and Society|
|Russell, James||Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence, Professor of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences|
Society for American Archaeology
American Anthropological Association
American Society for Ethnohistory
Institute of Andean Studies
|ANTH 0500 - Past Forward: Discovering Anthropological Archaeology|
|ANTH 1201 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis|
|ANTH 1505 - Vertical Civilization: South American Archaeology from Monte Verde to the Inkas|
|ANTH 2201 - Archaeology in the Digital Age|
|ANTH 2590 - Space, Power, and Politics|