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ARCHLGY 136: Latin American Pasts: Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (ANTHRO 136C)

Latin America is vast in pre-colonial and colonial monuments. Past societies defined by archaeologists - Aztecas, Chavin, Chinchorro, Inka, Maya, Moche, Nazca, Tiahuanaco, among others - cohabit with Spanish colonial era structures and contemporary human settlements. Most studies on Latin America have focused on monuments, conservation and sustainability, overlooking economic and social struggles related to heritage use and management. Selecting certain case studies of famous archaeological sites, this class will explore the main characteristics of pre-Hispanic cultures from an archaeological perspective as well as from critical heritage studies. Currently, Latin American regions and entire states have adopted some of these 'archaeological cultures' and redefined them as their 'ancestors', adopting archaeological discourses in their daily lives. In addition to learning about these sites archaeologically, this class will analyze native communities´ claims, development projects, education narratives, nation-branding documentaries and marketing spots, memes, and other resources. The class will also consider the accelerated urban growth of these areas - a major feature of Latin American and global south countries - and the consequences for the development of heritage and its sustainable conservation in the Spanish-speaking Americas.
Last offered: Spring 2022 | UG Reqs: WAY-EDP, WAY-SI
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