Everyday Life in Colonial Peru: Archaeology and Texts of an Early Town

Cambridge, MA, February 1, 2013 - A common view holds that the 15th-century Spanish conquest of Peru was rapid and that native culture was swept away by the imposition of European beliefs and practices. Until very recently, views of the conquest and the early Colonial Period life were almost entirely derived from texts written by Spanish conquistadors or indigenous people under their control. Now these views have begun to change, thanks to research combining archaeology and studies of alternative texts, such as legal documents.

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University presents the free lecture "Everyday Life in Colonial Peru: Archaeology and Texts of an Early Town" on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at the Geological Lecture Hall (24 Oxford St., Cambridge) at 6:00 PM. A reception will follow at the Peabody Museum (11 Divinity Avenue).

Archaeologist Jeffrey Quilter, director of Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, will discuss his team’s discoveries at Magdalena de Cao, which include clothing, tools, and even paper documents. One of those documents made worldwide news when the team revealed it contained clues to a lost language.

About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.

Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, $8 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: www.peabody.harvard.edu. The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station.

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Faith Sutter
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Peabody Museum
Tel: 617-495-3397


A ring discovered at Magdalena de Cao in coastal Peru.

High resolution images available on request.

"Everyday Life in Colonial Peru: Archaeology and Texts of an Early Town" is Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 6:00 pm at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge.

Jeffrey Quilter, William and Muriel Seabury Howells Director of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology

A public reception follows at the Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge.

Public information: 617-496-1027