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Colonial era sanctuary of Tiobamba in Maras, Cusco, Peru


anthropological archaeology, ethnohistory, and critical pedagogies


Infographic about research on an Inka royal estate (click to enlarge)


A recent poster on our ongoing pedagogy research, presented at -Frontiers- in Archaeological Sciences 3: Rethinking the Paradigm

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Click image above to view conference poster

  1. Social identities, marginalization, and unfair labor in imperial and colonial encounters. Using archaeological and ethnohistoric methods I study how indigenous peoples in the Andes responded to colonization by creating new strategies for social and economic integration and cooperation. Watch a recent public talk here (en español).

  2. Craft production and wealth goods access across imperial spaces.  With museum collections and excavated collections from the Andean highlands and coast, I analyze the technological style of material culture, especially ceramics, textiles, and metal goods. This work includes both archaeometric techniques and visual analysis of technology. Understanding communities of practice and patterns of access to certain goods informs broader interpretations of how different populations participated in imperial and colonial life in the Andes.

  3. Resettlement and socio-economic reorganization in early Colonial Cusco. Using archival documents and analyzing archaeological settlement patterns, I examine how indigenous communities in the 16th to 17th centuries reconstituted themselves in light of changing labor demands and land tenure.

  4. Anti-racist and equitable teaching strategies in anthropology and writing. I research student experiences in courses that are developed through anti-racist and equitable pedagogies. This includes tracking demographic trends in enrollment over time and analyzing student reflections to evaluate the impacts of "centering the margins" in different types of college courses.

  1. Object-centered learning in campus museums. At a small liberal arts college with a campus anthropology museum, I used quantitative and qualitative survey to assess how object-centered learning across liberal arts disciplines impacted student experiences in different courses.

  2. Collecting beyond salvage ethnography. Researched and collected ethnographic materials from Cuzco, Peru for a liberal arts college museum that brought in new perspectives on whiteness, racism, and intersectionality in place of "salvage ethnology."

  3. Inka khipu and imperial bureaucrats. I previously researched technological choice and variation among museum collections of Inka and Colonial khipu (knotted string writing devices) to theorize how bureaucrats employed agency in everyday life.

  4. Animism in art of the ancient Americas. Using museum collections and published objects, I studied the iconography of animism and shamanism in Central America and the Andes.


Check out the new Khipu Field Guide by Ashok Khosla, where you can render cords, colors, and knots from khipu spreadsheets to better grasp Inka record-keeping

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figshare (figures for Inka pottery and Indigenous persistence projects)

2022. Quave, K. Data from analysis of khipus from the Dallas Museum of Art and Logan Museum of Anthropology. Submitted to The Khipu Field Guide by Ashok Khosla,

2019. Quave, K. & D. Hu. “Resettled laborers in the Inka empire: A comparative study.” Mendeley Data, V3,


2018. Quave, K. “Cheqoq Archaeological Project (Cusco, Peru).” The Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR),

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