Andean Lab

Image credit: Seated male figure bottle, Wari (600-1000 AD), ceramic, Fowler Museum X86.3790

Andean Lab: Fowler Building, Room A332
Faculty Director: Stella Nair
Lab Coordinators: Alba Menéndez Pereda and Kevin Torres-Spicer
Graduate Students: Elyse Brusher, Louise Deglin, Terrah JonesGeorgi KyorlenskiAlba Menéndez Pereda, Rachel Schloss, Lisl Schoepflin, Kevin Torres-Spicer, Syon Vasquez
Affiliated Researcher: Paul Burtenshaw, Diana Castro, Miranda Claxton
Alumni: Jacob Bongers, Miranda Claxton, Kevin Hill, Emilie Liu, Hope Noakes,
Andrew Ontiveros

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Mailing address:
Cotsen Institute of Archaeology
308 Charles E Young Dr N
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Phone (Cotsen Main office)(310) 794-4837

Church in Peru
16th-17th century church, Zana Valley, Peru, (destroyed in 1720 by an El Nino cycle). Image Credit: Rachel Schloss
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC-Berkeley, Catalogue No. 4-5019

Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC-Berkeley, Catalogue No. 4-5019 (Georgi Kyorlenski)

A study of two houses with thatched roofs and painted white exterior walls (Barranquilla, Colombia). A woman stands in the doorway of the house at center, gazing into the dirt road in the foreground. A fence constructed of saplings is at left, adjoining the house. Gift of Louis P. Church, April 1853. Smithsonian: Accession Number 1917-4-5.

“Guaman Poma, La Nueva Cronica”, Image: 377 [379], Title  "DEFVNTO GVAINA CAPAC INGA, ILLAPA [el rayo] / Lo lleuan a enterrallo al Cuzco. / Traen el defunto de Quito a enterralle a su bóbeda rreal. / del Cuzco/CONQVISTA/ illapa /“

The Andean Lab is directed by Stella Nair, Associate Professor of Indigenous Arts of the Americas in the Department of Art History. Nair has worked in the Peruvian and Bolivian Andes for several decades and currently has projects in the Cuzco area. Graduate and undergraduate students working in the Andes also conduct research in the facilities.  Current lab projects include Central Coast Textile Dyes, the Archaeology of the Inca Civil War, Wari Ceramics and related arts, Inca Funerary and Memory Landscapes, Inca adobe design and construction, Islamic influences in Northern Andean architecture, Representation of Diseases in Moche Portrait Vessels as well as contemporary cultural heritage and community development.

Andean Working Group

Also housed in the Andean Lab, the Andean Working Group draws scholars from across Southern California to the UCLA campus for meetings focused on current research in Andean archaeology, art history, anthropology, and history. For more information on past lectures and events organized by the working group, see this link. Elyse Brusher and Alba Menéndez Pereda are co-organizing the working group.

Indigenous Material and Visual Culture Working Group

Members of the Andean Lab are active in founding and co-directing the Indigenous Material and Visual Culture Working Group (sponsored by the Center for 17th and 18th Centuries Studies). The MVCA is an interdisciplinary working group aimed at facilitating the study of indigenous cultural productions from across the Americas. For more information on lectures and events organized by the group, visit this link.


The Andean Lab periodically offers workshops on relevant topics.

Upcoming Workshops:

   1. Ceramic/Residue analysis in collaboration with Hans Barnard and the Experimental and Archaeological Sciences Lab.

Banner image credit: X65.8730 Panel with crowned figures bearing staffs. Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

This detail from an 1850 atlas shows the distribution of plant life for several mountain ranges, inspired by Humboldt’s illustration of Chimborazo. (David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries)

María Natividad de Balbanera church in Colta, Ecuador. Image credit: Kevin Torres-Spicer

Image credit: Paul Burtenshaw / Sustainable Preservation Initiative

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