Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
CLACS

Matthew Velasco – Beyond Ethnicity: Head Shaping and the Making of Personhood in the Late Prehispanic Andes (A.D. 1100-1450)

Friday, November 9, 2018

12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Giddings 212, 128 Hope Street, Providence, RI 

Matthew Velasco is an anthropological bioarchaeologist who studies ancient populations of the Peruvian Andes through the analysis of their skeletal remains. His research explores the emergence of novel ethnic identities and cultural traditions during the era preceding and encompassing Inka imperial expansion in the 15th century. To explore how these dynamic social transformations impacted the lived experience of the body and its treatment at death, he analyzes and interpret indicators of social identity, biological relatedness, diet, and health status written on the human skeleton.

Velasco's teaching at Cornell spans the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences, covering topics such as mortuary practice, human skeletal anatomy, forensic anthropology, and human evolution. He is currently developing undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on bioarchaeology, the archaeology of death and dying, and the embodiment of inequality.