Casma Valley, Peru
Through a NSF award and the support of Clemson University, Dr. Melissa Vogel and her team are studying the ancient urban environment on the north coast of Peru. The research focuses on the site of El Purgatorio, a large urban center and the proposed capital city of the Casma polity. The site appears to have had a long occupation, from at least the Middle Horizon (AD600-1000) through most of the Late Intermediate Period (AD1000-1350). Conservator at the WLCC, Johanna Rivera traveled to Peru for the 2010 season to perform not only preventive conservation on recently excavated artifacts, but also packing and storage of artifacts such as metals, textiles, ceramics and a Chimu-Inca mummy. In addition, she trained staff and local archaeologists in preventive conservation techniques and storage of archaeological materials. Back at the WLCC, scanning electron microscopy was performed on different fiber samples from the textiles found on the site for identification purposes.