Emily A. Sharp

PIARA Managing Director & Lead Bioarchaeologist

Emily is a bioarchaeologist with twelve years of field and laboratory experience in Peru, and she has worked with the PIARA team since 2011. She received her MA in Anthropology in 2013 from Arizona State University and will obtain her doctorate in Fall 2020. Her dissertation research focuses on the intersections of social complexity, political power, and physical violence through a bioarchaeological investigation of several hundred individuals from nine sites in the Callejón de Huaylas (including Hualcayán!). This dataset covers a nearly 4,500-year period in Andean history. Most recently, she co-directed an archaeological excavation and lab project with Beth Grávalos and Denisse Herrera Rondan at the site of Jecosh--100 km south of Hualcayán. Emily specializes in skeletal trauma analysis, and she is very excited to teach human osteology and bioarchaeological lab methods through interactive activities, hands-on workshops, and lectures to new PIARA students. For more information, visit her website: https://emilyasharp.wordpress.com/

Lic. Erick L. Casanova Vasquez

PIARA Co-Director & Collections Manager

Erick is a licensed professional archaeologist from San Marcos University in Lima. He has nine years of experience in the field of archeology, participating in several research projects in both coastal and highland Peru. He has also collaborated on various projects and activities in Peru focused on public outreach and other collaborations with Andean communities. Erick has been working with the PIARA team at Hualcayán since 2011. Erick will also lead the PIARA Archaeological Field School in 2018 through a convenio with the Universidad Nacional de Ancash - Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo in Huaraz, Peru.

Brian M. McCray

Brian has over a decade of archaeological field experience, including teaching at field schools in the U.S., Caribbean, Peru, and Israel. This has involved remote sensing, field survey, mapping, database creation and management, statistical analysis, and a brief cameo teaching total station techniques at Hualcayán in 2011! Brian is completing his PhD at Vanderbilt University. In 2016-18, Brian led an archaeological excavation project in Amazonas province in northeastern Peru, where his team uncovered evidence of Andean-Amazonian interaction. This project incorporated a public archaeology component that included creating interpretive materials with community members. 

Emily Briggs

Emily is originally from New Mexico but has managed to acclimate to the cold north since starting her PhD at the University of Minnesota in 2016. She is currently a PhD candidate in Anthropology with a focus on archaeology/bioarchaeology and the analysis of isotopes in human tooth enamel to reconstruct population movements (a topic she will be presenting on during this field season!). Her other research interests include Indigenous studies, cultural heritage, NAGPRA/repatriation, and ethics in bioarchaeology. When not writing her dissertation or rock climbing, she works as a teaching assistant for human osteology at the University of Minnesota and as a skeletal analyst for the last year on an ongoing NAGPRA repatriation project. She looks forward to returning to the PIARA field school this summer after having worked there in 2018 and is excited to work with you all!

Kelsey Jorgensen

Kelsey is a biological anthropologist with seven years of field and laboratory experience. She is currently a PhD candidate at Wayne State University and received her MSc in Forensic Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh. Her research specializes in using multispecies genetics to better understand ancient human migration and settlement in the Peruvian Andes. She is particularly interested in how these past human - environment interactions lead to present day genetics changes in ourselves, and even our co-evolutionary partners (like insects!). While her primary focus is in Peru, she has also excavated and taught at field sites in England, Scotland, Spain, Greece, and Michigan. After working as a bioarchaeologist crew chief for PIARA in 2018, Kelsey is excited to be back as part of the team this summer.

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