Dr Andres Laguens

UK Host Institution: University of East Anglia
Project status

Ways of Being an Animal in the Southern Andes: Animals, People and Things in the Aguada Culture, 6th-11th century AD

The research aims to investigate how animals were understood by pre-Hispanic societies of the southern Andes. Although archaeologists study animal remains in various contexts, they usually look for information related to consumption practices, husbandry, feeding, or the environment, but rarely ask what an animal meant to people on their own terms and how they participated in other social spheres, beyond the economy.

The representations of animals in archaeological collections of South Andean societies in museums in the United Kingdom will be studied to carry out a comparative analysis within an interpretive framework that combines the archaeological perspectives on material culture with principles of local ontologies, or native ways of understanding the world and nature, as a novel way of approaching animals in those societies. Understanding what an animal was for other societies can broaden the horizons of understanding animality and its interrelationships with humans in our own society.

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