J. Marla Toyne, Ph.D.

Distinguished Speaker Series:
J. Marla Toyne, Ph.D.

J. Marla ToyneWhere Condors Reign: Vertical Archaeology in the Mountains of Peru

J. Marla Toyne, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Bioarchaeology in the
UCF Department of Anthropology

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.
Tuscawilla Country Club
1500 Winter Springs Blvd.,
Winter Springs, FL 32708

Abstract:  Traditional archaeological practice involves mapping and excavating ancient settlements and cemeteries.  Bioarchaeological research of the cliff tombs in the Chachapoyas region of Peru is hindered by natural and technological challenges. Exploring these cemeteries requires the innovation of “vertical archaeology” which uses rappelling and rope technology and the incorporation of 3-D photogrammetry and aerial drone photography.

This presentation discusses how and why the ancient Chachapoya people created and placed their ancestors in these spectacular landscapes between A.D. 900 and 1535. Yet, while these sites suffer from the ravages of both looting and natural destruction, it becomes vital to use archaeological knowledge in meaningful and accessible ways for both local and scientific communities to advance conservation.

Biography:  J. Marla Toyne is an assistant professor of bioarchaeology in the department of anthropology.  She earned her Ph.D. from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.  She specializes in human skeletal biology, paleopathology, bioarchaeology, and stable isotope science. Her primary area of investigation is Andean South America, where she engages in contextually-based research focusing on the analysis of ancient skeletal and mummified remains.  This investigation allows her to explore broader anthropological interests including: the biocultural identification of violence and warfare, ritual activities, ethnic identity, mortuary complexity in ancient civilizations, and Andean prehistoric and Contact period social interactions.  She has been awarded research grants from SSHRC, Canada, and the National Geographic Society.

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