Anthropologists help re-wrap Amazonian mummy

A University of Kansas anthropologist and two KU graduate students recently coordinated the ritual re-wrapping of a 450-year-old Amazonian mummy in Tarapoto, Peru.

Bartholomew Dean, associate professor of anthropology, and graduate students Joshua Homan and Sydney Silverstein coordinated the ritual re-wrapping at the National University of San Martin Regional Museum.

KU anthropologists help rewrap Amazonian mummyThe mummy’s new wrappings were provided by the weaving association Warmi Awakuku, which translates from Quechua as Women Weavers. The weavers are from the village of San Antonio de Rio Mayo and are working closely with the KU anthropology team on cultural revalorization programs.

As a 2011-2012 Fulbright fellow, Dean spent the fall semester in Peru promoting interdisciplinary study of Amazonia at National University of San Martin Regional Museum, where he recently established a division of anthropology.

Dean has been teaching in the graduate program in conservation and sustainable development, an interdisciplinary training course dedicated to the systematic study of social change and community welfare in the Upper Amazon. He also directed the establishment of an Anthropology Field Research Station along the Cainarachi River, located in one of the globe’s most culturally and biologically diverse regions. In addition, he has worked with a number of collaborative research projects in the Amazon involving KU anthropology faculty and graduate students.

Homan is pursuing a doctoral degree and Silverstein a master’s degree, both in anthropology. Both are recent recipients of FLAS (Foreign Language Area Studies) fellowships in Quechua and are conducting collaborative field research with indigenous Quechua communities.

Homan earned a master’s degree in summer 2011 and a bachelor’s degree in 2006 from KU. He is a Salina Central High School graduate and is the son of Douglas Homan of White City and of Kathy and Albert Copp of Salina.

Silverstein has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley. The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU’s Lawrence campus.

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