Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Hannah Abigail Sistrunk Humanities and Social Science

Geographic Connection and Ideological Division: Inka Roads in Northern Ecuador

The Inka Empire is known for its extensive road system a monumental network of engineered routes across South America. My research will be focused on one section of Inka road located in Northern Ecuador in the region of the Pambamarca Archaeological Project. This area is known for fierce indigenous resistance to Inka imperial expansion resulting in the construction of several large fortress complexes. Focused on the nature of imperial expansion and local resistance, I will survey the Inka road and its features with the goal of creating a regional GIS map, recording archaeological structures along the route, and documenting construction methods. Ultimately, I will test the hypothesis that this Inka route was constructed in order to co-opt local trade routes and fracture local resistance.

Message To Sponsor

Archaeology is my passion. I love digging in the dirt, carefully screening for artifacts, obsessively keeping the edges of my unit straight with skillful trowel work, and the eventual processing and analysis of data in the lab. I also love to travel. I love to be transitory and moving across landscapes appreciating the beauty of my surrounding, the thrill of the unknown, and the impermanence of my place there. This project will allow me to combine those loves as I spend my time hiking across the beautiful Ecuadorian landscape while systematically mapping and documenting the archaeological features. Im essentially studying the archaeology of travel, and I cant think of anything Id rather be doing. It will be dangerous, frustrating, and frightening as I cope with new people, environments, working alone and the need to gather relevant data for my research goals. However, the intellectual and personal freedom and confidence I will gain from this opportunity will be invaluable.
Major: Anthropology
Mentor: Christine Hastorf, Anthropology
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