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Proyecto Cerro La Cruz




Project Director:
      Melissa Vogel, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Clemson University. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. at UCLA.  Dr. Vogel has worked in various parts of Latin America since 1995, including Nicaragua, Belize and Peru, as well as in California.  She currently directs Project El Purgatorio on the north coast of Peru, the proposed capital of the Casma polity. This project focuses on sociopolitical organization and the secularization of the state during a time of political instability in the Andes. Taking a public interest approach to archaeology is an essential aspect of her projects, which work closely with local Peruvian communities.

      Percy Vilcherrez Mendoza, Lic. Licensed archaeologist Percy Vilcherrez completed his Bachelor’s in Social Science at the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo in 2001. Later that same year he finished his archaeology license, a separate post-baccalaureate degree in Peru. He gained ample experience in archaeobotanical analysis and zooarchaeology as an assistant in the Bioarchaeology Lab at University of Trujillo, and has worked on several archaeological projects along Peru’s north coast over the last 10 years. He has been an important member of Project El Purgatorio from its inception in 2004.

2011 Team:

Above: Melissa Vogel, Kathy Oliver, Allyson Kinard.

2010 Team:

      Co-director: Victor Falcon Huayta

Above: (Back L to R): Chris Looney, David Pacifico, Jessica Shomper, John Powell, Augusto Carrillo, Melissa Vogel.
(Middle L to R) Victor Falcon Huayta, Felix Isidro, Kenya Shujaa, Isabel Collazos, Kathy Oliver, Susan Mowery.
(Front L to R) Luis Isidro, Caroline Murray, Allyson Kinard, Roberto Pimentel, Justin Carlson.


2009 Team:

      Co-director: Percy Vilcherrez Mendoza

Above: (Back L to R): Regina Mize, Roberto Pimentel, Drew Norris. (Middle L to R) Isabel Collazos, Camila Capriata, Kenya Shujaa, Fidel Rosales, David Pacifico, Matthew Helmer, Susan Mowery, Melissa Vogel.
(Front L to R) Percy Vilcherrez Mendoza, Felix Isidro, Jose Ramos, Molly Conley, Dean Thomas.

2008 Team:

      Co-director: Percy Vilcherrez Mendoza

Above: (Back L to R ) Felix Isidro, Rachael Huggins, Percy Vilcherrez Mendoza, Susan Mowrey.
(Front L to R) Jamie Barrett, Kenya Shujaa, Caroline Murray, Matthew Hall, Chris Looney, David Pacifico, Lauren Coppotelli.

Above: (Back L to R) Jose Louise Cervera, David Pacifico, Carlos Infantes.
(Middle L to R) Fidel Rosales, Rachael Huggins, Lauren Coppotelli, Felix Isidro, Susan Mowrey, Kenya Shujaa, Chris Looney.
(Front) Jose Ramos.

2007 Team:

      Co-director: Sofia Linares Alvarado

Above: (Back L to R) Matthew Hooper, Melissa Vogel, Nathan Newsom. (Middle L to R) Sofia Linares, Joanne Stables, Caroline Murray, Toni Boyer, Susan Mowrey.
(Front L to R) Jose Ramos, Felix Isidro.

2006 Team:

      Co-director: Percy Vilcherrez Mendoza

Above: (Back L to R) Felix Isidro, Jay Dubois, Ron Steensland.
(Middle L to R) Bacilio Lopez, Percy Vilcherrez Mendoza.
(Front L to R) Melissa Vogel, Rebecca Bria, Fatima Vidal, Nancy Perschbacher.

2005 Team:
Due to changes in regulations the 2005 field season was put on hiatus until 2006.

2004 Team:
Co-director: Percy Vilcherrez Mendoza

Above: (L to R) David Pacifico and Percy Vilcherrez Mendoza.
Not pictured: Melissa Vogel, Kurt Rademaker.

Graduate student research:

     David Pacifico is conducting his doctoral dissertation research 
in Sector B, the non-elite residential sector of El Purgatorio. David is a
PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago and has studied Andean culture and prehistory since 2001. His research at El
Purgatorio aims to discover the way social identities and a sense of community were created in this ancient urban neighborhood at El Purgatorio. His research questions include: What was everyday life like at El Purgatorio? In what ways
were residents similar or different from each other? How were these similarities and differences materialized? David has also worked on archaeological projects studying the ancient Mediterranean,historical United States and elsewhere in Peru, as well as ethnographic studies in Peru and the U.S.


  • Director
    Dr. Melissa Vogel
    Department of Anthropology and Sociology
    Clemson University, South Carolina USA

  • Peruvian Co-Director(s)
    Victor Falcon Huayta
    Percy Vilcherrez Mendoza
    Sofia Linares Alvarado

"Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation."

Site maintenence by John Powell.