Monday, October 28, 2013

The Many Lives of Mina Primavera with Prof. Hendrik Van Gijseghem

On October 18th, I had the pleasure of speaking with Professor Hendrik Van Gijseghem (University of Montreal) about his work at Mina Primavera, a prehispanic hematite mine in the Nasca Region of Peru. His work focuses on the multiple lives of the mine and the changing relationship between the space and the people who used it. During his colloquium talk he explored the shifting nature of the use of the mine, beginning with its natural state as a geological formation, through its transition as a place of economic and symbolic importance, finishing as an important place of worship. He also spoke about its use in colonial times, as a storage place for tools and explosives. The Professor highlighted many interesting and beautiful artifacts during his talk, touching briefly on the Nasca Geoglyphs, the spirituality of humans and non-human entities in Andean mining, and the possible reasons Nasca people would have used the raw materials found at Mina Primavera.

In our interview he touches on his love for anthropology and archaeology, the thrill of excavation, and offers some advice for young academics - not something you want to miss!

Look for my next post on the Got Anthropology series, where MA/ MSc candidate Daniel Dick spoke on the topic of "Are Tattoos, Piercings, and other Body Modifications Natural?"

Important Dates:
November 1: Prof. Tanya Luhrmann (Stanford University) - Anthropology Colloquium Series
November 20: MA Candidate Jess Davidson speaks on "Is it really possible to be an 'ethical' consumer?" - Got Anthropology at U of T

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