By Samuel Archer (’16), Erin Dea (’16), Kristan Griffith (’16), Hans Mantor (’16), Jonathan Wu (’16)
The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, along with Dr. Charles Stanish (Cotsen's director for 15 years, now on sabbatical), tasked UCLA Anderson Applied Management Research Team 10 with creating a sustainable preservation strategy for a recently discovered mound and geoglyph complex known as the “Carmen Lines.” The Peruvian Carmen Lines are situated in the heart of the Chincha Valley, about 200 kilometers south of Lima. Our team traveled to Peru primarily to visit a variety of archaeological sites throughout the country.
The Carmen Lines were created roughly 2,300 years ago by the Paracas people. Consisting of 71 lines and 353 non-geoglyph features (e.g., circular rock features, ceremonial mounds, settlements) across a 40-square-kilometer area, this complex is meaningful because it refines our understanding of human social evolution before the development of archaic states. We can learn how people in stateless societies went about the economic, political and social aspects of their lives. Unfortunately, the Carmen Lines have been damaged over time, so we set out to formulate a preservation strategy to save them.