James Davenport Awarded a Summer Fellowship in the Pre-Columbian Studies Program at Dumbarton Oaks

Departmental News

Posted:  Feb 24, 2020 - 12:00pm

James Davenport, Archaeology Graduate Student, has been awarded a summer fellowship in the Pre-Columbian Studies Programat Dumbarton Oaks in Washington D.C.

The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., was established in 1940 by Robert and Mildred Bliss in conjunction with Harvard University. Its mission is to support and promote scholarship in three areas of study: Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape studies. On its campus is a museum with collections of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian artifacts, an historic garden, and an extensive research library. The fellowship program at Dumbarton Oaks allows scholars in these fields of study to be in residence and devote full time to their study projects. The summer fellowship is awarded for the term June 15 through August 7, 2020.

While at Dumbarton Oaks, James will be working on finishing his dissertation. His research is focused on how empires work to establish and maintain control and influence over their subjects. Specifically, he is investigating how the Inka empire organized the production of its imperial style Inka Polychrome pottery for use at state-sponsored rituals, feasts, ceremonies and other events that occurred in the provinces. The Inka required tribute in labor from their subjects, including the production of crafts in imperial styles, such as Inka Polychrome pottery. His research utilizes ceramic artifacts from the collections of three museums that come from the important provincial Inka center of Pachacamac. Using a range of traditional and archaeometric analyses, James is reconstructing the production sequence of this pottery to answer the question: who made this pottery, and where?