UMMAA graduate student Jordan Dalton won a coveted National Geographic Young Explorers Grant to help fund her excavation this summer at Las Huacas, an agricultural site in the Chincha Valley on the coast of Peru.

“This grant from National Geographic is central to my ability to complete preliminary dissertation work this summer,” wrote Dalton by email. “Excavations this summer will lay the foundation for my dissertation work and help frame my research design for future excavations.”

Dalton, who has worked in the Chincha Valley for the last two summers, seeks to understand how life in the valley changed over a period of roughly 500 years—from when the local Chincha polity was an autonomous state (A.D. 1000-1476) to the time of Inca expansion into the valley (A.D. 1476-1534).

“This summer I will be targeting excavations in structures that pertain to these two different time periods to look for any significant changes between the two time periods and to establish a stratigraphy for the site,” she wrote.  

Last summer, Dalton found signs of construction from the two time periods she's interested in; she believes one structure is Late Horizon. This year she'll spend about six weeks excavating at Las Huacas, which is about 125 miles south of the modern day city of Lima. 

Jordan Dalton at Las Huacas in Chincha Valley, Peru.