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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

This course introduces students to anthropological studies of the Andes region of South America.  Its particular focus is on Andean technologies and uses of materials. Historically, approaches to working with materials in the region differed markedly from those found in Europe and the region remains interesting from a technological perspective.  Four main technological areas are addresses:  mining and metallurgy; the use of fibres (including for textual purposes); medicine and the body; and working the land.  Course material includes contemporary ethnographic and historical studies and incorporates three relevant ethnographic films.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Maggie Bolton

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • AT5041 Materials, Technology and Power in the Andean Region (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The theoretical focus of this course is on technology and uses of materials and the way that these intersect with questions of political power. Theoretical concerns are addressed by introducing the anthropology of the Andean region - with the rationale that approaches to working with materials in this region differed markedly from those of Europe until (and also beyond) the Spanish conquest of the 16th century. Different areas of technology and material culture are addressed through examining both historical material and contemporary ethnographic studies - from pre-Hispanic metallurgy to contemporary agricultural development and the role of scientifically trained experts in bringing about changes in practices. Four main technological areas are addressed in the course: mining and metallurgy; fibres and Andean textuality; medicine and the body and working the land.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed


Contact Teaching Time

22 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


100% coursework

Formative Assessment




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