CSU Stanislaus -- October 17, 2003
Archeology Archives Established At CSU Stanislaus
An ancient slice of Peru's archeological history has come to California
State University, Stanislaus.
In what could be described as an historian's dream, History Professor
Nancy Taniguchi traveled a path through Sacramento and Peru that led
to the donation of a priceless collection of archeological research
materials to CSU Stanislaus. In May 2002 the University became home
to the official archive of the California Institute for Peruvian Studies
The Institute attracted international attention the following July when
Dr. Dwight Wallace, a CIPS affiliate, discovered an elaborate and unusual
mummy bundle at Cerrillos on Peru's arid southern coast. A woman's body
inside had been buried like no one else of her place and time some 13
centuries ago, covered with a colorful feathered textile bracketed by
two flanking wings under a mask on the outside of the mummy bundle.
Site records generated by Wallace, a retired archeology professor at
State University New York, Albany, had already come to CSU Stanislaus.
Wallace's successful application for a National Geographic preservation
grant led to a feature on the find in the September 2003 National Geographic.
The records currently being generated by this and other spectacular
finds will also eventually come to CSU Stanislaus.
“I think this archive opens up a fabulous opportunity for CSU
Stanislaus,” Taniguchi said. “Students and faculty will
have access to records and a link to Peruvian archaeological sites where
they can study and explore.”
CIPS offers archeological field trips to the Peruvian sites annually.
More information is available on the Institute's Web site at: www.cipsstudies.org.
A January 2002 meeting with CIPS founder Francis Riddell at his Sacramento
home set the stage for Taniguchi to bring the Institute's archives to
CSU Stanislaus. Riddell, Senior Archeologist for the State of California
who conducted extensive field work in Peru after his retirement, was
in failing health at the time and concerned about where the CIPS records
could be housed.
Once an aspiring archeologist before becoming a history professor, Taniguchi
had already planned to participate in an archeological field trip to
CIPS-supervised digs on the southern coast of Peru. Riddell had started
his work at the site in 1954 before making it the focus of his life's
work for some 20 years.
Just before Riddell's death two months after the meeting in Sacramento,
Taniguchi, with the help of now retired University Archivist Bob Santos,
brought the Institute's treasure of field notes, journals, records,
maps, slides, and photographs to a designated room in the University
library. She serves in a private capacity as the archivist and vice
president on the CIPS board of directors that includes archeologists
from all over the world.
Artifacts recorded by CIPS archeological teams at several sites south
of Nazca in southern Peru that include textiles, rock art, bones, and
a variety of pottery, are housed in museums there.
For more information on CSU Stanislaus, go to www.csustan.edu.