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Project Staff

The project is directed by Dr. Jason Toohey (Univ. of Wyoming), Lic. Patricia Chirinos Ogata (UC Santa Barbara), and Dr. Melissa Murphy (Univ. of Wyoming). The 2012 project at Yanaorco was co-directed by Claudia Pereyra Iturri, and the 2015 project at Callacpuma was co-directed by Henry Idrogo Zamora. 

Dr. Jason Toohey

      I am an anthropological archaeologist and my research focus has been in the northern Andes of Peru, but I have worked in Peru since 1994. 

      I have been involved in archaeological field projects in Southwest Germany, California, Wyoming, Baja California MX, and Peru. I have directed archaeological research programs, both in southern Baja California, MX, and in the northern highlands of Peru. My current research has focused on questions of community organization, early leadership strategies, identity, and the role of conflict and militarism in chiefdoms and early state society. 

      In addressing these theoretical issues, my fieldwork has focussed in the analysis of architecture, foodways, and ceramics.

      I recieved my PhD at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2009 and my Master's degree at California State University Northridge in 2000. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wyoming.

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Dr. Toohey at the Cajamarca site of Coyor.

Lic. Patricia Chirinos Ogata

     I am an anthropological archaeologist specialized in the Andes. I have been involved in archaeological field projects all over Peru, and since 2013 I run a research program in Cajamarca, including my dissertation project at the Wari colony of Yamobamba in 2014.

     My work broadly speaking focuses on states and empires, processes of colonialism, and the material outcomes of these colonial encounters. My current project focuses on the Cajamarca polity and its role as an influential social agent in the regional political scene when Wari arrived.

     I am currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I received my B.A. in Archaeology and a M.A. in Visual Anthropology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

Patricia Chirinos at the Wari site of Yamobamba.

Dr. Melissa Murphy

     I am a bioarchaeologist who has worked in Peru, Kazakhstan, Israel, and France, but my research has focused on human remains from the coastal regions of Peru, predominantly from the Rimac Valley and dating to the Late Horizon (A.D. 1470-A.D. 1532). I have investigated Inca and colonial health, disease, and demography and I am interested in the effects of colonialism, both Inca and European, on local and indigenous populations.

     With Dr. Jason Toohey, I am developing a bioarchaeology research program in the Cajamarca Basin in order to understand the lives, deaths, and mortuary practices of the prehispanic Cajamarca peoples.

     I am an Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Wyoming. I attended Haverford College for my B.A. and received my Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. To read more about my research, you can find me on or the faculty page at the University of Wyoming Anthropology Department.

Dr. Murphy excavating a tomb in Kazakhstan.

If you have questions, please contact the project directors: Dr. Melissa Murphy ( or Dr. Jason Toohey (