Invitation to Virtual Presentation by Dr. Jeffrey C. Splitstoser,
Sunday January 17, 2021, 3 PM EST
“The Earliest Known Use of Indigo, Preceramic Textiles of Peru”
The Preceramic site of Huaca Prieta in Peru is famous for producing some of the world’s earliest cotton textiles decorated with complex colorful designs. Recently, indigo was detected in a 6,200-years-old striped fabric from the site. This discovery marked the earliest known use of indigo in the world.
In this presentation, Dr. Splitstoser will talk about the site of Huaca Prieta and its textiles, including a discussion about how the fabrics were excavated, how they survived over six-thousand years, their conservation, and how their structures, designs and pigments were analyzed. He is the textile specialist for the Huaca Prieta Archaeological Project (directed by Dr. Tom Dillehay), that led to this discovery.
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Dr. Splitstoser is Assistant Research Professor of Anthropology at George Washington University, Washington, D.C; research associate of the Institute of Andean Studies, Berkeley, and a Cosmos Club scholar. He is also VP of the Boundary End Center, an archaeology research facility and retreat in western North Carolina, and an editor of its two peer-reviewed journals, Ancient America and the Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing. He has studied Andean textiles for over 20 years. His Ph.D. dissertation is a study of the Paracas textiles (ca. 850‒300 BCE) from Cerrillos, Ica Valley, Peru. An authority on khipus—colored-and-knotted-string devices that allowed Andean people to record information without writing, he co-curated the exhibition, “Written in Knots: Undeciphered Records of Andean Life” April 2019, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.
Image credit: Fragments from Huaca Prieta, 4890-7000 BC, Museo Cao, Peru. Photos: Dr. Jeffrey C. Splitstoser