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Wayne State Anthropology Professor Tamara Bray digs up new discoveries

Wayne State Anthropology Professor Tamara Bray digs up new discoveries

Anthropology Professor Tamara Bray has played an important role in new discoveries about the Inca Empire.

Archaeology Magazine's December 2012 issue highlighted Bray's work on the Inca-Caranqui Project. Bray believes the site, thought to have been the location of a ceremonial pool, was the last imperial Inca settlement constructed prior to the Spanish invasion.

The site, located near the foot of Ecuador's Mt. Imbabura, was discovered in 2007 by Ecuadorian archaeologist and project co-director Jose Echeverria. It lies in an area associated with Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor.

Since Bray's arrival, the project has documented imperial architecture, located activity areas and studied the relationship between the Inca and Caranqui.

"They found this semi-subterranean structure made of cut stone in the classic Inca style that had been completely buried by colluvium from Mt. Imbabura and therefore unknown to that point. It was remarkably well-preserved and had lain buried and protected for the past 500 years," says Bray.

Bray conducted four seasons of field work at Caranqui and is currently writing about her research. She has several articles in the works and will begin work this fall on a book placing the site within the broader context of the Inca Empire.