Jacob Bongers published article in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology

Jacob co-published an article,”Painting personhood: Red pigment practices in southern Peru,on red pigment practices in southern Peru in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. Read entire article by clicking here.


In the Chincha Valley of southern Peru, pigmented human remains and grave goods were found in over 100 large and accessible mortuary structures associated with the Late Intermediate Period (1000 – 1400 CE), the Late Horizon (1400 – 1532 CE), and the Colonial Period (1532 – 1825 CE). We characterize 38 red pigment samples, reveal their potential sources and how they were processed and applied to human remains, and determine the demographic profiles of pigmented individuals. Results suggest that cinnabar- (HgS) and hematite (Fe2O3)-based pigments, likely from local and nonlocal sources, were mixed in water and applied to skeletonized and disarticulated individuals of different age and sex categories. We interpret red pigment application to human remains as part of a prolonged process of social dying that transitioned the ontological status of the dead and contributed to the development of social difference and group identity. Multidisciplinary research designs are ideal for studying red pigment practices, which are activities concerning the production and use of red pigment that range from procurement to the treatment of the dead. Here, we advance a methodology integrating archaeometric, archaeological, and bioarchaeological analyses with anthropological theories of personhood and social dying to investigate red pigment practices.

Congratulations Jacob!