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M. Elizabeth Grávalos

Postdoctoral Scholar, Anthropology
Dr. Grávalos is an anthropological archaeologist with research interests at the intersection of materiality, landscape, and craft production. Her work centers on the politics, sociality, and ontology of making and using ceramic and textile objects. She is interested in how artisans embody, share, and contest technological and landscape knowledge across generations and between communities. Dr. Grávalos's research is based in northern Peru, where her ongoing investigation into 'political geologies' considers how geologic resources are culturally made and valued, and how categorizations and use of these geomaterials foment political dynamics among pre-Hispanic and present-day Andean communities.

Since 2014, Dr. Grávalos has applied material science methods to the analysis of archaeological materials, including ceramic, glass, and stone. She specializes in laser ablation – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and thin section petrography.

For more than a decade, Dr. Grávalos has directed and collaborated on several long-term, community-based archaeological fieldwork programs in Peru. The majority of this work takes place in the Ancash Department:

-Between 2017-2018, Dr. Grávalos co-directed the Proyecto de Investigación Arqueológica de Jecosh (PIAJ; Jecosh Archaeological Research Project) at the highland site of Jecosh with colleagues Lic. Denisse Herrera Rondan and Dr. Emily A. Sharp. Learn more about this collaborative project with the descendant community of Jecosh/Poccrac here:
-Since 2011, Dr. Grávalos has collaborated with the community-based, interdisciplinary research program of PIARA (, focused primarily at the highland site of Hualcayán, where her work as a PI examines textiles and ceramics.

Dr. Grávalos's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (DDRI-Archaeology), the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Rust Family Foundation, the American Museum of Natural History, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, the Field Museum of Natural History, the University of Illinois-Chicago, and Stanford University.
M. Elizabeth Grávalos