Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Anita Cook

photo of Anita Cook

Anita G. Cook is an archaeologist specializing in the Central Andes with over 37 years of research in the region. She has conducted archaeological tours in the Andes since 1987. She currently teaches at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC. She has been visiting Professor of Anthropology at the National University of San Cristóbal de Huamanga, Ayacucho, Peru and served as Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Cook received Municipal Honorary Recognition and a Medal for defending and preserving the site of Conchopata-in Ayacucho, Peru. As director of the Lower Ica Valley Archaeological Project and co-director of the Conchopata Archaeological Project her research focuses on the emergence of early Andean States and empires in particular the Wari and Tiwnaku predecessors of the Incas with a particular focus on material culture, the visual arts, and iconography.

Her research has been internationally recognized through grant and fellowship awards including: the Fulbright Commission for field research; National Endowment for the Humanities, an in residence fellowship and Summer Research grants from Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University; and another in residence Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellowship, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, The National Gallery of Art and most recently with the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Dr. Cook is the author of Ritual Sacrifice in Ancient Peru, edited by Elizabeth Benson and Anita Cook (2001) and Wari y Tiwanaku: entre el estilo y la imagen (1994), and numerous articles. She has been a consultant for national and international museum exhibits, research seminars and sponsored research programs. In addition, she is active in conservation efforts to protect threatened cultural remains in Andean South America and is a founding member of the Latin American and Latino Program of The Catholic University of America.

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