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AIA-OC 2016 Educational Grants


The Orange County Society of the Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to announce its 2016 grant recipients.

The winner of our inaugural 2016 AIA-OC Society Award of $2000 is Jacob Bongers, a PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles. Mr. Bongers’ research will investigate Inca imperial strategies for integrating conquered societies into their spheres of influence, particularly in relation to local religious ideologies. His work in the Chincha Valley of Peru will examine data on funerary practices across fifteen cemeteries in this coastal valley. The funds will be used to cover the costs of additional C-14 dating analyses, which will help establish a chronology for funerary practices in the valley. Mr. Bongers will use these dates to determine the extent to which differences in funerary practices represented changes in local religious ideologies that coincided with the establishment of Inca imperial control in the region.


Jacob Bongers

The Society initially planned for one grant. However, with additional generous donations from our members and Friends, the Society has agreed to grant an additional stipend of $1000 to Cinthia Marlene Campos, working toward a M.A. at California State University, Los Angeles. Ms. Campos will undertake site surveying, mapping, data collection and analysis—including radiocarbon and strontium analysis of human remains, at a newly discovered archaeological cave site located near La Laguna de Tacámbaro in the Turicato Sierra, Michoacán, Mexico. During pre-Colombian times, the area fell within the Tarascan state, a powerful rival of the Aztec empire. This presents a tremendous opportunity to learn about the religious practices of a unique and virtually unknown Mesoamerican culture.


Cinthia Marlene Campos

Both of these recipients will also receive memberships in the AIA, as will Mr. Scott Sunnell from UCLA, who was in the top 3 finalists. His project involves hunter-gatherer resource exploitation strategies on Santa Cruz Island off California at times of socio-political changes

The Evaluation Committee consists of seven Society members, all of whom read, evaluated and discussed the grant requests to reach its selections.

We thank all of the applicants who presented wonderful proposals and those who provided them with stellar references. We hope to see some again next year.

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all!