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Welcome to Stuff You Missed in History Class A production of I Heart Radio.
Hello and welcome to the podcast, I'm Polly Fry, and I'm Tracy B. Wilson. Tracy, I've been wanting to do an archeology topic for a while. Yeah.
I mean, I always like them, but it can be difficult to pick and choose. But then through a little bit of coincidence, Julia Teo came up three different times and completely random places for me.
I took this as a sign like one was in relation literally to the Disney movie The Emperor's New Crew, which has an anniversary this year, which is set in Peru. So that makes sense. One was like I was watching a completely different documentary, like as my background stuff while I was working in the sewing room. And it was about kind of a more general survey of archaeology and and came up. And then I was like looking through things in the great courses.
And then there was a whole discussion of one of Talos biggest and most significant projects. And so I was like, OK, I get it, universe. It's time wholy hotto, if you've not heard of him, is often called some variation of the father of Peruvian archaeology or the first indigenous Peruvian archaeologist or sometimes the first indigenous American archaeologist. And those are well learned names. But as I started researching him, because I didn't really know a lot about him, what really struck me was how his work was playing out across this backdrop of constant unrest and conflict, both for his country and his profession, because the two were pretty tightly wound together.
And so today we're going to talk about Teo and his work. But to level set, we're not going super deep on the actual archaeology.
That is because there are literal books and books and books about any given site he worked on, all of which have their own incredibly complex layers of nuance and discovery from when you worked on them to now and passing them into a show alongside his life story is really outside the scope of this episode, because I promise you, excavating his story is plenty challenging on its own.
Teo was born on April 11th, 1880. His full name was Julius Caesar Teo Rojas, and he was born in Harakiri, which is a mountainous province in Peru's Lima region. His father was actually the mayor of Wiradjuri.
We don't really have a whole lot of specifics about his early life, but we do know that his family recognized very early on that he was really smart. Yeah, so smart that when Julio was 12, his father took him on horseback to Lima so that he could be enrolled at the Colegio dillema to begin formal schooling. This actually took three days to make this journey and his father was not staying. So it meant that Julio was going to be living away from his family for the first time.
His father got him set up. He arranged for a place for him to live, got him enrolled in school, and then he headed home.
And for context, Julio turned thirteen, just ten days after he got to Lima all by himself.
This move had actually been initiated by his aunt Maria, who works in Lima at the presidential palace as a maid. She had made the case to Julio's parents that a kid like Julio should really get a good education, and she convinced them of that.
And things started out pretty OK in this arrangement. But not long after things got started with his education, Julio's father died. And that was a fairly sudden and unexpected death. And aside from dealing with the grief of losing a parent, this meant that Julio also lost his financial support. As a consequence, his Aunt Maria did step in to cover the cost of his education, but she couldn't afford to also pay for his living expenses. So Julio, who literally is really just a kid still at this time, a young teenager who wanted to stay in Lima and continue his schooling, did so by supporting himself.
And he did all kinds of odd jobs to pay for his room and board so he would work at the train station carrying people's baggage. He sold papers on the streets and he even worked in a doctor's office as an assistant.
He was also hired to deliver mail to Peruvian scholar and politician Ricardo Palma. Julio had become friends with his son at school, and Palma had seen in Julio just a lot of potential, so much so that he became invested in seeing that this young man was able to stay afloat. The story goes that the mail delivery job he hired Teo for had the second purpose. Palma had Julio deliver his mail every day at noon so the timing would work out so that Julio was always offered lunch when he made the delivery.
And that way Palma knew that Julio was getting a good meal every day.
This was not the only way that Ricardo Palma would prove to be Julio's benefactor. Just after Teo had enrolled at the University of San Marcos, the family helped that he had been receiving. Was no longer available, those funds just dried up, and his family at this point really kind of thought things were over for him in Lima and they urged him to return to Colorado City. But it appears that Obama once again stepped in. Although we should note that this story is apocryphal, it's not really documented that this was Palmos doing.
But Julia was, according to some accounts, hired on Palmer's insistence to work in the library. The Bibliotheque, a national Ricardo Palma, was director at this time, and he may have actually just created a job for Julio. But the important thing was that he was able to continue his education. So whether that is really what enabled him to stay in Lima and continue his studies is not clear. But we know he did stay enrolled at the university and he was working at the bibliotheque.
It also turned out that his early life in the Peruvian mountains meant that Julio Teo had a skill that was really valuable to one of his college professors, and that's that he spoke Kichwa Katsuo, which is called Ruina Seemy in the catch when language is sometimes described as the most spoken indigenous language in the Americas. And it's really a group of languages. There are several different varieties spoken today by an estimated eight million people. This is all different varieties of this language in different geographical locations like Bolivia, Colombia and Germanotta Julio's story in Peru.
But all these different varieties of Quechua all trace their roots back to the Inca empire. And even before. Yeah, and when when we were, you know, handing off our our outlines, Tracy asked me, would you say he's Tetuan or Kichwa? And the thing is, he never identified that way, at least not in his his life as we know it. That's documented. He always said that he was and I'm quoting a mountain Indian. This is an interesting thing that I have seen some theories on, but not really.
I know there are some papers written about it, but I did not dig into those super deep that some of this may have been an effort on his part to sidestep some of the racism that would have inherently happened had he identified that way. Because keep in mind, this is a kid from a mountain village who is in school mostly with very, very privileged kids. So if he was really, like, doing the identity of, yes, I'd catch you up.
It may have caused some strife. And even later in his career, that could have been problematic as well.
So for his purposes, he always just said when asked that he was a mountain Indian.
But what's interesting is that his knowledge of Keta was really, really valuable. It led one of his professors to ask him to assist with some of his linguistics work. And this consequently gave Teo his first taste of field studies because he was traveling to various locations to study specific dialects. In 1982, Teo entered medical school and he was also promoted at the Bibliotheque and Nazionale, and that promotion was into a conservator position. One of his projects in this new job was cataloguing the anthropological collection.
And while he was doing this, he came across a book that had been published in the United States and it included a section on trepanation. He recognized one of the skulls that was featured in that section as one that his brother had found years before the skull had been sent to Lima as part of a program in which the Lima government had asked the people of Wiradjuri to gather these kinds of things. They had not known the purpose of the program. But now Julio Teo saw that there was interest in the study of Peru's culture through history on a global scale.
Yeah, yeah. He of they had no thought that like, oh, this is going to get shipped off to the United States for some researcher there to work with. They were just doing what they were asked to do.
And he came away from this revelatory discovery, wanting to study cultural history himself. And he also resolved to learn English. While he had regularly traveled home on school breaks to visit his family, those vacations took on a completely different purpose. Once Taihu had become interested in studying the skulls of his ancestral home, he started exploring what chiddy on these vacations with this focus, and sometimes he visited archaeological sites.
And then he began collecting skulls for his own study of trepanation in historical context. He gave his first presentation of his work in this field at the Lima Geographical Society in May of 1986. To timing in all of this was fortuitous. He became interested in studying Peru's cultural history at the same time that a lot of the Western world outside of Peru was also turning its attention to the area. In nineteen eighty five, the Historical Institute of Peru had been founded, and just a few months later, the National Historical Museum was founded to operate under the historical.
Institute's umbrella TALOS presentation on Trepanation took place less than two months before this new museum opened, and he was still doing his medical school coursework during all of this.
And he did this kind of creative thing where he had actually found ways to blend his research in cultural history with his medical schooling. To him, they weren't necessarily separate disciplines. His thesis, for example, was about syphilis in Peru in the area's ancient history. And as he had prepared this thesis in which he had collected skulls to examine them for evidence of the disease, he had amassed a really significant collection because by the time he he was ready to present, he had gathered during his research roughly 15000 skulls and mummies.
Fayose work got a lot of positive attention.
Part of this was because his mentors really championed it. For example, after he presented his thesis, members of the faculty committee who heard it suggested to government officials that his skull and Mummie collection should be purchased to establish a pathological anatomy museum. The government did not follow through with this plan due to financial limitations, though. Additionally, Ricardo Palma continued to assist his career trajectory by introducing Julio and his work to people who were in positions of power and influence.
Yeah, particularly when people came to visit from outside of Peru. And if Ricardo Palma met with them, he would be like, Hey, do you know about this kid and the work he's doing?
It's quite amazing.
And this was a period when, of course, Julio Teo star was on the rise. But at the same time, the political climate of Peru was extremely volatile. In the late spring of 1989, there was a coup attempt in the ongoing conflict in its aftermath made Teo very happy to take advantage of a scholarship that he was awarded that was intended to support him in study abroad. After he had finished his medical degree, Harvard offered him free tuition.
And so he made the decision that he would head to Massachusetts for two years, starting in the fall of 1999 to his time at Harvard, was spent studying anthropology with some of the field's best teachers. He was also tutored in English by one of those academics. He was Roland Burrage Dixon, to use this time to conduct a study of the South American Arawak language visited remains of Pueblo villages in Arizona and also became a member of the American Anthropological Association. After two years of work, Taihu had earned a master's degree in anthropology from Harvard and that collection of skulls that the Peruvian government had passed on, at least some of it ended up at Harvard.
Yeah, he mentioned it later on in a paper that, oh, these are in this museum. And that's kind of the evidence that that transaction took place. But Teo did not return home to Peru after his time in Massachusetts. He was granted permission once again through the influence of his high powered friends back home to continue working abroad. His next stop was England. Through all his life, he had maintained his friendship with the son of Ricardo Palma, who confusingly a little bit was also named Ricardo Palma.
And the two young men had been part of a lot of the same study efforts and projects. And when Teo went to London, the younger Ricardo Palma, who had also received a scholarship for study abroad, traveled with him in London. Teo presented a paper at the 18th International Congress of Americanist, once an academic conference that's focused on the Study of the Americas that started in 1875 and continues today. That presentation, which once again covered the subject of trepanation and the skulls from dig sites in Peru, was given on May 28th of 1912 and the time that he spent in London.
Leading up to it, he worked with English anthropologists. He took classes from and with them and shared his knowledge of South America. After London, Teo continued his travels around Europe, stopping first at the University of Berlin and then expanding his studies at the University of Paris at the end of 1912 was a really exciting time for Wholy Otto.
He returned to London once again, this time for his wedding. He had met a student of London University during his time there named Olive Mabel Cheesman, and on November 20th, 1912, the two were married.
Pouliot also established a new relationship with Harvard. During the final months of 1912. He would be paid a stipend to continue the work he had been doing before leaving Peru. But this time he would be sending specimens that he found back to Harvard for the collection of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. So 1913 started with a new wife and a new direction for his work.
And we'll talk about who Ottos returned to his home country and how his career blossomed from there. But first, we will pause for a sponsor break. So everybody is talking about this information right now, and rightly so, but did you know that some of the first people to raise the alarm about the threat this information poses to our democracy and our communities or black women, but their voices were largely ignored. Women's voices are constantly left out of the narrative.
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For one, the museum to historians, you know, had closed after its head, who was German, was dismissed in a scandal that accused him of sending artifacts to museums in other countries for personal gain. The museum was eventually reopened, this time with a historian rather than an archaeologist as its director. This will become a thing as Julio's story plays out.
Additionally, Ricardo Palma had retired from his job at the Bibliotheque Nasional now, so one of Teo strongest advocates just did not have the same pull that he had once had. And as we mentioned earlier, Peru was still in this period of political upheaval.
Tell you, though, immediately got to work once he arrived back in his home country. He arrived there in January of 1913 and he traveled with an existing expedition to cover a lot of ground, initially visiting multiple archaeological sites along the way and writing up a report of this endeavor in March of that year.
And he also used this report to make the case, and this report was published in the papers in Lima. For the public, the anthropological science should be used to examine and interpret all archaeological finds.
This was sort of a way for Teo to establish his own unique expertise in the area. There was no one else in Peru with the level of experience or education that he had in anthropology. And so he was sort of saying, hey, if we really want to understand our historical record, we should make an official project of that nature and then give that project to an expert. And that expert is me. Sorry, that got me tickled.
I mean, he really was the only person to add this level of schooling, certainly by this point in Peru and really worldwide. I would say he had more education in anthropology at that point than even most other anthropologists. So he followed that publication up with Direct Action and the Matter less than two weeks after his article was published, he reached out to Guillermo billing Hurst, who had become Peru's president in September of 1912. His proposal was that the Muzio to Historic and National should establish an anthropology section and that he should be the one to run it billing.
Hurst agreed. That was in June of 1913. But by November of 1913, the museum was shut down and this was due to feuding between Teo, who wanted to re-establish the museum with a focus on archaeology and anthropology. And museum director Emilio Gutierrez, who wanted to focus on history, is the museum's primary mission. This is one of those moments where I'm like, you kind of all want the same thing just from different angles. It's really much of a fight, but it really wasn't that much of a fight.
As you'll see. In December, Julio Teo was named director of a newly established museum by the Peruvian government. That was the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. So the National History Museum opened, which, you know, we've sometimes referred to by its Spanish name museum to historian. As you know, Gutierrez was still running that museum. So they kind of had been separated, like given their own projects at this point. But even so, these two adversaries were not really free of one another because both of those entities were still housed in the same building.
Really, they put tape down the floor.
It's 100 hundred percent how it feels like you'd work on your part. You were glad you boys play nice. So in addition to all this sort of infighting at the museum, Peru's governmental conflict continued during this time. And in early 1914, President Garmo billing Hearst was ousted in a coup and replaced as head of government by Colonel Oscar Benevides. That in and of itself put you in kind of an unstable position. He had been appointed by the ousted president and the new government did not seem particularly interested in the museum, archeology or anthropology at all.
To make matters worse, Teo then got into a public debate in the press about whether history or the science of anthropology was the better background from which to study archaeological finds.
When his argument was challenged as being disrespectful to the work of innumerable Peruvian scholars on the subject, he really doubled down, talked about his education outside the country that only hurt his case. The historian that Teo had been having a back and forth in the press with was Horacio Artiaga, and he very quickly seized on his work outside of Peru to characterize them as out of touch with Peruvian scholarship and snooty and not really as well educated as he believed himself to be.
TIAs reputation suffered significantly, and by the end of March 1915, he had resigned from his position. And the museum to you was still doing work with Harvard during this time, so once he had closed out his duties at the museum and secured some additional funding, he planned an expedition south to Nasca in search of artifacts that he could send back to Cambridge. You visited a number of spots along the way, kind of taking an indirect route to Nazca.
And while he may have intended this to be sort of a getaway from the stresses of his conflicts in the capital city of Lima, he just ended up with more problems as he had been working at some dig sites in Nazca, questions had arisen about whether who Otto had the permits to do so, and the possibility that those excavations were happening without proper paperwork really started to hit the press. It turned out that he had not gotten the proper permits. Anthos expedition was cut short by the end of July.
He was back in Lima. The government ruled that he could bring his excavated artifacts back to the capital for exhibition, but they could not be shipped out of the country. It seems that Teo did try to make arrangements to send some of the pieces to Harvard, but his primary contact at the Peabody Museum died before those arrangements could be finalized. Yeah, this is a time when, as we discussed a little while ago, there was more and more interest from outside of Peru happening regarding their dig sites.
There was also a lot of grave robbing happening and they were trying to crack down on it. So even though people knew Teo, they were like, you don't have a permit to do this because we're scared you're sending our stuff away. Which he was.
Which he was. Yeah.
This all, unsurprisingly, continued to hurt his reputation, which was already kind of limping along. But he was by no means a pariah, we should say. He had plenty of supporters remaining and he was, as a consequence, able to get his proper permits arranged. And by October of 1915, he was back in Nazca, returning to the excavations that he had started earlier in the year. And he was also again, this reflects that he was not really like in the bad guy status.
You might think he was sent by the government to the 19th International Congress of Americanist in Washington, DC in December of that year. And while he was there, he presented a paper about Nasca burial practices. If you recall our 2013 episode on the Nazca lines, that particular aspect of the area's history wouldn't be identified until the 1920s. So more than a decade after he was giving this paper and while he was in the United States, Julio also arranged to take part in an expedition in northern Peru that was being sponsored by Harvard.
The late 19 teens also saw Julio Teo make a move into politics. In January 1917, he announced his run for a seat in the Chamber of Deputies, representing harakiri the Chamber of Deputies as the lower house of the Peruvian Congress. Their bicameral legislature is similar to that of the U.S. with a Senate as the upper house. He won this seat, although the election was contested. But when the dust had settled, he was a member of the Chamber of Deputies and he was immediately back in his old conflict with his former colleague, Emilio Gutierrez.
This is kind of a savvy move on his part because as a politician, Teo immediately proposed legislation that would reorganize Peru's National History Museum and put the National University of San Marcos in charge of it because he was also working with the university. This would have essentially put Teo in charge of it and in charge of his rival, Gutierrez, who we should note had plenty of his own supporters in the chamber to argue about this. This ended up becoming a fairly embarrassing series of snipes at one another, where Gutierrez claimed that when Teo resigned from the museum, they found a lot of suspicious discrepancies in his records.
Teo countered this by suggesting that some of the shipments that Gutierrez was making from the museum were also suspicious. There were actually investigations initiated through these allegations, but they turned up nothing till you moved on to other matters. But he would, however, take up this cause again during his political career. He kind of would periodically introduce this idea of like, hey, the university should be running that.
One of the projects you next focused on was an excavation at the WAMI Valley. He asked the rector of the National University of San Marcos for funding, and while the university was interested, there was a problem. TALOS affiliation with the school was through the College of Medicine then to be part of an archaeological expedition that was funded by the school. He needed to be affiliated with the College of Science or the College of Letters. So Teo quickly remedied this whole situation by presenting a doctoral thesis at the College of Letters on the use of mummies in ancient art as expedition plan was soon accepted and funded.
And he started in 1919 by traveling with a group of students to the Juanma Valley. The various pieces that the group excavated helped seed the university's. The aim of archaeology, which was founded in the autumn of that same year, also in 1919, there was more political upheaval in Peru. Augusto Bernardino Lygia Esposito, who had been exiled after he was overthrown in 1989, returned to the country and he was elected president. That's a very short version. There was, of course, a lot of conflict over it.
Teo was also re-elected to his seat in the Chamber of Deputies.
And once again, those results were contested before his election was certified as 1919 drew to a close Tear was instrumental in setting up a new museum with Viktor Larco Herrera. This is actually different from the Rafael Nadal Herrera Archeological Museum that was founded several years later. Rafael and Victor were brothers and Raphael's son, Rafael Larco Hoil established the museum named after his father with advice from Victor. So if you were confused by the very similar names, that's what's up with that.
But the relationship between Teo and Victor Larco Herrera soured really quickly when Victor destroyed a set of tracings during an argument. Yeah, that would end it for an hour.
Yes, I would think Teo probably resigned as museum director and he went back to focusing exclusively on his work at the university, although that too was fraught due to conflict with President Lygia because of political protests on campus, the president had fired most of the faculty and shut the school down the eventually reopened.
But there were ongoing issues with the government for several years.
But those who seem to be perpetually embroiled in drama, he was also producing some really important work during this time in his life. He was the first in his field to argue that Peruvian culture was not simply the result of an existing culture relocating to the area, but that it had developed on its own. It was also during this time that he founded the Peruvian Association for the Progress of Science, and he used that platform to argue for university reform. He wanted museums to have better organization and guidelines for doing so.
And he also felt that the education system of the country was falling behind and not prioritizing science, and that it needed also to be offering education to everyone, not just society's elite families. The attention that this movement got once again ignited the feud between Teo and Emilio Gutierrez, who felt that he had been personally attacked when his museum was used by Taihu as a problematic example. In retaliation, Teo made a government issue out of the book that Gutierrez had written to defend himself.
That book had been produced with government funding, with the directive that it was supposed to be about the history of the National History Museum and not an opportunity to Grindin acts against Teo. In this instance, it was Gutierrez reputation that really, really suffered.
The 1920s continued to be busy for Alioto. He started an archeology magazine through the university called Inca and also started actively teaching archaeology, something that just hadn't been possible before. Given that prior to him, the archaeologists in Peru were foreigners who were there for expeditions and not for teaching jobs.
Yeah, this really lays like the bedrock foundation for archaeologists in Peru because they just weren't coming from the country before this. And he also worked to really trace the histories of provenance of various objects that have been discovered in Peru, some of which had left the country. And his work in this area was a bit controversial because it often meant that he was having meetings with people that had stolen items or had robbed graves and then sold pieces to private collectors. Obviously, that is problematic in a variety of ways.
But Teo really believed that learning the provenance and getting this information was important to Peruvian history. So to him, it was worthwhile to get that information.
However, he could. In 1924, Teo became director of the Peruvian Museum of Archaeology, which was actually a re name of the museum that Victor Larco Herrera had once hired Teo to run, Larco had to sell it, and under the new management, Teo was reinstated. He had also just gotten a position of professor of anthropology at the National University of San Marco in the College of Science, so this is a really good time in his career. And it was also during this time that Toribio Makia, SSP, became a student of chairs.
And if that name is familiar, he was the first person to study the Nazca lines in depth. And he worked with Teo for years. Yeah, reading through, like, work in his career after this. It's like constantly like. And then he sent me here and then he sent me here, here. Like he really relied on him for a lot. Before we talk about one of the most famous signs that's associated with Julio Taho, we will pause here and have a little sponsor break.
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So despite some of the bumpy moments earlier on, Taylor's workload and opportunities really exploded in the mid 1920s, he headed up numerous expeditions and excavations.
He further expanded the university's offerings in archaeology and anthropology, and he worked to inventory the University Museum's collections more thoroughly. He and his team also worked on the famed Perakis Mummy bundles. It was a team that found them first, and over time, various archaeological teams would unearth hundreds of mummy bundles from Perakis, including additional fines by those teams.
If you've never seen photos or diagrams of the mummy bundles, they are indeed fascinating. They date back to the Perakis culture, which I think came up on Earth to this most recent time. The sounds correct that existed from roughly 800 BCE to 1000 CE and they're called bundles because that's exactly what they are. The body inside of each is set inside of a basket in the fetal position with various artifacts around them. And then there are layers of textiles that are wrapped around them from very finely embroidered pieces that are the closest to the body, to fairly rough plain cloth as the exterior.
One of the interesting aspects of TALOS treatments of the Perakis mummy bundles is the way he characterized and treated them. He spoke of them as ancestors and when the pieces were prepared for display, they were each represented in a very humanised way. He always wanted it to be clear that these were people who lived rather than relics or artefacts, and these mummies were a revelation to the world. One of the cool things about them, if you ever go looking, is that because of the climate, the mummification and preservation is amazing.
Some of them literally just look like a person that curled up and went to sleep. And there's very little degrading of the body. Several of them were shipped to various museums.
They were kind of called ambassadors of goodwill. And Tingo was able to use the ongoing excavation of them as a means to ensure funding for the university museum program because they got a lot of attention. So at this point, everything in his life seemed to be going pretty ideally. However, Deyo had over the years continued to have conflicts with various people over political and archaeological ideologies. And in 1930, things really reached a crescendo. Starting in August of that year, several articles were printed in the periodical Libertad.
Libertad blasted the information that Teo had aligned briefly with President Augusto Lukwiya. And this had, according to you, been a matter of the two men just agreeing on the importance of rights for Peru's indigenous population. But Lukwiya was deeply unpopular by this point and was ousted as Libertad was outing all of his allies.
And the allegations against Teo regarding his association with Lygia grew with every subsequent article. He was accused of theft, of having sold museum artifacts, of helping Lygia build a fortune through this illicit work, of having built a fortune for himself this way, and of illegal exportation of important artifacts to the United States. His previous run ins with both Larco and Gutierrez were also revisited. He had continued to have some conflicts with Larco as well, and he was accused of using his museum staff to plot with Lygia against detractors.
On October 9th, Teo lost his job as museum director as a consequence of all this bad press and his association with the overthrown Lygia. Although he did remain director of the National Institute of Anthropology at the university, the entire museum staff resigned in solidarity.
Luis Miguel Sanchez Setto was the new president of Peru at this point, and under his government, the National Museum system was overhauled, combining many of the disparate entities into one called the Museum National and under the reorgs. Because Teo had retained his position as institute director, he became director of the Institute of Anthropological Investigation. In May of 1932, the Peracha site was looted by Juat Karros, which are tomb raiders. Then the National University of San Marcos was closed because of ongoing civil unrest in the capital.
Sanchez was assassinated on April 30th, 1933, and the university stayed closed for three years. During that time, Teo was cut off from university resources and from his own work. During the years of the National University's closure, he taught at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru in the early 1930s were just a mess for him.
That looting was really. Problematic, he spoke out about it a lot and it became kind of an issue that he tried to address on and on and on to you, then asked for permission to do archaeological research at Shervin to Jantar, one of the most important sites in Peru that sits in a high valley in the Andes. At the time, Théo thought that it was the civilization from which South American culture had spread. But we know today that there are cultural sites that predate Shervin, who spent the mid 1930s conducting research at this site and others around Peru.
He had been there before, but he he had some very focused time there during this period. And then he toured the United States in the summer of 1936, giving lectures on archaeology in Peru and visiting museums to drum up financial support for his work. The Institute of Andean Research was formed later that year in New York by Taio, alongside a number of U.S. based scholars, and it was formally established the following year. The American Museum of Natural History let them occupy office space free of charge, and the staff of the Institute of Andean Research worked on a volunteer basis to secure grants and funding for various research and projects, many of which were projects that Teo was undertaking in 1937.
Back in Peru, Taihu made the acquaintance of Nelson Rockefeller, who was traveling on business. And the story goes that when he saw the sad, underfunded state of things at the Institute for Anthropological Investigation, the wealthy American immediately offered to help fund their efforts. This resulted in a deal where five of the Perakis mummy bundles were to be sent to New York, specifically to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ultimately, though, they ended up at the American Museum of Natural History because the Met did not have anyone on staff with the expertise that was needed for their preservation and their ongoing maintenance.
In 1939, the second session of the 27th, International Congress of Americanist took place in Lima and in addition to presenting a paper trail, also served as host to the delegates, taking them out to various sites in the area, both during and after the convention. And this entire event went really well, and it reinvigorated the archaeology community of Peru. And so the decision was made to form a new entity, the Peruvian Archaeology Association, which would oversee all archaeological projects in Peru in 1941.
The historic importance of the SHERVIN, the Tanta site, led to its being declared state property, and this was controversial. Taio made the case that Javin and other historically and culturally significant sites should be established as protected national parks modeled after the ones he had seen while traveling in the US and now a lot of them are parks.
Shervin, incidentally, is a UNESCO World Heritage site now as well. Throughout the 1940s, Tío remained busy directing and commissioning excavations and serving as an ambassador of Peruvian archaeology on the international stage. He had by this point kind of, you know, shuffled off the shadow of the various controversies he had been embroiled in and had become the nation's premier expert on its archaeological history while always maintaining that he was a mountain Indian, something that at that point he was kind of using to separate himself from the rest of the academic world.
Teo was diagnosed with an illness in July of 1946. Don't have a lot of detail on it, but he traveled to the U.S. two months later for treatment. He didn't really improve, but he returned to Lima to work in November anyway. And then he died six months later on June 3rd, 1947. Yeah, at least in the English language information I had access to, they never name what this issue was. So we're not sure it could be any number of things.
But we know that he had basically just a really rough illness at the end of his life.
And death was reported in a lot of papers across the United States, which speaks to how well known he was at the time, although these mentions were generally brief. And I looked at a whole lot of different papers from around the country and they all ran a pretty close replica or some slight variation of, quote. Julio Taio, 67, archaeologist, anthropologist and author, who was an authority on prehistoric Peru, died today. But at home in Peru, the nation really mourned.
A year after his death, his remains were moved to a mausoleum at the National Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. Today, there is a museum named in his honor on the peninsula at the entrance to the National Reserve.
And I wanted to close that with an excerpt from one of Tasos own writings, which he included at the beginning of a paper about the art of the SHERVIN culture. And he wrote, quote, thriving art characterized by its perfection of lines, its richness of fantasy, the symbolism of its representation. The proportion and harmony of the hole in the material used, which is almost always hard, Stone is the richest historical source and the best evidence of the high degree of civilization reached by the Peruvian race, the significance of its sculptural and pictorial works and the mastery with which they were executed all lead us to suppose that the culture of Shervin illustrated in its art is the product of a long process of gestation and elaboration, which must have been intimately bound to the material emotive and intellectual history of man, perhaps since his appearance on this part of the continent.
It was such a good summation of the way he portrayed ancient Peruvian culture as being this really vital, rich thing, which was very different from how it had been characterized before as like no people moved here and they brought their stuff is like, no, no.
They were developing like right along with everything else, which is really cool.
That is who leotta you. It's interesting. People still talk about him and his some of his controversies today, obviously, because he was so tied up in the ongoing shifting politics, which are very dramatic in Peru. It can be problematic in some ways, but I always kind of perceive him as someone that was just trying to get his archaeology done.
However, he had to do it.
We want to note as we wrap this episode that Harvard University, which was, as you've heard, a significant part of Taio story and was the recipient of some of the skulls and mummies he collected, issued a statement after we recorded this one, but before we published about the human remains in their collection, Harvard estimates that between the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and the Warren Anatomical Museum, there are remains of more than 22000 individuals in the school's museum collections, many of which have no associated biographical information to address this situation.
Harvard has created a steering committee on human remains in the collection, which will complete, quote, a comprehensive survey of human remains present across all university museum collections, as well as their use in current teaching and research.
That steering committee will also develop, quote, a university wide policy on the collection display and ethical stewardship of human remains in the university's museum collections and will propose, quote, principles and practices that address research, community consultation, memorialisation, possible repatriation, burial or reburial and other care considerations.
Do you have some listener mail for us?
I do. I do. This is from our listener, Mark, who wrote to us after our discussion of waffles. He writes, Hi, Holly and Tracey. My partner Emily and I are longtime engineers of the podcast. It's our go to when we have long drives together. We were recently inspired by your episode on the history of Waffles, where you mentioned that they were served alongside stews. As it happens, Emily had just come across a cornmeal scallion waffle recipe recently and we thought it paired excellently with a vegetarian chili recipe.
We thought you might enjoy hearing about it. So I've attached a picture and Mark also makes a suggestion for a possible episode, which may or may not happen. But he mentioned that it might be, you know, a difficult topic.
So he also sent pictures of their adorable dog, Lily, so that it would comfort us as we do any research on unfortunate things. That dog is so cute.
I would give it power of attorney. Mark, thank you so much for sharing this with us. And also, the recipe looks amazing. They also these beautiful slices of fresh avocado on top of us.
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