Biography

Dr Lau is a specialist in the arts and archaeology of the Americas, especially of South America and the Central Andes. Recent field projects include: 1) studies at the large fortress-town of Yayno (Pomabamba), focusing on its monumental defensive and residential constructions (AD 400-700), and 2) archaeological survey and ethnographic studies in Pallasca. He is a founding editor of the journal World Art (Taylor and Francis).

Career History

Dr Lau received his doctorate from Yale University, and his PhD research focuses on the ancient cultures and societies of Peru's highlands. He joined the Sainsbury Research Unit of the School in 2002, after a Fellowship in Pre-Columbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks.

Academic Background

B.A., M.A. Archaeological Studies, Yale University (1990)

MPhil, PhD Anthropology; Yale University (2001)

All Publications

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Lau, G.

(2017)

South America - Andes,

in Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Figurines.

pp. 391-415

ISBN 9780199675616

(Chapter (peer-reviewed))

(Published)


Lau, G. F.

(2016)

On the Horizon: Art, Valuables and Large-Scale Interaction Networks in the Ancient Andes,

in The Routledge Handbook of Archaeology and Globalization.

Routledge

pp. 194-211

ISBN 9780415841306

Full Text

(Chapter (peer-reviewed))

(Published)


Lau, G.

(2016)

An Archaeology of Ancash: Stones, Ruins and Communities in Andean Peru,

Routledge

ISBN 9781138898998

Full Text UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Lau, G. F.

(2016)

Different kinds of dead: Presencing Andean expired beings,

in Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World : "Death Shall Have No Dominion".

Cambridge University Press

pp. 168-186

ISBN 9781107082731

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Lau, G.

(2016)

Culturas en contacto: interacción Recuay y Moche en la región norperuana,

in Moche y sus vecinos : reconstruyendo identidades.

Museo de Arte de Lima

pp. 56-67

ISBN 978-9972-718-50-2

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Lau, G.

(2016)

Peligros ambientales y el archivo arqueológico: culturas y vulnerabilidad antigua en la sierra de Ancash, Peru,

in Las sociedades andinas frente a los cambios pasados y actuales: dinámicas territoriales, crisis, fronteras y movilidades.

Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos

pp. 51-87

ISBN 978-9972-623-99-8

(Chapter (peer-reviewed))

(Published)


Szpak, P., Millaire, J., White, C., Lau, G., Surette, F., Longstaffe, F.

(2015)

Origins of Prehispanic Camelid Wool Textiles from the North and Central Coasts of Peru Traced by Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopic Analyses,

in Current Anthropology

56

(3)

pp. 449-459

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lau, G.

(2015)

The Dead and the Longue Durée in Peru’s North Highlands,

in Living with the Dead in the Andes.

Tucson: University of Arizona Press

pp. 200-244

ISBN 978-0-8165-2977-3

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Lau, G., Sekules, V., Thofner, M.

(2014)

A world (art) of senses, value and display,

in World Art

4

(2)

pp. 133-136

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lau, G.

(2014)

On textiles and alterity in the Recuay culture (AD 200-700), Ancash, Peru,

in Textiles, Technical Practice and Power in the Andes.

Archetype

pp. 327-344

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Lau, G.

(2014)

A materiality of opposition: on ancient conflict and organization in Peru’s north highlands,

in Embattled Bodies, Embattled Places: War in Pre-Columbian America.

Dumbarton Oaks

pp. 315-340

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Lau, G. F.

(2013)

Ancient Alterity in the Andes: A Recognition of Others,

Routledge

ISBN 9780415519229, 9780415519212

Full Text UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Lau, G., Sekules, V., Thofner, M.

(2013)

Afterword: Why ‘Art Makes Society’,

in World Art

3

(1)

pp. 163-168

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lau, G.

(2012)

Intercultural relations in northern Peru: the north central highlands during the Middle Horizon,

in Boletín de Arqueología PUCP

16

pp. 23-52

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lau, G.

(2012)

Visualising alterity: scalar views of predation in ancient Peru,

in World Art

2

(1)

pp. 119-134

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lau, G.

(2012)

The 1st millennium AD in north central Peru: Critical perspectives on a linguistic prehistory,

in Archaeology and Linguistics in the Andes.

British Academy

pp. 163-196

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Lau, G., Sekules, V.

(2012)

Contingent arts, contingent worlds,

in World Art

2

(2)

pp. 147-152

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lau, G., Sekules, V.

(2012)

Outside things?,

in World Art

2

(1)

pp. 1-8

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lau, G.

(2011)

Andean Expressions: Art and Archaeology of the Recuay Culture,

University of Iowa Press

ISBN 978-1587299735

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Rycroft, D., Lau, G., Sekules, V.

(2011)

Editorial,

in World Art

1

(2)

pp. 151-160

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

  • Andean material culture and visual expression
  • Social complexity
  • World art and archaeology
  • Amerindian material culture and technology

Current Research Projects

Research in highland Peru.  The excavations are centred on the prehispanic fortified town of Yayno (AD 400 – 800) and its network of surrounding villages. The research focuses on the Recuay culture (AD 1–700), which flourished just below the snowy peaks of the Cordillera Blanca, the highest mountain chain in the tropics. Before disappearing without explanation around AD 700, the people left behind distinctive and finely made ceramics, stone sculpture, metal jewellery, and palatial buildings.

Since 2005, Dr Lau has led a team conducting excavations, mapping and surface survey – in which several UEA undergraduate and postgraduate students have participated. The findings so far indicate it was the capital of a large chiefly society which prospered through agriculture and llama/camelid herding. Local lords built monumental buildings and amassed luxury goods, such as fine pottery, gold and lapidary work on a mountain top, 4150 metres above sea level.  Recent survey work focused on monumental ruins and use of stone in northern Ancash.

Other current research collaborations include: characterisation studies of camelid bone and textile techniques; characterisation studies and ancient DNA work on skeletal material from Chinchawas; materialities of stone; Andean figurines; Pre-Columbian collections in Europe.

Since 2011, he has been an editor of the journal World Art.

 

Teaching Interests

Art and archaeology of the Americas

Archaeological theory

Research supervision in the arts, archaeology and anthropology of the Americas: Pre-Columbian art, Central Andes, Amerindian themes, materiality and material culture

Teaching Activities

  • Warfare in the New World
  • Art and Archaeology of Death in the Americas
  • Art and Political Strategy in Ancient America
  • Theory in Archaeology
  • Pre-Columbian Architecture
  • Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Andes
  • Precolumbian Worlds: Arts | Substances | Senses