Tamara Bray

Tamara Bray



313-577-5958 (fax)


1202 Old Main

Curriculum vitae




Tamara Bray



Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Andean archaeology; complex societies; Inca Empire; Ecuadorian archaeology; early imperialism and statecraft; food & feasting; art & iconography; materiality-sociality; museum studies


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, SUNY-Binghamton, 1991

Awards and grants

  • 2018 Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Fellow Award, Board of Governors, Wayne State University.

  • 2018 Elected to Academy of Scholars, Wayne State University.

  • 2016  Wenner-Gren Grant for Archaeological Research on sacred landscapes of the Inca at Copacabana, Bolivia.

  • 2016  Marilyn Williamson Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Award, Humanities Center, Wayne State University.

  • 2013  Named Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year by the Presidents' Council of State Universities of Michigan.

  • 2012-2009  National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Award for archaeological investigations at the site of Inca-Caranqui, northern Ecuador.

Selected publications

  • 2019 "Recientes excavaciones en Intinqala: un sitio de ocupacion incaica en Copacabana, Bolivia. Boletin de la Sociedad de Investigacion de Arte Rupestre de Bolivia 33:43-71.
  • 2019 "Temporal plurality and temporal transgressions: Time and things in an early colonial mortuary assemblage from northern highland Ecuador." International Journal of Historical Archaeology 22.
  • 2018 "Partnering with pots: The work of materials in the imperial Inca project." Cambridge Archaeological Journal 28(2): 243-257.
  • 2018 "The Inca centers of Caranqui and Tomebamba in northern Chinchaysuyu," in Oxford Handbook of the Inca, S. Alconini and A. Covey (eds.), pp. 159-178. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • 2015 "At the end of Empire: Imperial advances on the northern frontier." In The Inca Empire: A Multidisciplinary Approach, I. Shimada (ed.), pp. 325-344. University of Texas Press, Austin.
  • 2015 The Archaeology of Wak’as: Explorations of the Sacred in the Pre-Columbian Andes. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.
  • 2014 "Analytical applications of fine-scale terrestrial lidar at the imperial Inca site of Caranqui, northern highland Ecuador." World Archaeology 46(1):1-18. (co-authored with Boleslo E. Romero).
  • 2013 "Water, ritual and power in the Inca Empire." Latin American Antiquity 24(2):164-190.
  • 2012 "Ritual commensality between human and non-human persons: Investigating native ontologies in the late pre-Columbian Andean world. eTopoi." Journal for Ancient Studies (Berlin), on-line journal
  • 2009 "An archaeological perspective on the Andean concept of camaquen: Thinking through the objects of late pre-Columbian ofrendas and huacas. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 19(3):359-368.
  • 2005 Archaeological investigations in northern highland Ecuador: The Pimampiro district as a multi-ethnic locale." Journal of Field Archaeology 30(2):119-141.
  • 2003 "Inca pottery as culinary equipment: Food, feasting and gender in imperial state design." Latin American Antiquity 17(1):1-22.

Currently teaching

    • ANT 3200 Lost Cities and Ancient Civilizations (F2019) 3 cr hrs
    • ANT 7625 Material Culture Studies Seminar (F2019) 3 cr hrs

Courses taught

  • ANT 2500 Great Lakes Archaeology
  • ANT 3200  Lost Cities and Ancient Civilizations
  • ANT 3220  Inca and Their Ancestors
  • ANT 5270  Concepts and Techniques in Archaeology
  • ANT 5600  Museum Studies
  • ANT 6510  Inca and Their Ancestors
  • ANT 6555  Cultural Resource Management and Public Archaeology
  • ANT 6999  Grant writing for the Social Sciences
  • ANT 7620  Seminar: Archaeology of Religion
  • ANT 7625  Material Culture and the Meaning of Things