Tamara L. Bray

Tamara L. Bray

Professor of Anthropology


313-577-5958 (fax)


1202 Old Main

Curriculum Vitae




Tamara L. Bray

Research Interest/Area of Expertise

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

Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications

  • Ph.D. SUNY-Binghamton 1991

Awards and Grants

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

  • 2016 Wenner-Gren Grant for Archaeological Research in Copacabana, Bolivia.

  • 2012-2009 National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Award for Archaeological Investigations in Caranqui, Ecuador. 

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

  • 2010 Recipient of WSU President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Selected Publications

  • 2015 At the end of Empire: Imperial advances on the northern frontier. In The Inca Empire: A Multidisciplinary Approach to a Holistic Vision, 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 6555 Cultural Resource Management and Public Archaeology (W2017)  3 cr hrs

  • ANT 7625 Material Culture and the Meaning of Things (W2017)  3 cr hrs

Courses taught

  • ANT 2500 Great Lakes Archaeology
  • ANT 3200  Lost Cities and Ancient Civilizations (F16; 3 cr hrs)
  • ANT 3220  Inca and Their Ancestors
  • ANT 5270  Concepts and Techniques in Archaeology
  • ANT 5600  Museum Studies  (F16; 3 cr hrs)
  • ANT 6555  Cultural Resource Management and Public Archaeology
  • ANT 6999  Grant writing for the Social Sciences  (W16; 3 cr hrs)
  • ANT 7620  Seminar: Archaeology of Religion  (W16; 3 cr hrs)
  • ANT 7625  Material Culture and the Meaning of Things