This article addresses the archaeological activities that George Dorsey carried out in Peru at the end of the nineteenth century as commissioner of the Ethnology Department of theWorld's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Dorsey's main objective was to carry out archaeological excavations and collect artifacts for display at the Exposition. In particular, he was commissioned to excavate tombs in the Ancón necropolis. This article describes the methodology and the interpretations developed by Dorsey on his work at Ancón, as well as the historical, institutional, and personal context in which Dorsey carried out his activities, along with the implications of his work for the development of scientific archaeology in Peru and the USA. Without understanding the social, economic, political, and ideological fabric in which Dorsey was immersed, his role in the emergence of archaeology as a scientific discipline at the end of the nineteenth century cannot be properly understood.
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Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Society for American Archaeology.
- George Dorsey
- World's Columbian Exposition
- archaeological collections
- necropolis of Ancón