Faculty & Staff

Donna J. Nash

Donna NashDepartment Head and Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Florida
Email: djnash@uncg.edu
Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website

Research Interests

  • State Development and Imperial Expansion
  • The Wari Civilization of Andean Peru (AD 500-1000)
  • Power and Political Economy
  • Gender, Ethnicity, and Specialization
  • Ancient Technology
  • Household Archaeology

Courses Taught

  • ATY 208:  Lost Tribes and Sunken Lands
  • ATY 334:  Latin American Art and Archaeology
  • ATY 360:  Methods in Archaeology
  • ATY 363:  History of Anthropological Theory
  • ATY 434:  Archaeology of South America
  • ATY 444: Archaeology of Power/Politics
  • ATY 449:  Gender Archaeology
  • ATY 478:  Field Methods in Archaeology (Study Abroad Field School in Peru)
  • ATY 479:  Analysis of Archaeological Data (Study Abroad Field School in Peru)
  • ATY 497:  Special Problems in Anthropology: Ceramic Analysis for Archaeologists (Study Abroad Field School in Peru)

Personal Statement

How did officials in ancient states and empires manage and control members of subordinate groups? I am interested in the development of bureaucratic personnel and governing institutions in early stratified-societies.  I examine the transformation of informal power relations to state practices through the study of articulations between households and the activities of emergent leaders in residential and public arenas of interaction.  Incumbent to this research agenda are many facets of social relations and group identification; among these are gender, ethnicity, and occupational affiliations.  To investigate these practices and the different kinds of social relations as they are represented in the archaeological record, I employ a multi-disciplinary approach to define how people used different places.  Using a context focused excavation strategy, I pursue this program of investigation in the southern Andes of Peru at sites of different scales whose occupants were controlled or in contact with the Wari Empire (AD 600-1000).


  • Lost Tribes and Sunken Lands: A Study Guide. (Kendell Hunt, 2012) (view on Amazon)


  • DJ Nash (2012) El Establecimiento de Relaciones de Poder a través del Uso del Espacio Residencial en la Provincia Wari de Moquegua.Bulletin de l’Institut d’Estudes Andines 41(1):1-34. (view PDF)
  • DJ Nash (2016) Clash of the Cosmologies: Vernacular vs. State Housing in the Wari Empire In Vernacular Architecture of the Pre-Columbian Americas, edited by Christine Halperin &
    Lauren Schwartz, pp 91-112. Routledge.(view PDF)
  • DJ Nash  and Susan D. deFrance (2019) Plotting Abandonment: Excavating a Ritual Deposit at the Wari Site of Cerro Baul. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 53: 112-132. (view PDF)
  • DJ Nash (2019) Craft Production as an Empowering Strategy in an Emerging Empire. Journal of Archaeological Research 75(3): 328-360.  (view PDF)

Current Projects

I currently direct an interdisciplinary project to understand the Wari Empire’s settlement of Moquegua, Peru. We are examining the significant changes that took place in the lives of local people with the intrusion of the Wari Empire. Most of all I want to understand how this small province on the Wari Empire’s southern frontier was organized and what political strategies imperial officials used to engage the cooperation of local people in the region. In the next few years we will be excavating two settlements that were occupied during the Pre Wari Era (100BC-600AD) and during the time of Wari colonization (AD 600-1000). One is located in the highlands and the other is located on the coast. Examining these two sites will give us a clear picture of the transformations that took place with the development of the state and the expansion of empire in the ancient Andes.

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