Dr Marisa Lazzari

Research interests

The archaeology of circulation in the south-central Andes

I look at social interaction and the exchange of goods as components of what is considered a wider field of social practices, namely the sphere of circulation. My work focuses on the south-central Andes and north-western Argentina in particular, looking at long-term trends in the technology, consumption, and distribution of lithic tools and raw materials (obsidian and others). I consider these materials in the context of other kinds of archaeological evidence, such as ceramic iconography, and the intra-site and regional material patterns connected to everyday life in the past. This approach allows the exploration of ancient circulation practices, focusing on mobile artefacts as mediators in the weaving of landscapes as both real and imagined spaces.

Provenance studies and social archaeology

I am developping a research programme that integrates geochemical sourcing methods of obsidian and pottery within social archaeology interpretive frameworks. The programme focuses on identifying the geochemical fingerprints of archaeological lithics and ceramics from NW Argentina through Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis, and combining these results with petrography, technological analysis, and archaeological contextual analysis. The latter tasks are conducted in collaboration with the PASCAL research project, based at the Museo Etnográfico “J.B. Ambrosetti” (Buenos Aires, Argentina), as well as researchers based at the University of Tucumán (Argentina). Dr Glascock (MURR, University of Missouri) and his team conduct the geochemical analysis of archaeological materials.


AHRC Early Career grant (2011-2013) A social landscape without a centre: the circulation of materials and skills in NW Argentina (First millennium AD).

British Academy Small Research Grants (2009-10) Ancient social networks of North Western Argentina: The provenance of obsidian and pottery in early sedentary communities (First millennium AD).


Museo Etnográfico 'Juan B. Ambrosetti', Universidad de Buenos Aires


Instituto de Arqueología y Museo, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán (International Research Associate)


MURR Archaeometry, University of Missouri


Materiality, landscapes, and heritage

This research explores issues of materiality, landscape and cultural heritage that are at the heart of contemporary Indigenous identity in north-western Argentina. The project started as a comparative approach to this topic through the exploration of different contemporary case studies in Argentina and Australia, and is currently focused on the Argentinean case.

A new stage is currently underway, expnding the initial concerns to develop an international research network on identity, materiality and archaeological practice. Two workshops have been organised to facilitate this network, the first one at the University of Tucumán, Argentina (April 2011) and the second one at the University of Exeter (September 2011). More information on this project can be found here:


Funding:  AHRC Research Networking Scheme (2011-12) Identities as socio-material networks: past and present configurations in South America and beyond.

Partner Institution: Instituto de Arqueología y Museo, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina


Research collaborations

My archaeological work in NW Argentina is conducted within the wider framework of the PASCAL project (Proyecto Arqueológico Sur Calchaquí), directed by Prof. María Cristina Scattolin, which is based at the Museo Etnografico "Juan B. Ambrosetti', University of Buenos Aires. This program of work is funded by the Raíces Program of the Argentinean National Agency for Science and Technology (ANPCyT) and by the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET).


I am also an international research associate at the Instituto de Arqueología y Museo, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina. This institute was the partner institution in the AHRC-funded Research Networking Grant (UK) “Identities as socio- material networks: past and present configurations in South America and beyond.” February 2011-April 2012. We continue to collaborate on publication and design of research funding initiatives connected to regional archaeology and heritage issues in NW Argentina, particularlly with Dr Maria Alejandra (see Publications)