Luis Jaime Castillo Butters

Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

Election Year: 2019
Primary Section: 51, Anthropology
Membership Type: International Member


Luis Jaime Castillo Butters is an archaeologist recognized for his work on the development of complex societies in the Jequetepeque valley, Peru. He is known specially for his studies on the Moche society, particularly of their funerary practices, iconography, ideology and collapse. Recently, he has focused on implementing new technologies and methodologies for research and conservation of archaeological and heritage sites. He graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru with a degree in Archaeology and from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Ph.D. in Anthropology. He has been a professor at the Department of Humanities at the Catholic University since 1997 and has been Director for Latin America of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, leading several community development projects around endangered archaeological sites in Peru. He is currently the Minister of Culture of Peru.

Research Interests

Luis Jaime Castillo is director of the San José de Moro Archaeological Program, based on the North Coast of Peru, which focuses on the Moche societies that developed in this region. Through the examination of funerary and ceremonial contexts at the San José de Moro Archaeological Complex and of the remains of domestic settlements such as Cerro Chepén and San Ildefonso, the Program has approached subjects such as the chronology of the region, ritual and religion, political organization and ideology, iconography and technologies of production of ceramics and metallurgy. With aims to improve the quality of the documentation of contexts and artifacts, the program has successfully integrated the use of archaeometrical techniques, as well as aerial photography and tridimensional modelling in order to broaden our understanding of the archaeological record. The program has thus developed new methods that allow researchers to register sites in detail, with both photographic and geospatial precision using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). The results of the application of these methods have proven to be highly effective in identifying, documenting and monitoring damages and potential threats to heritage sites.

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