February 2013

Cochabamba Archaeology School

Carlos Walter Urquidi Z. in a text entitled Half a century in the life of San Simon1 (1982, reviewed on the 25.XII.2008)- gives you many references close to the history of the current Instituto de InvestigacionesAntropológicas- MuseoArqueológico (INIAM) de la Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS). The information of this publication shows that the author has gathered documents provided by the general secretary, the file of the University and in the last 5 years also to the ex-principals of the Universities

By: Walter Sánchez Canedo
Instituto de Investigaciones

Dick Edgar Ibarra Grasso

It is important to refer to the dates presented for the period adding up to 1952 and 1967 which was the time in which Dick Edgar Ibarra Grasso (an Argentinian archaeologist) created the Archaeology Museum, the first school of anthropology of Bolivia (1963- 1965) as a part of the museum and the investigation about archaeology and anthropology in Cochabamba.

In the year 1952 Urquidi’s text literally pointed out: the Professor Dick Ibarra, director of the museum, has started to organize in order to enrich with more than 100 pieces of considerable value for archaeology, especially found in Ciacu (Arani), Cayacayani(Santibañez) and Sauces (Mizque). That same year the museum formally hired him for the professorship of American archaeology and for the constitution of the archaeology Museum. With his admission to the university, Dick Ibarra Grasso began his work a part with three basic main headings. The investigation of archaeology, the academic meetings- outstanding in that year is the rubric: “prehistorical Universal”,“Bolivian prehistorically”, “Ethnography, evolutionist and diffusionist”, “The writings of the current natives in Bolivia”, “Morgan, Engels and the modern ethnological studies “- and the publication of Ciencia Nueva magazine. He is the director of the ethnological and archaeology magazine of the archaeological museum UMSS. It turns out to be important to come up with a small parenthesis about this magazine, the first of anthropology and archaeology of Cochabamba, since it is the primal history of the publications in these disciplines inside the UMSS. In his prologue Ibarra Grasso points out:

Recently our residence in the city of Tucaman, Argentina depended on our situation there hired as a professor of the national university of Tucaman, institute of anthropology. This contract has ended and we haven’t had interest in updating it because of the missing of communication of the authorities of the university to make investigations, at least investigations to whom we dedicate… we have the same opinion about the management of the institution of anthropology as well as the school of anthropology. They had the intention to form licensed people for this subject but it was just shot down.

Facing the impossibility to resolve this situation locally we turned to other well-known authorities which we discovered in the major university of San Simon of Cochabamba, Bolivia the necessary patience and the scientific interest to realize the archaeological in this territory and establish with the material which we obtain to form anarchaeological museumfor certain university. The new territory in which our activities are developed is one of the richest areas in Bolivia in archaeology, and at the same time the area with the fewest students. We are familiar with the work from Nordiensskioeld and the Bennet, but they are not enough to get to know the wealth of the department. As soon as we got started here there appeared an antique pottery. Besides we give out the first news about the article in general. Cochabamaba presents archaeologically the diffusion of the Tiahuanaco Decadente in the centre and Westside the while to the east the ceramic Yampara which we have studied in the department of Chuquisaca previously (1952).

Taking up the references about the archaeological museum published by Urquidi in 1953 brings out the pieces of the museum, which are already more than 900. In its mayor part they were accomplished as products from excavations directed by Professor Ibarra Grasso in one of his many journeys from more than eight provinces of the departments of Cochabamba, Oruro and Chuquisaca.

Students of anthropology in Bolivia

For 1955 the following information appears: “Archaeological museum: it carries on in charge of Dr Dick Ibarra who is still increasing the income with pieces discovered by him and with generous donations from the city’s H. mayor office collected by Geraldine Byrne de Caballero and by Ernesto Hoffmann. Dr Ibarra has made many trips to different destinations of the country, in which he made essential scientific discoveries. Besides his participation in the first reunion of the round table about the folklore department in La Paz the university designated the Professor an honorary for his achievements, his unrest less labour and his dedication to science.

In 1959: Museum: because of his organization and wealth it could be considered as the first country. It counts with more than 12.000 pieces.

At first, Dr Dick donated the majority of the exhibits… but soon the museum became more popular and profited by many donations from different people.

In 1960: The archaeological museum: for the fame he has achieved within and outside of the country it ties within hundreds of institutions similar to the external. It attracts many tourists and studious people from all parts of the world. There have been classified more than 20.000 pieces. Miss Geraldine Byrne de Caballero was so generous to donate about sixty pieces and the mayor’s office donated something close to 400 pieces from the disappeared municipal public museum founded by Dr Guillermo Urquidi, the general director of the schools, the 14th of September of 1914. Miss Leonor Salamanca from Moscow donated 32 pieces from the archaeological collection from Dr Daniel Salamanca.

For 1961 the museum not only had a well-known prestige if it has not been for Ibarra Grasso who regained his international presents. The archaeological museum: The director, Professor Dick Ibarra Grasso travelled to Buenos Aires as well as to Santiago de Chile to hold conferences about his specialist and integration about archaeological expeditions from the catholic University from Valparaiso, in the zone of Atacama, where essential paleontological discoveries have been made, similar to the Vizcachani. Urquidi does not present dates stated for the years 1962- 1965. Recently for the last year substantial information has appeared: Archaeological museum. –the first class under the direction of Ibarra Grasso has graduated in the material techniques. In Quillacollo they discovered a monolith of basaltic stone. According to the engineers the megalithic, previous to Tiwanacu, is to say, between 500 and 1000 years before it was Christian.

Students of the first school of anthropology of Bolivia

Another important piece was a vase with an aromatic substance found inIquircollo which is one of the most beautiful pieces the museum has to offer. In Tarata one of the most antique fossils odds from America has been sent to the museum from Tiwuanuca for studies about fluorine. In the region of Puqui (Oruro) there have been found remains from the tiawanacota scripts. Mr Rafael Peredo donated Indonesianskulls, ceramics as well as stone objects from the culture of Sauces and Yampara. Mr Jose SoriaGalvarro donated drilling machines for stone. RufoQuiroga donated a keru vase from the third Tiwanuca era and the Hanzpiter husbands donated 12 pieces from the sauces and Tiwanacu cultures. The first promotion of the engineers who refer to Urquidi is built by absolvents from the anthropological and archaeological school which was founded by Dick Edgar Ibarra Grasso within the UMSS and which has been running from 1963 until 1965. Graduates who stand out would be Ramón Sanzetenea, Mario Montaño Aragon and Carlos Noya. These dates are also important because of other motifs: it shows that the UMSS and the museum, precursor of the current INIAM were pioneers on a national level from the academic exhibition in archaeology and anthropology. Unfortunately because of political decisions by the university this project was shattered, aware of the challenge of being taken back by the INIAM.


Instituto de

Translated by
Isabel Montes

Calendario Febrero 2013

> Ciclo de cine “Secretas esperanzas”
5 de febrero - 19:00
SimonKonianski - Director Micha Wald

6 de febrero - 19:00
Les petitsruisseaux (Río abajo) - Director Pascal Rabaté

7 de febrero - 19:00
“Tout ce qui brille” (Todo lo que brilla)
Directores Géraldine Nakache - Hervé Mimran Subtítulos en castellano

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