July 7 - 19, 2008
Explore Peru, its mathematics, cultural heritage and scenic wonders, with leadership by two Peru experts: Douglas Sharon, former director of the Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC-Berkeley and Carrie Brezine, manager of the khipus database at Harvard.
The mathematics of Peru will be examined through exploring Inca khipus, early Spanish-American mathematical texts, Peruvian ethnomathematics in general (including an examination of astronomical alignments, and of patterns in architecture and textile design). As has been the case at the destinations of previous mathematics tours, we will also learn about present day mathematics and mathematics education in Peru.
Highlights of the trip include Cuzco (meaning “center of the world” in the Quecha language) and mystical Machu Picchu, heart of the Inca Empire and one of the archaeological wonders of the world. We will examine Inca khipus at museums on site and hear about the latest research regarding these enigmatic artifacts. We will also go flightseeing above the 2000-year-old figures of butterflies, hummingbirds, a monkey and a condor at the Nazca Lines. In addition, we will explore the step pyramids of Pachacamac and visit the Pisac archaeological site and the Ollantaitambo ruins. Our tour will include the fascinating museums of Lima, the site of some of the earliest mathematical publications in the western hemisphere. A boat tour to the Ballestas Islands will allow us to view thousands of seabirds, seals, and maybe a penguin.
Peru has been inhabited by people for at least 12,000 years. Its rich cultural heritage from Chavin to Moche, from Nazca to Inca, is revealed in their jewelry, pottery, weavings, architecture, and agricultural developments. The coastal lowlands have seen numerous cultures flourish and fade.
An optional pretrip tour of the fabulous Galapagos Islands has also been arranged from July 1 - 7, 2008, for an additional cost.
Development Manager, MAA