Personal profile


Samuele Tacconi is an anthropological archaeologist who specialises in the the art ad archaeology of the Central Andean region. His main research interests lie in the study of the material expressions of human cultures to answer major anthropological questions. These include technological change, cross-cultural contacts and exchange, colonial encounters, and the role of competition and games in society.

He is currently completing his PhD at the Sainsbury Research Unit, University of East Anglia, after conducting fieldwork in Peru and Ecuador, as well as several museums in South America, but also in Europe, and the United States. He is interested in exploring innovative ways to study old and often forgotten archaeological collections through new methods, including scientific analyses and provenance research.

He is associate tutor at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities where he is teaching a module on the archaeology of South America, focusing on the cultural achievement of pre-Columbian Andean societies.

He is leading a European IPERION-HS project involving several laboratories to study objects in different museums in Europe and South America.

His fieldwork focused on Central Andean material culture from a period between AD 500 and AD 1000, in particular a yet unidentified type of  artifact wrongly known as ‘yupana’ or ‘maqueta’. He is also currently exploring the metallurgical technology of a southern Ecuadorian culture known as Tacalshapa or Cañari within a broader Andean perspective.

He has published on the history of South American collections in Europe, documenting some of the earliest material culture from the north-eastern Peruvian Amazon, which bears testimony to the encounter between missionaries and local societies along the Marañón and Amazon River in the early 18th century.

Key Research Interests

  • Andean Archaeology
  • Amerindian Cultures
  • Missionary Collections
  • Legacy collections
  • Technology
  • Political ecology

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, University of East Anglia

Award Date: 3 Dec 2021

Master of Arts, University of Bologna

Award Date: 5 Nov 2019

Bachelor of Arts, University of Bologna

Award Date: 16 Jul 2015


  • Archaeology & Archaeological Science
  • Latin American History
  • Anthropology