Dr. Christian Mader

Researcher and Coordinator of the Research Group "The Archaeology of Dependency (ArchDepth): Resources, Power and Status Differentiation"

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Niebuhrstraße 5
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73 62564

Christian Mader.jpg
© Barbara Frommann

Academic Profile

Disentangling Dependencies: Resource Use, Social Stratification, and Complexity in the Pre-Columbian Andes of Southern Peru

As an anthropological and economic archaeologist specializing in the Andean region and with a keen interest in comparative perspectives, my research is driven by the question of how to identify forms of asymmetrical dependency in the archaeological record. Integral to this question is the concept of resource dependencies embodied in a wide range of material culture. Resource dependencies imply two significant sorts of strong structural dependency within a larger ecological and sociopolitical context: the first concerns the dependency of people on resources of every kind, which is a crucial basis for the second, which is dependencies between humans.

The methodological key for the examination of resource dependencies is a holistic approach combining several lines of archaeological and, if available, textual evidence. Three important lines of archaeological evidence include (1) the analysis of landscapes, architecture, and households, (2) the analysis of artifacts and ecofacts, and (3) the analysis of funerary contexts.

Performing this research involves pronounced interdisciplinary components, such as the application of analytical techniques from natural science and economics. In my own project, the pre-Columbian past in southern Peru serves as a case study to explore the links between the access to raw materials, resource use, human cooperation and exploitation, as well as the concomitant dependencies on all levels.

Ph.D. in Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn, Germany

M.A. in Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn, Germany

B.A. in Cultural and Social Anthropology with Latin American Studies and Spanish Philology, Free University of Berlin, Germany

since 2019
Researcher and Coordinator of Research Group "The Archaeology of Dependency (ArchDepth):
Resources, Power and Status Differentiation," BCDSS, University of Bonn, Germany

Postdoctoral Researcher, Research Group "Archaeology of Pre-Modern Economies," Universities of Bonn and Cologne, Germany

Traveling Scholar, German Archaeological Institute (DAI), short-term research stays in Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, USA, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus

Research Associate, Research Group "Archaeology of Pre-Modern Economies," Universities of Bonn and Cologne, Germany

Research Assistant, Project "Center and Periphery: The Territory of the Paracas Culture in the South of Peru (800–200 BC)," Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK), German Archaeological Institute (DAI)

Teaching Assistant, Department for the Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn, Germany

Student Assistant, Virtual Library of Social Anthropology (EVIFA), Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

Journal Articles

  • 2024. With P. Godde, M. Behl, C. Binder, E. Hägele, J. Isla, F. Leceta, M. Lyons, E. Marsh, R. Odenthal, E. Fernengel, P. Stryjski, A.-K. Weber, M. Reindel, and J. Meister. "An Integrative Approach to Ancient Agricultural Terraces and Forms of Dependency: The Case of Cutamalla in the Prehispanic Andes." In Frontiers in Environmental Archaeology 3: 1328315. Open access
  • 2023. With M. Reindel, J. Isla, M. Behl, J. Meister, S. Hölzl. "In the Land of the Apu: Cerro Llamocca as a Sacred Mountain and Central Place in the Pre-Columbian Andes of Southern Peru." In Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 49: 104045. Open access 
  • 2023. With D. G. Beresford-Jones, K. J. Lane, L. Cadwallader, B. Gräfingholt, G. Chauca, J. Grant, S. Hölzl, L. V. J. Coll, M. Lang, J. Isla, C. French, and M. Reindel. "Beyond Inca Roads: Archaeological Mobilities from the High Andes to the Pacific in Southern Peru." In Antiquity 97: 194–212. Access
  • 2022. With M. Reindel and J. Isla. "Economic Directness in the Western Andes: A New Model of Socioeconomic Organization for the Paracas Culture in the First Millennium BC." In Latin American Antiquity 1–19. Access
  • 2018. With S. Hölzl, K. Heck, M. Reindel, and J. Isla. "The Llama's Share: Highland Origins of Camelids During the Late Paracas Period (370 to 200 BCE) in South Peru Demonstrated by Strontium Isotope Analysis." In J. Archaeol. Sci. Rep. 20: 257–270. Open access


Books and Edited Volumes

  • 2019. Sea Shells in the Mountains and Llamas on the Coast: The Economy of the Paracas Culture (800 to 200 BC) in Southern Peru. Research into the Archaeology of Non-European Cultures 16. Wiesbaden. Online catalog and database
  • 2019. As editor. With T. Kerig, K. Ragkou, M. Reinfeld, and T. Zachar. Social Network Analysis in Economic Archaeology: Perspectives from the New World. Studies on Economic Archaeology 3. Bonn.
  • 2010. Vienen y se van: Neuinterpretationen einer Moche-Ikonographie und der Tourismus in Magdalena de Cao, Nordperu. Munich.


Book Chapters

  • 2022. With M. Reindel and J. Isla. "Camelids as Cargo Animals by the Paracas Culture (800–200 BC) in the Palpa Valleys of Southern Peru." In Caravans in Socio-Cultural Perspective: Past and Present, edited by P. B. Clarkson and C. M. Santoro, 174–192. London: Routledge. Access
  • 2019. "La economía de la cultura Paracas (800–200 a.C.) en el sur del Perú." In Mundos excavados: 40 años de búsqueda arqueológica en cuatro continentes, 64–73. Bonn.
  • 2019. "The Economic Organisation of the Paracas Culture (800–200 BC) in Southern Peru." In Excavated Worlds: 40 Years of Archaeological Research on Four Continents, 64–73. Bonn.
  • 2019. "Die Wirtschaft der Paracas-Kultur (800–200 v.Chr.) in Südperu." In Ergrabene Welten: 40 Jahre archäologische Spurensuche auf vier Kontinenten, 64–73. Bonn.
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