Olaff Olmos


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(1951–2005) [Bi]

Chilean archaeologist and academic, one of the first generation of students trained in archaeology in northern Chile. At an early stage in his career he conducted fieldwork at Cáñamo, Tiliviche, Isluga, and several compounds in the San Pedro Atacama area. He was the principal field assistant in Quereo, one of the most important Palaeo‐Indian sites in South America, working on a project supported by the Smithsonian Institution. During the 1970s he worked at the Museum of San Pedro Atacama and in 1980 became director following the death of Father Gustave Le Paige. After working on marine archaeology in Ecuador during the 1980s, Olmos moved to Lima to study at the Universidad Católica. On his return to Chile he joined the Centro Investigaciones de la Realidad del Norte, where he was a researcher from 1984 to 1986 investigating the difficulties that Aymara communities were facing in the Northern Highlands. Between 1987 and 1991 he worked for the Taller de Estudios Regionales, dealing with civil rights for Andean populations. From 1991 to 1997 Olmos served as Regional Director of Tourism while also teaching at the Universidad Arturo Prat. In 2001 he was appointed Secretary of Mining for all of Chile's First Region, and at the time of his death he was Professor of Anthropology at the Universidad Bolivariana. As an anthropologist, and sensitive to the civil rights of the oppressed during the Pinochet dictatorship, he investigated political activists assassinated by the military regime.


SAA Archaeological Record, 6.2 (2006), 41

Subjects: Archaeology.

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