Institute for the Advanced Study of Culture and the Environment

Welcome to IASCE

The Institute provides the physical and intellectual infrastructure to create and disseminate transdisciplinary knowledge about culture and the environment through seminars and working groups.  We currently have four foci: 1) Evolutionary theory, both cultural and biological, 2) the Anthropocene, 3) Ancient diseases and nutrition, and 4) East African and Indian Ocean. We draw on faculty from across the College of Arts and Sciences and beyond including those in the sciences, humanities, and professional schools.    

Spotlight on


IASCE Director Charles Stanish podcast interview on Chincha and Nasca Valley geoglyphs

IASCE Director Charles Stanish was the special guest of the popular History Fuzz podcast discussing Chincha and Nasca Valley geoglyphs. Dr Stanish We learn how emerging ruling classes conducted elaborate open-air theatrical productions within assemblies of mounds, platforms, and geoglyphs. After outlining the underlying archaeoastronomy, Charles explained how dominant classes engaged in competitive feasting, offering pilgrims a ritualized-political spectacle to garner widespread support. He also argued about Cuzco’s controversial ceque system of alignments and shrines, or huacas, demonstrating how his empirical approach to Inca alignments challenges the earlier works of structuralists.