Dr. Ruth Shady
Dr. Ruth Shady, a Peruvian anthropologist and archaeologist, has directed the Special Archeological Project Caral-Supe since the beginning of the investigation in 1994. She is credited with the discovery of this first known civilization of the Americas.
Dr. Shady is currently President of the Consejo Internacional de Monumentos y Sitios – ICOMOS Perú.
Dr. Shady studied anthropology and archeology at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. From 1975 to 1984, she served as head of investigations for the National Museum of Archeology and was made director in 1984. In the span of her career, she has effected investigations in Végueta, Maranga (Lima), Pacopampa, Chota (Cajamarca), and Bagua (the Amazon).
From 1992-1993, Dr. Shady was director of the School of Archeology at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. She was elected Dean of the Professional College of Peruvian Archeologists for the 2006-2007 year. Dr. Shady also has served as graduate candidate advisor in Andean Archeology at the Universidad Nacional de San Marcos.
When North American photographer Christopher Kleihege left the shores of Lake Michigan to explore the deserts of Peru, little did he realize he would soon be helping bring the world’s attention to the oldest civilization in North or South America.
Chris didn’t start out as a photographer. Instead, he first taught high school English literature and composition in the wilds of Wisconsin and then moved on to trading equities as a specialist on the Chicago Stock Exchange. At night, however, he did fiddle in his home darkroom.
Ultimately, the financial markets could not provide enough excitement for Chris, so he left behind the trading floor to embrace his two real interests, travel and photography. This route finally brought him to Caral, Peru.
Chris began photographing Caral in 2006, documenting the site both for scientific purposes and also to interpret the site as an artist. He has coauthored with Peruvian archaeologist Dr. Ruth Shady a photographic survey of this excavation titled Caral: The First Civilization in the Americas and has exhibited the fruits of this work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lima and the Museo Oro del Peru. He is currently hard at work preparing the next photographic chapter of this essential archaeological find, except when he is out riding his bicycle.
© Christopher Kleihege 2012