San Jose State University :: Faculty & Staff Web Pages: Viviana Bellifemine Sanchez-Chopitea's Home Page


Machu Picchu, Peru

Sanchez-Chopitea, Viviana Bellifemine

Lecturer AY-A,  Anthropology

Additional Contact Information

Office Hours
Thursday 3-4pm CL 402G



  • PhD candidate, Archaeology
    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2013
  • Master of Science. CSU-San Jose, 1997
  • Bachelor of Anthropology
    CSU-San Jose, California, United States, 1992


Viviana is currently completing her Ph.D. in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, UK. She is investigating the funerary practices at a number of sites in the Cuzco region to determine differences in the imperial governance interaction between the Inka state and various subject populations.

She received her Bachelors and later her M.A. from San Jose State University. Her thesis “Mortuary Variability in Prehistoric Central California: a Statistical Study of the Yukisma Site, CA-SCL-38” received the Outstanding University Thesis Award in 1998.

Most of her research focuses on the study of mortuary practices in relation to the socio-economic-political context among prehistoric societies. Her interests include: symbolic expressions of mortuary behavior, social organization of hunter-gatherer populations, the archaeology of imperialism, statistical and spatial analysis, causes of interpersonal violence, Native California, Andean pre-Columbian empires. For fifteen years she worked in culture resource management (CRM) in central California where she excavated and conducted research at numerous sites in the northern and Bay Area regions. She is also collaborating with other researchers focusing on the most comprehensive study of trauma patterns among prehistoric societies of central California.