Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Jean-Francois Millaire


Since the 1990s there has been increased pressure for archaeologists to present the results of their work to the general public. Archaeological site museums have proven to be popular venues for the dissemination of archaeological knowledge. These institutions pose challenges to museum designers and archaeologists, who must negotiate visitor and heritage sustainability. In this thesis the pre-Inca site of Huacas de Moche (ca. 50-850 CE), Peru, is used as a case study to examine how visitor behaviour and experience are channeled through site branding and the adherence to a storyline throughout visits to the museum and ruins. However, this thesis shows that experience is largely a result of interaction between visitors and tour guides. Ultimately, effective organization of archaeological site museums can positively impact knowledge mobilization and visitation, as interpretation is at the heart of museum planning and use, as it connects and occurs at all levels of knowledge mobilization.