"Good to Eat and Good to Think": Interpreting the Role of Plants in the Tiwanaku Temple of Omo M10, Moquegua, Peru

Author(s): Paul Goldstein; Giacomo Gaggio

Year: 2015


Much is known nowadays about the role of plants in Tiwanaku households and political economy, yet, their function in ceremonial contexts is still unclear. Unlike the state's heartland in the Bolivian altiplano, where preservation conditions are not always favorable for the systematic recovery of paleobotanical remains, excavations of Tiwanaku sites in the hyper-arid environment of the Moquegua valley in southern Peru have resulted in the recovery of a wide array of ancient organic finds, including botanical remains. This research focuses on the Tiwanaku site of Omo M10, AD 600 - AD 1100, that features the only Tiwanaku temple found as yet outside the Altiplano. Based on the systematic collection, analysis and study of spatial distribution of the paleoethnobotanical samples collected from the temple's three excavated platforms we interpret the multiple roles of the plants recovered in this ceremonial context. In particular, we focus on local species such as Zea mays, Schinus molle and Prosopis pallida, among others, which were "good to eat and good to think" in the Tiwanaku Temple of Omo M10.

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Cite this Record

"Good to Eat and Good to Think": Interpreting the Role of Plants in the Tiwanaku Temple of Omo M10, Moquegua, Peru. Giacomo Gaggio, Paul Goldstein. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395631)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;