Demographic Analysis of a Looted Late Intermediate Period Tomb, Chincha Valley, Peru


Ethnohistorical and archaeological sources establish that the Chincha Valley on Peru’s south coast hosted a populous and economically complex polity during the Late Intermediate Period (1200-1470 CE). A 2013 survey of the middle valley revealed more than 40 cemeteries containing over five hundred highly visible, above-ground collective tombs resembling highland chullpas. To establish a baseline demographic profile for this mortuary tradition, we conducted an osteological analysis of one looted commingled tomb. Analyses indicate that the tomb was a primary burial with a minimum of 63 occupants and nearly equal proportions of male and female individuals ranging from infants to adults. Juvenile remains comprised more than half of the collection, suggesting that in death children shared a community identity with adults. Cribra orbitalia, cranial modification, and red pigment application were also observed in the collection. This preliminary study revealed the potential for further research on coastal Chincha collective tombs to explore osteological and mortuary ritual patterns.

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Cite this Record

Demographic Analysis of a Looted Late Intermediate Period Tomb, Chincha Valley, Peru. Camille Weinberg, Benjamin Nigra, Maria Cecilia Lozada, Charles Stanish, Henry Tantaleán. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396163)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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