tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Ethnic Disparity and Stress in Prehispanic Peru: A contextualized analysis of Cranial Pathology and Facial Asymmetry

Author(s): Davette Gadison ; Danielle Kurin ; Kassie Sugimoto ; Bethany Turner-Livermore

Year: 2015

» Downloads & Basic Metadata


This study evaluates the effects of stress on a prehistoric population from the south-central highlands of Andahuaylas, Peru during the Late Intermediate Period (LIP: AD 1000 - AD 1400). This era was characterized by skyrocketing violence, resource competition, and increasing social inequality. We test the impact of these phenomena by examining cranial lesions and fluctuating facial asymmetry--both indicators of non-specific stress-- among different ethnic groups, identified by the absence, presence, and intensity of cranial modification. Skeletal analysis of 76 crania informed on age, sex, pathologies, and modification patterns. A Microscribe digitizer and attendant software programs were used to gauge facial asymmetry. If stress disparities between ethnic groups increased during the LIP, then we hypothesize that: 1) groups with modification will have higher rates of lesions than unmodified groups, 2) groups with modification will display more facial asymmetry than unmodified groups, and 3) cranial modification intensity will directly co-vary with facial asymmetry. Preliminary results suggest that individuals with modification indeed have higher rates of cranial lesions and greater facial asymmetry than the unmodified group. Finally, since facial landmarks appear unaffected by modification, these results support a model of increasing stress disparities between ethnic groups.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Cite this Record

Ethnic Disparity and Stress in Prehispanic Peru: A contextualized analysis of Cranial Pathology and Facial Asymmetry. Davette Gadison, Kassie Sugimoto, Danielle Kurin, Bethany Turner-Livermore. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398018)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America