"Feeding the Dead" at Chiribaya Alta

Author(s): Emily Schach; Jane Buikstra

Year: 2015


The inclusion of foods and eating utensils within graves at Chiribaya Alta, a Late Intermediate site ~5 km from the mouth of the Osmore river, Peru suggests that "feeding the dead" during funerary rites was a common practice within the Chiribaya polity. Thus far, however, these foods have not been systematically considered in relation to funerary practices. This study examines food items placed within tombs at Chiribaya Alta (n=307) and considers their potential symbolic meanings within funerary practices, as informed by documented ethnographic and ethnohistoric cases. We compare the foods included within graves to the to aggregate diets of skeletal individuals as determined through previously published carbon and nitrogen isotopic analyses. This study will allow for a consideration of the importance of symbolic foods within the daily diet of Chiribaya individuals.

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Cite this Record

"Feeding the Dead" at Chiribaya Alta. Emily Schach, Jane Buikstra. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398352)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Chiribaya paleodiet Peru

Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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