tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Formation and Transformation of Identities in the Andes: The Constructions of Childhood among the Tiwanaku

Author(s): Deborah Blom ; Kelly Knudson ; John Janusek ; Sara Becker ; Corey Bowen

Year: 2016

» Downloads & Basic Metadata


Despite their importance, little attention has been paid to childhood and the roles of children in the ancient Andes. Here, we focus our case study on the Tiwanaku polity of the South Central Andes, which expanded through migration and culture contact across parts of Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Argentina between ca. 500-1100AD. The way the lives of children are structured and shaped are fundamental to understanding the formation and maintenance of states and their impact on the life experiences of children and adults. Using multiple lines of evidence, we focus particularly on the formation and transformation of social identities, the lived childhood experience, and constructions of childhood in the Tiwanaku state. Our data include ethnographic and ethnohistoric sources, bioarchaeological data on cranial modification, paleopathology, and funerary patterns, as well as biogeochemical indicators of paleodiet and paleomobility. This research on Tiwanaku shifts the debate from the traditional questions about the manifestations of state power in the public sphere to considerations of the state in the private sphere, through the perspective of childhood.

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Cite this Record

Formation and Transformation of Identities in the Andes: The Constructions of Childhood among the Tiwanaku. Deborah Blom, Kelly Knudson, John Janusek, Sara Becker, Corey Bowen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403767)


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