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Those Who Came Before: Investigating Diet, Health and Mobility in the Moche Valley, 1800 BC – AD 200

Author(s): Celeste Gagnon ; Bethany Turner

Year: 2016

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Summary

Much sweat and ink has been shed investigating the Moche of north coastal Peru. But what of those who came before? In order to understand the Moche world, we must explore their history. To address this issue, the skeletal remains of over 850 individuals who lived in the Moche valley during the Guañape, Salinar or Gallinazo phases were examined. The collected bioarchaeological data including demographic patterns, oral health indicators, light and heavy isotopes, and pathological conditions allow us to investigate the lived experience of these Moche ancestors. Bioarchaeological evidence of individuals lives are integrated within phases and used to examine population-level phenomena. What we find are indications of the development of a regional political economy, changing patterns of population movement, and varying levels of stress. These patterns shed light on people’s daily experience of archaeologically identified changing settlement patterns and growth of agricultural infrastructure.


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Those Who Came Before: Investigating Diet, Health and Mobility in the Moche Valley, 1800 BC – AD 200. Celeste Gagnon, Bethany Turner. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403819)


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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