Ritualistic Nature of Juvenile Interments, Cosma Archaeological Complex, Ancash, Perú

Author(s): Rachel Witt; Kimberly Munro

Year: 2016


Research exploring mortuary treatments, morbidity, and trauma among juveniles has largely been left out of bioarchaeological discussions due to the difficulties subadult skeletal remains present to archaeological investigations. Despite these limitations, analysis of juvenile burials and skeletal remains has the potential to improve our understanding of the physical and social lives of children in the past. Excavations conducted by Proyecto Investigación Arqueológico Distrito del Cáceres Ancash (PIADCA) during the 2014 and 2015 season uncovered 11 juvenile interments on the main temple platform Karecoto dating to the Early Horizon (800-200 BC) at the site of Cosma, located in the Cordillera Negra (at 2600 masl) in the Nepeña Valley of north-central Perú. Systematic analysis of the mortuary patterns and skeletal remains indicate that the interments are secondary burials that may have served as ritual offerings. Additionally, the skeletal sample is of paleopathological interest as several individuals exhibit systemic infections, traumatic injuries, and abnormal dental conditions. Bioarchaeological investigations of this particular sample have the potential to contribute to our knowledge of juvenile health and demonstrate that subadults were participating and active agents in Peruvian prehistory.

Cite this Record

Ritualistic Nature of Juvenile Interments, Cosma Archaeological Complex, Ancash, Perú. Rachel Witt, Kimberly Munro. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404836)

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Spatial Coverage

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