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Social Dynamics of the Past through the Body of the Camelid: Utilizing Evidence from Late Moche Peru

Author(s): María José Culquichicón-Venegas ; Aleksa Alaica

Year: 2017

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Assessing social dynamics in the past through archaeometry is more readily possible by constructing questions that more actively engage with issues beyond subsistence and technology. As archaeologists we are capable of reaching these higher-level interpretations of the past. In this paper, the use of camelid age profiles will bring insights into the kinds of value placed on the camelid body and the kinds of constrains and affordances that camelid herds would have placed on the Late Moche community of Huaca Colorada (AD650-850). By considering the contribution of ethnographic accounts from herding communities of the Andean region, we are better equipped to interpret material correlates. Zooarchaeology and social archaeology can be better integrated through the goal of understanding how the actions and activities surrounding camelid herding were impacted by and influenced community organization and worldview. This paper will argue that the varied use of different aged camelids corresponds to specific value placed on the life stages of these animals. By considering camelids as active agents in the social dynamics of the past we are achieving a more complete picture of the exchanges that would have occurred within everyday and ceremonial contexts.

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Social Dynamics of the Past through the Body of the Camelid: Utilizing Evidence from Late Moche Peru. María José Culquichicón-Venegas, Aleksa Alaica. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429330)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16473

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