Documenting Dietary Effects of Imperial Collapse and Drought: Bioarchaeology and Stable Isotope Analysis at Huari-Vegachayoq Moqo, Peru
This study examines the diets of 32 individuals who were deposited in the Vegachayoq Moqo sector at the site of Huari, the capital of the Wari Empire. The commingled skeletal remains date to the second half of the Late Intermediate Period (LIP), long after the empire’s collapse circa 1100 CE. This was also a time of an extended drought. The diets, reconstructed from carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes from bone collagen, are compared among the individuals and to those of earlier Wari populations to investigate the sequential effects of Wari imperial collapse and a long-term drought. When the results of the LIP individuals are compared to previously published data of 21 Wari-era inhabitants from the nearby site of Conchopata, their diets are significantly different. The LIP mean δ13C=-11.8‰, showing that carbon enriched foods like maize were still consumed, but this is significantly lower than the preceding Wari era, suggesting that less quantities of maize were consumed. The LIP mean δ15N=13.0‰, which is significantly higher than the preceding Wari era, a change that might reflect the increased aridity of the LIP, manuring of crops, and/or starvation.
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Documenting Dietary Effects of Imperial Collapse and Drought: Bioarchaeology and Stable Isotope Analysis at Huari-Vegachayoq Moqo, Peru. Taylor MacDonald, Natasha P. Vang, Tiffiny A. Tung. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429395)
min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;
Abstract Id(s): 17040