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Rural Life during and after the Fall of the Wari Empire: A Stable Isotope Analysis of Childhood Diet and Geographical Origins at the Village of Qasa Pampa, Ayacucho, Peru

Author(s): Sheridan Lea ; Natasha P. Vang ; Tiffiny A. Tung

Year: 2017

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Summary

Life in a rural village can be vastly different from life in the metropolis, and when an empire collapses the effects can reach even the smallest village. For Qasa Pampa, an agricultural village that was occupied in Wari (ca. 650 – 850 CE) and post-Wari (ca. 1000 – 1200 CE) times and located several kilometers away from the capital of Huari, life for its population may have been quite distinct from their capital counterparts. Stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis can shed light on the dietary habits and geographic origins of Qasa Pampa inhabitants, respectively, both during and after the collapse of the Wari Empire. From the reconstruction of these dietary habits pre- and post- collapse, we aim to understand the impacts of imperial policies and practices on daily life of a lesser village, and also how that lifestyle was altered after the collapse. Results show that carbon enriched foods, likely maize, were consumed in high quantities during childhood throughout the whole occupation (mean δ13C from tooth enamel = -5.8‰; N=31 enamel samples). The mean δ18OVPDB=-9.2‰ (s.d.=.9) and the stable oxygen values range from -11.7 to -7.7‰, suggesting that there might be non-local individuals interred at Qasa Pampa.


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Rural Life during and after the Fall of the Wari Empire: A Stable Isotope Analysis of Childhood Diet and Geographical Origins at the Village of Qasa Pampa, Ayacucho, Peru. Sheridan Lea, Natasha P. Vang, Tiffiny A. Tung. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430019)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
South America


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17425

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