tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

A Wake of Change: Investigating Biocultural Interaction During the Early Colonial Period in the Central Andes, Peru

Author(s): Anna Gurevitz ; Scotti Norman

Year: 2017

» Downloads & Basic Metadata


Burial practice in the Central Andes was transmitted continuously from the Middle Horizon (AD 700-AD 1000) onward, if not earlier in some areas, reflecting an agreed-upon understanding of Andean social identity throughout time. However, when the Spanish colonized the Andes, they drastically altered this continuity, forcing indigenous populations to bury their dead under the Church in idealized Catholic tradition. This sudden change in burial practice ruptured Andean identity as indigenous populations conformed, resisted or attempted to both maintain Andean identity while still act as good Catholics under Spanish control. At Iglesiachayoq (Ayacucho), an Inka settlement in the Chicha-Soras Valley of Peru, Andeans resisted this rupture of social identity through a subversive revitalization of traditional Andean landscape deities: a movement known as Taki Onqoy, (Quechua: Dancing Sickness). Using church burials excavated at Iglesiachayoq, we use mortuary and isotope analysis to address the question of changing social identities and the relationship between indigenous and imperial actors at the moment of contact. We find that participation in Taki Onqoy was likely fragmentary, and that church burials reflect both patterns of indigenous and Spanish cultural and religious tradition, indicating the negotiated and improvised nature of interaction and identity in the Early Colonial Period.

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Cite this Record

A Wake of Change: Investigating Biocultural Interaction During the Early Colonial Period in the Central Andes, Peru. Anna Gurevitz, Scotti Norman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431084)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15558

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