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The Political Ecology of Camelid Pastoralism by Wari and Tiwanaku Colonists in the Moquegua Valley, Peru

Author(s): Susan deFrance

Year: 2017

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The Moquegua Valley in southern Peru was the locale where the rival early imperial states of Wari and Tiwanaku established provincial colonial centers. Both Wari and Tiwanaku colonists concentrated their settlements in the low to mid-sierra elevations of the valley, elevations that are not modern zones of camelid husbandry. The political ecology of imperial settlement at this elevation fostered the development of local systems of camelid pastoralism that were significant economic components for both groups of colonists. Camelids were used for dietary and ritual uses as well as for transport and trade. The osteological, morphological, pathological, and isotopic evidence from camelid remains from a range of sites associated with both Wari and Tiwanaku settlements indicate that local production and breeding of camelids were significant components of the livelihoods of colonists regardless of cultural affiliation. This ability to rear camelids in this setting and to create economic ties with communities at higher elevations attests to the significant political ability of these early empires to alter their local settings in order to sustain these animals and to create viable economic and cultural systems.

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The Political Ecology of Camelid Pastoralism by Wari and Tiwanaku Colonists in the Moquegua Valley, Peru. Susan deFrance. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431638)


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): 15446

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