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Big Plans for Small Pots: Development of an Organic Residue Analysis Protocol for Ancient Wari Miniature Wares

Author(s): Ann Laffey

Year: 2017

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Excavations from the Monqachayaq sector of the site of Huari uncovered an impressive burial that contained over 300 miniature vessels. The vessels were offered by a people known as the Wari (c. A.D. 600 – 1100), an ancient culture thought to be responsible for one of the Andes first great empires. Even more remarkable, the vessels retained the desiccated remains of their contents. The anthropological insight that can be gained has direct implications for a better understanding of Wari practices and continuity of ritual behavior in the Andes in general. If it can be verified that the vessels contain a fermented beverage known as chicha it will speak to a long-held tradition in the Andes of offering the drink to dead ancestors. Furthermore, if compounds associated with hallucinogenic plants can be identified, it will add new elements of understanding to Wari ritual practice. This paper follows the development of an organic residue analysis protocol that will be used to delineate the content of the miniature vessels. It begins with macro and micro archaeobotanical analyses and leads into chemical analyses, which include bulk stable isotope analysis, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, compound specific stable isotope analysis, and high performance liquid chromatography.

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Big Plans for Small Pots: Development of an Organic Residue Analysis Protocol for Ancient Wari Miniature Wares. Ann Laffey. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431906)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17030

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