Who’s Who? Investigating Historic Burials at Chavín de Huantar Peru Using Radiogenic Strontium Isotope (87Sr/86Sr) Analysis
Since 2009, the Programa Arqueológico Chavín has unearthed a series of historic burials from the Monumento Arqueológico Chavín de Huántar. Although the identity of the deceased remains a mystery, initial archaeological and ethnographic evidence suggests that the individuals may be casualties of the War of the Pacific (1879-1883), perhaps even Chilean soldiers who met an unusual and unfortunate fate at the hands of Chavín’s residents. The current paper presents radiogenic strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) data from tooth enamel from 10 of these skeletons in order to evaluate the above hypothesis. Results demonstrate that nearly all of the individuals exhibit 87Sr/86Sr values that fall within Chavín’s bioavailable range, suggesting that they were either born locally or hailed from a region with a 87Sr/86Sr signature similar to that of Chavín. One individual, however—an older man buried in what appears to have been the remains of a military uniform—exhibited a 87Sr/86Sr value clearly outside of Chavín’s range, raising interesting questions about his identity during this politically-volatile phase in Peru’s history.
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Who’s Who? Investigating Historic Burials at Chavín de Huantar Peru Using Radiogenic Strontium Isotope (87Sr/86Sr) Analysis. Nicole Slovak, John Rick. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443248)
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min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21313