Across the Lake: Interregional Connections with the Tiwanaku Occupation of Copacabana


Tiwanaku, the first expansive state in the southern Andes, established colonies in many parts of the Andes (Moquegua, the Atacama Desert, Cochabamba) and exerted influence over the southern Titicaca basin. Archaeologists have recreated daily life for people living in these places, producing many insightful studies of Tiwanaku diet, cultural bodily modifications, disease, and occasional incidents of trauma. Many colonists living far from the Tiwanaku heartland developed hybrid lifestyles, adopting some local practices while preserving other Tiwanaku traditions. The site Cundisa is located in modern-day Copacabana, approximately 60km across Lake Wiñaymarka and 90km over land from Tiwanaku. Cundisa includes a cemetery with Middle Horizon burials of 100+ individuals. While the majority of individuals were buried with Tiwanaku ceramics, isotopic and skeletal evidence suggests variation in geographic origin and lifestyles for the people buried here. In this paper, we present the results of preliminary skeletal analyses of diet, disease, trauma, and identity for these individuals and suggest the variation present in the sample indicates interregional connections between Copacabana, Tiwanaku, and the coast. This interaction is likely part of the larger processes of the Middle Horizon, when long-distance trade and movement of peoples stimulated social complexity across the Andes.

Cite this Record

Across the Lake: Interregional Connections with the Tiwanaku Occupation of Copacabana. Sara L. Juengst, David Hansen, Sergio Chavez, Stanislava Chavez. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445252)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22141