Dimensions of Health in the Andes: A Bioarchaeological Investigation of Morbidity Patterns in Mountain Landscapes

Author(s): Maya B. Krause; Tiffiny A. Tung; Steve Kosiba

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Living and Dying in Mountain and Highland Landscapes" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

This paper uses a bioarchaeological approach to examine the morbidity profiles of highland communities in the Cusco region of Peru during the centuries that witnessed the rise, fluorescence, and demise of the Inka Empire (ca. 1300-1550 CE). Through original analysis of human skeletons from the sites of Huanacauri and Matagua and a meta-analysis of skeletal data from other sites in the region, this study seeks to build a preliminary understanding of social and ecological distinctions in this mountain landscape, and how these distinctions engendered or coincided with discernible differences in disease, developmental health, and trauma. Bioarchaeological data are used to examine whether people living in different areas of Cusco experienced the formation and dissolution of the Inka polity in similar ways, or whether there is variation in skeletal markers of health according to ecological setting, cultural background, social position, or gender. The contextualized bioarchaeological data are used to interrogate many current models of mountain landscapes, which too often generalize human populations by treating them as variables dependent on regional environmental or adaptive economic frameworks, rather than investigating the intertwined local social differences, ecological distinctions, and biocultural attributes that constitute such mountain landscapes and frameworks.

Cite this Record

Dimensions of Health in the Andes: A Bioarchaeological Investigation of Morbidity Patterns in Mountain Landscapes. Maya B. Krause, Tiffiny A. Tung, Steve Kosiba. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452166)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23843