Domesticated camelids spread to Peru’s Northern Highlands by 500 BC. The complexity and development of the society that then developed in the region have been explained by social networks enabled by the use of the llama as a cargo animal. However, the actual use of domesticated camelids in the Formative Period remains unclear. This study analyzed camelid skeletal remains excavated from the Pacopampa site (1200–400 BC) to provide information on the actual use of these animals. Osteometry determined the camelid to be llama; alpaca was not identified in the samples. Body part frequency, butchering mark distribution, and mortality profile revealed ritual consumption of the meaty part of young individuals. Four sacrificed immature llamas were detected. In contrast to the great similarity with the consumption process of artiodactyls’ only llamas were sacrificed, while deer were not targeted. Although there were no features in the animal bone material indicating the use of secondary products, the increasing number of artifacts related to textile production suggest the fiber might be the result of llama herding.
Maize (Zea mays) was an important staple and ceremonial food in the pre-Columbian Andean world. Previous researchers have studied maize agriculture in early ancient Andean society by examining macro- and microbotanical remains. However, isotope analyses of human remains have shown that maize was not a primary food resource during the Formative Period (1800–1 cal BC). Although a few studies have suggested that maize was consumed in this period, we know little about how the dietary role of maize differed across the Andean society and how it changed over time. This study measures carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios from human and animal bone collagen samples and human tooth enamel samples excavated from the Pacopampa archaeological site in the highlands of northern Peru in order to better understand maize consumption in this period. The site dates to the Middle to Late Formative Periods (1200–700 cal BC, 700–400 cal BC) and the Early Cajamarca phase (cal AD 200–450). The findings indicate an increase in C4 resource consumption during the Late Formative Period—an increase that we attribute directly to maize and indirectly to domesticated animals. Although dietary variation related to social stratification was insignificant at this site, it has been reported at and between some coeval sites. Thus, we conclude that when these populations began exploiting C4 resources, their strategic use of these resources varied depending on the site. This study suggests that the use of maize during the Formative Period was probably greater and earlier than reported in previous isotope studies. In addition, maize utilization for domestic animals in this period, which has rarely been mentioned, was also important.
This article describes the changing regional and interregional entanglements in northern Peru during the Middle and Late Formative Periods from a diachronic perspective. Comparing the available archaeological data from major or ‘core’ ceremonial centers such as Kuntur Wasi and Pacopampa, and the contemporaneous center at Ingatambo, located in the northern ‘frontier,’ it seems reasonable to divide the diachronic process of interactions in northern Peru into three distinct phases to better understand its complexities. From this perspective, northern Peru around 1200 BC can be considered as an aggregate of local spheres (at the level of a valley or basin), with each of the local spheres pertaining to the emerging ceremonial centers. However, a major change seems to have occurred around 1000 BC, as regional and interregional interaction became more active in the northern highlands, and regional spheres seem to have expanded in number and geographic scale. Ceremonial centers such as Kuntur Wasi and Pacopampa formed regional-scale spheres beyond a geographically specific area. Around 800 BC, radical socioeconomic changes occurred in the Central Andes, and northern Peru was integrated into a pan-regional network covering the whole of the Central Andes, which overlay the northern interaction spheres developed by important centers such as Kuntur Wasi and Pacopampa. In this context, it seems important to focus on the site of Ingatambo, which is located at a unique geopolitical point where multiple spheres overlap and interact with the two core centers of Kuntur Wasi and Pacopampa simultaneously. Ingatambo formed and maintained its own regional sphere independent of these two centers through its connection with the far north coast and tropical lowlands.
The Andean civilization emerged in South America during the Formative Period (3000–50 BCE) and developed through renovation activities of ceremonial architecture. A collaborative team of Japanese and Peruvian archaeologists has been excavating an archaeological site with ceremonial architectures at Pacopampa since 2005. Pacopampa is one of the largest Formative Period sites in the Northern Highlands of Peru. This paper reviewed the previous studies of Pacopampa and reconstructed situations of health and death during an initial stage of the Andean civilization from a bioarchaeological perspective. Findings from several previous studies were summarized as follows: (1) bioarchaeological evidence supported the emergence of social stratification in the Formative Period; (2) social stratification promoted the difference in the proportion of dental diseases and stress markers between burial types; and (3) violence-related trauma was first observed at Pacopampa, which was highly likely to be caused by ritual practices. These findings will contribute to an elucidation of the impacts of social stratification on the inhabitants’ health.
South American camelids, which were domesticated in the Central Andes, have been emphasized for their secondary uses (e.g. llamas as pack animals and alpacas for their wool). In modern pastoral societies the use of mature animals for meat is not efficient. However, it is interesting that cut marks have often been found on archaeological animal bones. This study aimed to describe butchering of camelids through macroscopic observation of cut marks in the Middle Horizon period, during the Wari Empire (600–1000 CE), when the use of camelids reached its peak, and to test whether these activities are consistent with ethnoarchaeological and ethnographic findings. The materials used here are camelid bones with cut marks from El Palacio in the northern highlands of Peru. They were assigned to Middle Cajamarca Phases B and C, and a part of the Late Cajamarca Phase (800–1000 CE). In this study, cut marks on animal bones were observed by macroscopy, and analyses were focused on their distribution, frequencies, and direction. Cut marks on camelid bones from El Palacio were observed over the entire body, suggesting that these marks were caused by dismembering, skinning, and extraction of meat, fat, and marrow. The frequencies of cut marks on camelid bones at El Palacio was 1.3%, lower than that in the Formative Period. This lower frequency might have been caused by more fragmented bones in the former. Furthermore, it is possible that the use of secondary products was emphasized at El Palacio. Cut marks were concentrated on the ventral side of each bone. This can be attributed to the butchering procedure described from ethnoarchaeology and ethnography, in which animal was turned on its back for dismemberment and removal of its internal organs from the ventral side, being careful not to soil the earth for ritual considerations.
This study examined the occurrence of carious lesions and antemortem tooth loss (AMTL) in skeletal remains from Pacopampa, a Formative period site in Peru. We sought to identify variations in carious lesions and AMTL within and between groups to uncover insights into social stratification and subsistence. Targets were permanent teeth and alveoli from skeletal remains from the Pacopampa I (1200–700 BCE) and Pacopampa II (700–400 BCE) phases. In this study, rates of carious lesions and AMTL were analyzed in relation to cultural phase, age, sex, and burial type. The results revealed that rates varied by age (AMTL rates increased with age), sex (females exhibited higher carious and AMTL rates than males), and burial type (individuals buried with precious goods demonstrated lower carious and AMTL rates than other individuals). It is concluded that skeletal remains from the early stages of Andean social stratification revealed significant variations in dental caries and AMTL across cultural and biological factors. This study identified differences in the appearance of carious lesions and AMTL rates during the emergence of social stratification in the Central Andes in the Formative period. Future studies that explore diet using stable isotopic data are needed to test the assumption that variations in dental caries and AMTL are related to dietary patterns.
To infer the diet and cultural behaviours of Islamic communities during the medieval period in Portugal, 43 adult skeletons (13 females, 27 males, and 3 individuals of undetermined sex) from the medieval Islamic necropolis of Santarém were analysed. A total of 779 teeth were macroscopically observed to score dental wear and dental alterations as enamel chipping, notching, transversal grooves observed on the mesiodistal occlusal surfaces (TGMOS), and lingual surface attrition of the maxillary anterior teeth (LSAMAT). Occlusal wear was moderate. Chipping was recorded in 13.08% (98/749) teeth from 28 individuals, and notching affected 3.87% (29/749) belonging to 17 individuals. Five subjects have transverse grooves, observed on the mesiodistal occlusal surfaces in 3% (23/750) of the teeth. LSAMAT was observed in 41.25% (66/160) of the anterior upper teeth belonging to 20 individuals. Combinations of different alterations were investigated: LSAMAT–chipping, LSAMAT–TGMOS, and LSAMAT–chipping–TGMOS. These could be related to hard food, extra-masticatory behaviours, chewing unknown substances, or trauma.
The Ibaloi fire mummies are preserved ancient remains of Ibaloi, one of the indigenous peoples of the northern Philippines. The locals kept the traditional Ibaloi mummification through oral traditions, but the current generation no longer conducts the actual practice. We categorized the mummification steps into preprocessing, smoking, and postprocessing. The preprocessing involved a ‘saltwater purge,’ washing, positioning the body onto a ‘death chair,’ removing the epidermis, and ‘deworming.’ The smoking process, from which the name ‘fire mummy’ was derived, involved the smoking of a body under a low-lit woodfire. The postprocessing involved sun-drying and application of a plant concoction to the body. Notably, the traditional Ibaloi mummification process shares similarities with other mummification practices elsewhere. This paper provides a systematic review of the traditional Ibaloi mummification and highlights the essential physical and chemical processes involved in body preservation. We want to encourage more interdisciplinary studies on the Ibaloi fire mummies to identify potential applications of the traditional process in corpse preservation. We also hope to contribute to discourses with people from multicultural backgrounds to increase our understanding of the history and culture of ancient human settlements in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific.
The Yangtze River Delta is the best-known homeland of wet-rice agriculture. From the Middle Neolithic, rice farming expanded from the Yangtze region to both the north and the south. However, poor preservation of ancient human skeletal remains in the region has meant that the population history of these expansions has not been fully understood. In order to clarify the ancestry of early wet-rice farmers in East Asia, we conducted a cranial morphometric analysis and comparison of a Middle Neolithic skeletal assemblage excavated from the Guangfulin site, Shanghai. The results of bivariate and multivariate analyses showed that: (1) Neolithic wet-rice farmers from the lower Yangtze retained local morphological characteristics, but were nevertheless morphologically more similar to Neolithic and later populations in northern China, which was home to early millet farmers, than to Neolithic populations in south China; and (2) Neolithic and later agricultural populations in East Asia were morphologically homogeneous compared to pre-Neolithic hunter-gatherer groups even though the area occupied by both was equally vast. These results suggest, respectively, that: (1) Middle Neolithic wet-rice farmers in the Yangtze Delta experienced significant gene flow from regions of northern China such as the Central Plains and Shandong even though there is currently no evidence that millet cultivation itself had yet reached the delta region; and (2) Neolithic populations resulting from interaction between the Yangtze Delta and northern China dispersed widely across much of East Asia including the Japanese archipelago together with the spread of wet-rice agricultural technologies. These two proposals are paralleled by recent stable isotope analyses using tooth enamel and bone collagen, as well as archaeological evidence from Shandong. Finally, a facial approximation was conducted using a cranium (M252) excavated from Guangfulin for the purpose of visually expressing the results of this study.
The Valley of the Nobles is a burial area that is located between the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, together with which it constitutes the Theban Necropolis. The Valley of the Nobles houses the tombs of ancient aristocratic families, which include the monumental complex of the Neferhotep tomb, catalogued as TT49 (XVIIIth Dynasty). The funerary monument of Neferhotep also includes tombs TT187, TT347, TT348, TT362, and TT363, although tombs TT347, TT348 (Ramessid Period), and TT363 (XIXth Dynasty) remain closed. Tombs TT49, TT187, and TT362 contained numerous human remains in different states of conservation. Those in tomb TT187 were attributable to at least 71 individuals, who showed evident signs of combustion, and also taphonomic alterations that had occurred in recent decades. The context of tomb TT362 was different, as it contained animal and human mummified remains that were disarticulated and showed few signs of exposure to high temperatures. These remains were attributable to 64 individuals. Tomb TT49 contained the remains of a single individual inside the burial chamber. The taphonomic and anthropological data suggest that the tombs within the funerary complex of Neferhotep were frequented not only by modern populations, as they also testify to the ancient reuse of tombs in different phases from the Ramessid to Ptolemaic periods.