Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Death, Mobility, and Empire in the Chincha Valley, Peru

Dr. Jacob Bongers, Senior Research Associate, Rise of Divine Lordships in the Ancient Andes project Sainsbury Research Unit, University of East Anglia
Friday, February 12, 2021
12:00-1:00 PM
Indigenous groups develop strategies for dealing with imperial control when they confront expanding empires. One strategy in pre-modern Peru was mortuary practice, a means of expressing relationships among the living and the dead. To what extent and for what purpose did indigenous groups transform mortuary practices during periods of conquest? Who were the dead? To address these questions, I employ an approach that integrates archaeological data, ancient DNA (aDNA), and other lines of evidence to examine two distinct grave types—chullpas (above-ground and subterranean mausolea) and subterranean cists— in the Chincha Valley of the Peruvian south coast. These graves date to the Late Intermediate Period (1000 – 1400 CE), Late Horizon (1400 – 1532 CE), and the Colonial Period (1532 – 1825 CE). Results demonstrate that indigenous peoples sustained, abandoned, and created entirely new mortuary practices under Inca and Spanish rule. Genome-wide data from six individuals in two cemeteries coincide with ceramic, textile, isotopic, and sixteenth-century documents to suggest that the Inca moved individuals from the Peruvian north coast to the Chincha Valley. This research widens the scope of imperialism studies to include a mortuary perspective on the dynamics between empires and indigenous peoples and provides evidence of state-sponsored resettlement in the Andes.

Zoom link:
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Link:
Event Type: Livestream / Virtual
Tags: Anthropology, Archaeology
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, Department of Anthropology