Abstract

Stable isotopic analyses of faunal remains are used as a proxy for reconstructing the ancient Chachapoya dietary environment of the northeastern highlands in Peru. Archaeologists have excavated animal remains from refuse piles at the monumental center of Kuelap (AD 900-1535). This archaeological site is located at 3000 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.), where C3 plants dominate the region. The study presented here is one of the few in the Central Andes that uses faunal remains to develop local isotopic baselines, reconstruct resource exploitation, and provide insight into dietary variation. Bone collagen stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes are used to investigate animal diets of nine local fauna (Camelidae, Cervidae, Caviidae, Chinchillidae, Cuniculidae, Leporidae, Felidae, Canidae, and Aves). Different taxonomic families were evaluated to explore the range of isotopic variation within and between these animals. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of both the wild and domesticated Kuelap faunal samples suggest a diet of both C3 and C4 plant foods. Significant dietary differences were identified between domesticated and wild animals (specifically camelid and cervid), suggesting ecological differences or strategic provisioning from possible domestic C4 crops (maize) by humans. The domesticated camelids displayed a large isotopic variation similar to other highland archaeological studies in Peru, with an average δ13C value of –14.13 ‰ and a standard deviation of 2.96. The cervids displayed lower variation than the camelids and had an average carbon value of –19.13 ‰ with a standard deviation of 2.38. These are the first faunal isotopic data for the eastern montane region of Chachapoyas and serve as an essential baseline in the evaluation of human subsistence strategies and animal management strategies in the northern Peruvian highlands.

Graduation Date

2018

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Toyne, J. Marla

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Anthropology

Degree Program

Anthropology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0007215

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0007226

Language

English

Release Date

August 2018

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Included in

Anthropology Commons

Share

COinS