Residential histories of elites and sacrificial victims at Huacas de Moche, Peru, as reconstructed from oxygen isotopes
Abbreviated Journal Title
J. Archaeol. Sci.
Moche; Residential history; Mobility; Human sacrifice; Oxygen isotopes; Phosphate; HUMAN TOOTH ENAMEL; STABLE CARBON; NORTH COAST; METEORIC PRECIPITATION; BONE PHOSPHATE; SOUTH-AMERICA; WATER; STATE; RECORD; ANDES; Anthropology; Archaeology; Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Early state formation on the Andean coast resulted in the creation of monumental, densely populated urban centers. The prehispanic Peruvian site of Huacas de Moche (similar to A.D.100-850) was one of the largest sites that developed during the Early Intermediate Period, and we examine its urban population dynamics and community interaction here. We use phosphate oxygen isotope compositions (delta O-18(p)) of tooth enamel (formed during childhood) and bone (continuously remodeled during life) to reconstruct the residential histories of 34 Moche individuals interred in urban tomb and sacrificial contexts at this site. These data are also used to explore the highly debated origin of Moche sacrifices and discuss the shift in victims' geographic origins over time. Local baseline water sources (delta O-18(w)) were used to interpret the human delta O-18(p) values. Females from urban residential compound and platform mound tombs have more variable delta O-18(p) values than males, which suggest a patrilocal residence pattern. Males from the same elite contexts have delta O-18(p) values that reflect local water compositions, demonstrating lifetime residential stability and therefore a local elite. An earlier sacrificial group (Plaza 3C) appears to consist mostly of local individuals, but the greater inclusion of non-local individuals in a later sacrificial group (Plaza 3A) reflects more variability in origins of victims during later Moche state development. While the nature of Moche socio-political structure remains contentious, these data suggest a high degree of population mobility among distant Moche centers. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Journal of Archaeological Science
"Residential histories of elites and sacrificial victims at Huacas de Moche, Peru, as reconstructed from oxygen isotopes" (2014). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 6191.