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Andean Residential Mobility through Bone Chemistry

(2000 - present)
 

Description
The Andean Residential Mobility through Bone Chemistry project examines the role of migration and population movement in Andean political integration and ritual activity in Peru, Bolivia and Chile. More specifically, Kelly J. Knudson examines the isotopic signatures of archaeological human tooth enamel and bone from Middle Horizon sites. The strontium, lead and oxygen isotopes present will reflect the isotope signatures of the geologic region in which an individual lived during tooth enamel or bone formation, provided that she or he consumed locally-grown or locally-raised foods. By comparing the isotope signatures of tooth enamel and bone that form at different times during an individual’s life, residential mobility throughout an individual’s lifetime can be identified.

Previous work on Tiwanaku residential mobility identified individuals who were born in the Tiwanaku heartland of the Lake Titicaca Basin, yet migrated to and were buried in Tiwanaku colonies in southern Peru. Interestingly, individuals from cemeteries in the San Pedro de Atacama oasis of northern Chile that had been identified as Tiwanaku colonists were not in fact from the Lake Titicaca Basin, despite their adoption of Tiwanaku-style textiles and mortuary artifacts. In this case, appropriately-contextualized bone chemistry data can help explore the relationship between identity, material culture, and geographic origin.

Knudson and her colleagues are currently examining the role of migration in the contemporaneous Wari polity of central Peru. By elucidating residential mobility in cemetery populations in the Wari heartland as well as in peripheral Wari-affiliated sites, the role of colonization and migration in Wari imperial expansion can be understood. In addition, the role of ritual activity in Wari expansion is being examined through an analysis of individuals interred as dedicatory offerings and trophy heads in Wari-affiliated sites.

Finally, Knudson and her colleagues are using bone chemistry in a number of life history studies, including identifying the geographic origins of Chiribaya and Inka human sacrifices, as well as individuals with leishmaniasis in the high-altitude cemeteries of San Pedro de Atacama.


Research Team
  • Principal Investigator: Kelly J. Knudson, SHESC
  • Collaborators:
  • Deborah Blom, University of Vermont
  • Jane Buikstra, Arizona State University
  • Maria Antonietta Costa Junquiera, Museo R.P. Gustavo LePaige, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
  • John Janusek, Vanderbilt University
  • Maria Cecilia Lozada Cerna, University of Chicago
  • T. Douglas Price, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Christina Torres-Rouff, Colorado College
  • Tiffiny Tung, Vanderbilt University
  • Patrick Ryan Williams, The Field Museum of Natural History
  • Sloan Williams, The Field Museum of Natural History
  • Jason Yaeger, University of Wisconsin, Madison


Sources of Funding
  • National Science Foundation
  • University of Wisconsin at Madison
  • The Geological Society of America
  • American Chemical Society Women Chemists Committee
  • Nave Fund Latin American and Iberian Studies Field Research Grant



  • Partnerships
    Centro de Investigaciones Arqueológicos de Arequipa (CIARQ), Arequipa, Peru

    Geochronology and Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory, Department of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona

    Laboratory for Archaeological Chemistry, Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin at Madison

    Museo Contisuyo, Moquegua, Peru

    Museo Arqueológico R.P. Gustavo LePaige, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile


    Publications & Presentations
    Knudson, K.J., T. Tung, K.C. Nystrom, T.D. Price & P.D. Fullagar. 2005. The Origin of the Juch'uypampa Cave Mummies: Strontium Isotope Analysis of Archaeological Human Remains from Bolivia. Journal of Archaeological Science 32, 903-913. Download pdf

    Knudson, K.J., T.D. Price, J.E. Buikstra & D.E. Blom. 2004. The Use of Strontium Isotope Analysis to Investigate Tiwanaku Migration and Mortuary Ritual in Bolivia and Peru. Archaeometry 46, 5-18. Download pdf

    "Identifying Archaeological Residential Mobility in the Andes: The Utility of Multiple Chemical Techniques" by Kelly J. Knudson and T. Douglas Price. Paper presented at the UK Archaeological Science Conference, Bradford, United Kingdom, April 13-16, 2005

    "Residential Mobility and Archaeological Chemistry in the South Central Andes: Trace Element and Strontium Isotope Data from Tiwanaku and Chiribaya Sites" by Kelly J. Knudson. Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Midwest Conference on Andean and Amazonian Archaeology and Ethnohistory, Columbia, MO, February 26-27, 2005.

    "The Bioarchaeology of Identity: Case Studies from the South Central Andes" by Kelly J. Knudson, Deborah E. Blom and Jane E. Buikstra. Invited paper in the symposium "Tensions, Theory and Directions in Bioarchaeology", organized by Kenneth C. Nystrom at the 103rd Annual American Anthropological Association Meetings, Atlanta, GA, December 16-19, 2004.

    "Migration in the Middle Horizon: Bone Chemistry and the Nature of the Tiwanaku Polity in the South Central Andes" by Kelly J. Knudson, T. Douglas Price, Jane E. Buikstra and Deborah E. Blom. Invited paper in "Uncovering Social Organization in the Andes: Recent Developments in Bioarchaeology" organized by Deborah E. Blom and Julie Farnum at the 69th Annual Society for American Archaeology Meetings, Montreal, Canada, March 31-April 4, 2004.

    "Tiwanaku Residential Mobility, Migration and Ritual Behavior as Determined by Archaeological Chemistry" by Kelly J. Knudson, T. Douglas Price, Jane Buikstra and Deborah Blom. Presented at the 31st Annual Midwest Conference on Andean and Amazonian Archaeology and Ethnohistory, Chicago, IL, February 22-23, 2003.

    "Strontium Isotope Analysis and Migration in the South Central Andes: Tiwanaku Colonization of the Moquegua Valley" by Kelly J. Knudson, T. Douglas Price, Jane Buikstra and Deborah Blom. Presented at the 33rd International Symposium on Archaeometry, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, April 22-26, 2002

    "Tiwanaku Residential Mobility as Determined by Strontium and Lead Isotope Analyses" by Kelly Knudson, T. Douglas Price, Jane Buikstra and Deborah Blom. Presented in “Resolution and Refinement: Leading Edge Research in Archaeological Chemistry” organized by Kelly J. Knudson and David C. Meiggs at the 66th Annual Society for American Archaeology Meetings, New Orleans, LA, April 18-22, 2001.


    Contact: Kelly J. Knudson


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