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Cultural Diversity and Paleomobility in the Andean Middle Horizon: Radiogenic Strontium Isotope Analyses in the San Pedro De Atacama Oases of Northern Chile

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Kelly J. Knudson
Affiliation:
School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 , USA (kelly.knudson@asu.edu)
Christina Torres-Rouff
Affiliation:
Instituto de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Museo, Universidad Católica del Norte, San Pedro de Atacama, Chileand Department of Anthropology, University of California, Merced, Merced, CA 95343 USA (ctorresrouff@ucmerced.edu)

Abstract

Despite a long history of research, interactions between the Tiwanaku polity of the Andean Middle Horizon (ca.A.D. 500-1100) and the San Pedro de Atacama oases of northern Chile remain controversial. Here, we investigate Middle Horizon interactions through an isotopic identification of the geographic origins of individuals buried in San Pedro de Atacama cemeteries and present the largest radiogenic strontium isotope dataset generated, to date, for the Andes. For individuals in Middle Horizon San Pedro de Atacama cemeteries ofCasa Parroquial, Coyo Oriental, Coyo-3, Larache, Quitor-5, Solcor-3, Solcor Plaza, Solor-3, and Tchecar Túmulo Sur, mean tooth enamel and bone 87Sr/86Sr = .70834 ± .00172 (2σ, n = 273). Overall, the mean 87Sr/86Sr values from Middle Horizon San Pedro de Atacama cemeteries support the idea that interactions between Atacameños and inhabitants of other regions varied by ayllu, an Andean kin-based community structure, with some ayllus incorporating individuals with a wider variety of geographic origins than others. When our interpretations of the radiogenic strontium isotope data are contextualized with analyses of mortuary behavior and recent biodistance analyses, we argue that the San Pedro de Atacama oases appear to be have been inhabited by culturally and biologically diverse groups, rather than by large numbers of colonists from the Tiwanaku capital and the Lake Titicaca Basin.

Resumen

Resumen

Apesar de una larga historia de investigación, las interacciones en el Horizonte Medio Andino (ca. 500-1100 d.C.) entre los Tiwanaku y los habitantes de San Pedro de Atacama siguen siendo polémicas. En este manuscrito investigamos estas interacciones a través de la identificación isotópica de los orígenes geográficos de individuos enterrados en cementerios del Horizonte Medio en San Pedro de Atacama, y presentamos la mayor colección de datos de isótopos de estroncio generada, hasta la fecha, en los Andes. Los resultados obtenidos para los individuos de los cementerios de Casa Parroquial, Coyo Oriental, Coyo-3, Larache, Quitor-5, Solcor-3, Solcor Plaza, Solor-3, y Tchecar Túmulo Sur, muestran que elpromedio 87Sr/86Sr de esmalte dental y de huesos es .70834 ± .00172 (2σ, n = 273). En general, los valores promedios de 87Sr/86Sr de los cementerios del Horizonte Medio en San Pedro de Atacama apoyan la idea de que las interacciones entre los atacameňos y los habitantes de otras regiones variaron por ayllu, con algunos ayllus incorporando más individuos de otras regiones que otros. Los resultados sugieren además amplia variedad de orígenes geográficos para los individuos fuereños. Cuando nuestras interpretaciones de los datos isotópicos se contextualizan con estudios del espacio mortuorio y andlisis recientes de distancias biológicas, sostenemos que los oasis de San Pedro de Atacama parecen haber sido habitadospor una población local con apenas una pequeña contribución de individuos cultural y biológicamente diversos. Los nuevos datos favorecen la idea de que no hubo un gran número de colonos de la capital de Tiwanaku y la de cuenca del lago Titicaca en los oasis atacameňos, a pesar del impacto cultural que esa cultura tuvo en el desarrollo local.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Royal Aeronautical Society 2014

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Cultural Diversity and Paleomobility in the Andean Middle Horizon: Radiogenic Strontium Isotope Analyses in the San Pedro De Atacama Oases of Northern Chile
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