Date of Award

Spring 4-10-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Bethany L. Turner

Second Advisor

Frank L. Williams

Third Advisor

Jeffry B. Glover

Abstract

Reconstructing diet in Andean populations is complicated by ecological complexity and by large-scale population movements and trade networks during the period of imperial rule. It is therefore more difficult to reconstruct dietary patterns within these contexts. Previous multi-isotopic analysis of the skeletal population from the Inca site of Machu Picchu indicates marked variation in dietary composition both early and late in life. However, these data are limited in their specificity due to overlap in isotopic signals from different resource types. I compare existing isotopic data to enamel macro- and microwear data to more accurately profile diet composition in a Machu Picchu skeletal population subset. Results suggest there is little to no dietary variation between sexes and age groups. Results also reveal the role that maize played in the diet of this non-elite population, which may prove useful in more accurately estimating consumed food resources in this and other Andean populations.

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