Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Bethany L. Turner

Second Advisor

Nicola O. Sharratt

Third Advisor

Frank L. Williams


The late manifestation of Tiwanaku affiliated culture in the upper Moquegua valley is known as Tumilaca which is associated with the terminal Middle Horizon (A.D. 950-1250). However, after A.D. 1250 radical changes in residential space, material culture and mortuary practices are associated with the Estuquiña phase. This thesis study analyzes diet in archaeological human remains through carbon (δ13Ccollagen & δ13Ccarbonate), nitrogen (δ15Ncollagen), and oxygen (δ18Ocarbonate) isotopic values between Tumilaca and Estuquiña groups at the site of Tumilaca la Chimba in the upper Moquegua valley. Carbon (δ13Ccarbonate) and Oxygen (δ18Ocarbonate) isotopic values indicated high consumption of C3 plants and same local water consumption in both Tumilaca and Estuquiña populations. Meanwhile, Carbon and nitrogen isotope values (δ13Ccollagen vs. δ15Ncollagen) evidenced low consumption of C4 plants (maize) but high local terrestrial C3 plants and animal meat sources. The low evidence of maize consumption in the upper Moquegua valley could be linked to Tiwanaku collapse.