Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Bethany L. Turner-Livermore

Second Advisor

Nicola O. Sharratt

Third Advisor

Frank L'Engle Williams

Fourth Advisor

Molly K. Zuckerman


This study is a comparative dental analysis of two sites in the Inka heartland during the Late Horizon (1476-1532 CE), where residents were likely servants. Reconstructing the life histories of servant groups is critical to understanding Inka statecraft and the lived experiences of Inka subjects. Oral pathological conditions compared from two contemporaneous sites (N=34, N=65) to infer diet and activity-related stress. The first site, Salapunku, is 15km southeast of Machu Picchu and was likely an administrative outpost. The second site, Saqsahuaman, overlooks the capital of Cusco and functioned as a ceremonial center. Results identify a greater number of antemortem tooth loss and edentulous individuals at Saqsahuaman compared to Salapunku. In addition, Sacsayhuaman exhibits heavy wear that suggests a variety of habitual activity and may reflect different subsistence or economic backgrounds prior to living at the site. The results point to varied diets and activity patterns between the two sites that may reflect their differing functions.


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