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Quality of life and dynamics of conflict in the populations from Paracas peninsula, south coast of Peru, during the final Early Horizon (400 B.C - AD.100)

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Juliana Gómez Mejía
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Biociências (IBIOC/SB)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Sabine Eggers; Pedro José Tótora da Gloria; Rui Sergio Sereni Murrieta; Maria Mercedes Martinez Okumura; Henry Alexander Tantaleán Ynga
Advisor: Sabine Eggers

This research uses a bioarchaeological perspective to analyze various skeletal stress markers and violence-related trauma in the populations buried on the Paracas peninsula, south coast of Peru, during the final Early Horizon period (400 B.C - AD.100). This period, in the complex social history of Andean population is transformative because of the decline of the highland Chavin culture that previously integrated various socio-political organizations, which led to regional fragmentation and local elites vying for political control. During this period were found, defensive architecture, high prevalence of cranial trauma, and warrior iconography in various Andean archaeological sites. In addition, published data for contemporaneous sites suggests a crises period that lead to major sociopolitical changes. To assess the impact this process had on the quality of life, this study estimates the adult stature and prevalences of enamel hypoplasia, cribra orbitalia, porotic hyperostosis, periosteal lesions, skeletal trauma, cranial trepanation, and cranial vault modification in 307 skeletons from the J.C Tello collection, excavated between 1925 and 1930 on the Paracas peninsula. Those individuals were buried in two successive cultural periods: Cavernas (Cerro Colorado site) and Necrópolis (Warikayán and Arena Blanca sites). In the Cavernas period a shorter male stature and a higher prevalence in the stress markers and cranial trauma were observed. The subsequent Necropolis period, influenced by Topará groups, showed differences in cranial vault modification types, significant reduction of cranial trauma, increases in male stature, and lower prevalence of skeletal stress markers. This findings suggest a more stable period with better life conditions. These results provide new insight into the impact of social complexity on the development of Andean population\'s quality of life (AU)

FAPESP's process: 12/06667-4 - Health, stress and adaptation in the processes of social complexity in ancient coastal populations of South America
Grantee:Juliana Gómez Mejía
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate