A bioarchaeological approach to the search for mitmaqkuna

Susan J. Haun, Guillermo A.Cock Carrasco

Producción científica: Informe/libroLibrorevisión exhaustiva

14 Citas (Scopus)


This study marks a milestone in Inka studies by the authors' analysis of a skeletal population to evaluate imperial practices concerning a local population of weavers. The study uses Rostworowski de Diez Canseco's (1972, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1988a, 1990) ethnohistorical research to indicate that the local Ychma ethnic group of the region was one of several groups whose member ayllus might have been economically specialized. Due to this existing situation, the Inkas had to do little resettlement after their conquest. In addition, the documents also remark that colonial mitmaqkuna groups were present from nearby regions. The goal of this chapter is to identify who is buried in the cemetery of Puruchuco-Huaquerones through a combination of bioarchaeology, analysis of funerary paraphernalia, and burial location. The study by Haun and Cock Carrasco shows that the cemetery, consisting of nearly 1,300 mummies, was occupied during several cultural periods, but mostly the Late Horizon. For this chapter, only burials from the Late Horizon were selected. The results indicate that grave goods did show an emphasis on local Ychma pottery, along with Inka Cuzco, Inka regional, and foreign ceramics from the Chimú and Ica regions. Nearly all burials, male and female, were associated with textile tools - none with agriculture, ceramic production, or metallurgy. A small sample of both males and females shows characteristic muscle attachments of weavers, but the authors say the sample is too small to generalize. However, other cemeteries in the region show few weaving tools and more abundant ones of other trades, supporting the idea of specialization. Using various biodistance measurements, the authors found that twothirds of the males were homogeneous and from the coastal region, whereas roughly half of the females were not only from the highlands but also biologically more diverse. However, the authors also emphasize that when compared with coastal populations, the residents of Puruchuco-Huaquerones showed more biological affinity with central Andean groups. On the one hand, these results suggest a patrilocal residence, with highland women from distinct regions marrying local coastal men. On the other hand, they show that coastal populations from the Late Intermediate period with central Andean origins had a preference for marrying women from the highlands. This contradicts the accepted practice of local ayllu endogamy and indicates that intergroup marriage was important in the establishment of political and economic relations across the ecological spectrum. In addition, it reveals that despite the acculturation of highland groups residing in the coastal region since the Late Intermediate period, as suggested by the use of Ychma cultural materials, men did prefer to marry women from their original regions. Perhaps this strategy ensured access to diversified resources while minimizing intergroup conflict or simply represents a marrying preference of diaspora populations. In either case, the role of women was crucial in such processes. In addition, despite the craft specialization of the residents of Huaquerones-Puruchuco as weavers, the authors find that there is not a clear correlation between biological affinity, burial location, and mortuary preparation in the cemetery. Nevertheless, the abrupt appearance of weavers in the Huaquerones-Puruchuco cemetery could indicate the relocalization of specialists by the Inkas in order to optimize land use and craft production. The authors agree, however, that it cannot be ascertained whether this was due to imperial command or a local lord seeking to improve production. At any rate, this chapter shows how biological studies can inform our knowledge about the actual people who comprised the empire. While such studies are in their infancy, they show much promise in providing new results about the varying Inka policies in the provinces. © 2010 by the University of Iowa Press. All rights reserved.
Idioma originalEspañol
EstadoPublicada - 1 dic. 2010
Publicado de forma externa

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