1Sociology, Anthropology, and Behavioral Sciences, Metropolitan State College of Denver, 2Anthropology, University of Wyoming, 3Peabody Museum, Harvard University, 4Anthropology, University of Michigan, 5Co-Director, El Brujo Archaeological Complex
Saturday 8:15-8:30, Galleria North
Recent research (Klaus and Tam, 2009; Murphy et al. 2010) at early colonial sites in Peru is beginning to elucidate the breadth and depth of the influence of Spanish contact on native Andean populations. Excavations led by Jeffrey Quilter of the Peabody Museum at Harvard, have been proceeding at the site of Magdalena de Cao Viejo, an early colonial reducción, since 2004. In the 2007 and 2008 seasons, 25 burials were excavated from under the floor of the church and the adjacent cemetery. The recovery of these burials helped define changes in mortuary patterns that are consistent with Christian influence, although remnants of textiles wrapped around the bodies suggest a mix of Christianity with native traditions. Osteological analysis of the skeletal materials has allowed for a preliminary estimate of population health and the results indicate generally poor health, which supports the hypothesis that Spanish colonization negatively impacted native population health. Childhood mortality rates are high as are frequencies of trauma associated with physical labor (e.g. tumpline deformation, spondylolisthesis), and non-specific indicators of stress, such as anemia. The results of these analyses will be presented and discussed within the context of the biocultural impact of Spanish occupation on native populations.