The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)


Migration during state expansion in the Nasca region: Strontium isotope evidence from Pataraya, a Wari outpost in Peru (AD 750-1000)

CORINA M. KELLNER1, MATTHEW EDWARDS2 and KATHARINA J. SCHREIBER3.

1Anthropology, Northern Arizona University, 2Archaeology Program Manager, HDR Environmental, Operations and Construction, Inc., 3Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara

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Migration of human populations is important in understanding state expansion. We examined the role of population mobility and migration in Wari state expansion in the Nasca region during the Middle Horizon (AD 750-1000) through the use of strontium isotope analysis of human teeth from the Wari outpost of Pataraya. Archaeological evidence suggests that textile manufacturing was important at Pataraya, located near the borderlands of the Nasca region with the highlands. Recent research shows that migration into the Nasca region increased during the Middle Horizon, coinciding with Wari expansion, but these data are the first to test if direct Wari emissaries were present at a Wari outpost. Previous stable isotope analysis of Nasca human bone and teeth suggests that Wari did not exploit the region for maize. Instead, Pataraya may have functioned for the acquisition of coastal cotton and shipment of the product to the Wari state. Most individuals buried at Pataraya exhibit strontium isotope values closer to the Wari average than the Nasca average, suggesting that they may be Wari migrants. A few individuals buried at Pataraya, however, fall within the average range for Nasca individuals, indicating that the Wari strategy likely involved local Nasca collaborators. When examined with other regions under Wari influence, these data support the position that the Wari practiced a “mosaic of control” or different consolidation strategies shaped by local conditions.

Research supported by a NSF Archaeology Senior Research Grant #0612728 to KJS.

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