The Bioarchaeology of Collapse: Ethnocide and Ethnogenesis in Post-Imperial Andahuaylas, Peru (AD 900 - 1200)
Kurin, Danielle Shawn
This dissertation investigates the bio-cultural impacts of Wari imperial collapse in the highland Andean region of Andahuaylas, Peru. Using a comprehensive social bioarchaeological approach based on both lab work and fieldwork, skeletal, artifactual, bio-geochemical, ethnohistoric and ethnographic data are incorporated within a social and environmental archaeological context. Mortuary practices, migratory patterns, dietary trends, health indices, patterns of biological affinity, incidences of trepanation, cranial modification, and trauma are assessed to better understand how they factor in to the reformulation of ethnic identity, and variable experiences of violence during the early post-imperial era (ca. AD 1000 – 1250). These data are then used to better understand how lifeways were renegotiated following tempestuous socio-political transformations. The research demonstrates that state collapse and societal restructuring variably impacted sub-population groups. Moreover, ethnogenesis, the creation of novel ethnic groups, and ethnocide, the targeted killing of ethnic groups, are linked processes in the post-collapse era. Thus, although post-imperial times may be fraught with want and deprivation, they are also crucibles for regeneration, innovation, and resilience.