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Title: From the Andes to the coast : human mobility and diet in the Atacama Desert during the Late Intermediate Period (AD 900-1450)
Author: Santana Sagredo, Francisca
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 5306
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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The Late Intermediate Period in northern Chile has been strongly influenced by the mobility models of vertical archipelago and the gyratory mobility. The vertical archipelago model proposes altiplano colonies would have lived in the lowlands controlling trade and distributing economic resources. The gyratory mobility suggests trade was rather controlled by pastoralist groups from the highlands, travelling across the Andes using llama caravans. Following new studies on stable isotope analysis for the LIP in the Atacama Desert, there is little evidence to support the colonies hypothesis. For this reason, the aim of this thesis is to evaluate the presence of colonies and specialised highland pastoralist groups in the lowlands of northern Chile through the use of d13C, d15N, d18O and 87Sr/86Sr as well as radiocarbon dating. Human remains were analysed for tooth enamel, bone collagen, bone apatite, and hair-keratin. A second aim of the thesis was to provide new analysis of archaeological plants and animals of the area. Plants results present incredibly high d15N values for the crops, suggesting use of fertilisers on them, probably seabird guano from the coast. This is also supported by the absence of a marine reservoir effect on the radiocarbon dates, reflected in the lack of offset between paired dates of bone collagen and textiles in individuals enriched in 15N. The results obtained for the human remains suggest there is no evidence to support neither the 'colony' hypothesis nor the gyratory mobility model. However, a small number of outlier individuals for d13C, d15N, d18O and 87Sr/86Sr suggest a non-local origin. Mobility patterns were diverse and flexible including female and male individuals that moved at different moments of their life (infancy and adulthood). This study shows that dietary patterns in the Atacama Desert during the LIP were associated with strong local traditions.
Supervisor: Lee-Thorp, Julia ; Schulting, Rick Sponsor: Beca Chile
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Atacama Desert (Chile)--Antiquities ; Excavations (Archaeology)--Chile--Atacama Desert ; Human remains (Archaeology)--Analysis ; Stable isotopes ; Agriculture ; Ancient