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Bioarchaeology and Identity in the Americas$
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Kelly J. Knudson and Christopher M. Stojanowski

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036786

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036786.001.0001

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Surviving Contact: Biological Transformation, Burial, and Ethnogenesis in the Colonial Lambayeque Valley, North Coast of Peru

Surviving Contact: Biological Transformation, Burial, and Ethnogenesis in the Colonial Lambayeque Valley, North Coast of Peru

Chapter:
(p.126) 6 Surviving Contact: Biological Transformation, Burial, and Ethnogenesis in the Colonial Lambayeque Valley, North Coast of Peru
Source:
Bioarchaeology and Identity in the Americas
Author(s):

KELLY J. KNUDSON

CHRISTOPHER M. STOJANOWSKI

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813036786.003.0006

The profound biocultural interchange resulting from European contact produced a variety of indigenous experiences. In this chapter, multiple lines of evidence are integrated to infer the changing experience of the post-colonial Mochica from San Pedro de Mórrope. Postcontact declines in health are consistent with fragmentary Lambayeque ethnohistoric records suggesting harsh labor extraction and Spanish success at dismantling pre-Hispanic socioeconomic systems of collective well-being. Simultaneously, colonial mortuary patterns at Mórrope involved preservation of Mochica identity including complex ritual manipulations of skeletal remains. The agency of the indigenous Mochica not only forged a hybrid culture, but death rituals were a locus of social memory and symbolic resistance to colonization, endeavoring to buffer the potentially catastrophic effects of conquest. Ultimately, this contextualized case study illustrates interrelationships between health outcomes, ethnogenesis and identity, and the dynamic adaptations of indigenous peoples in postcontact Peru.

Keywords:   Mochica, Peru, ethnogenesis, biodistance analysis

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