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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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The Reconstruction of Identity: A Case Study from Chachapoya, Peru

The Reconstruction of Identity: A Case Study from Chachapoya, Peru

(p.82) 4 The Reconstruction of Identity: A Case Study from Chachapoya, Peru
Bioarchaeology and Identity in the Americas



University Press of Florida

The relationship between culture and biology is a fundamental issue in physical anthropology, in which consideration of both cultural and biological facets of group membership and identity can account for the situational and dynamic nature of identity. This chapter explores social-identity formation in the Chachapoya region of northern Peru. Occupying a large area on the eastern drainage of the northern Andes, the people known ethnohistorically as the Chachapoya were incorporated into the Inka Empire as a single administrative unit, presumably based upon perceived commonalities. Archaeological evidence also points toward stylistic and architectural similarities, but perhaps also significant internal sub-group differentiation. Biodistance analyses are used to estimate intra-regional genetic differentiation and biological distances, which suggest significant between-group gene exchange. By considering both biological and archaeological data, bioarchaeologists generate a nuanced understanding of social-identity formation and maintenance.

Keywords:   Chachapoya, Peru, group identity, biodistance analysis

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