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Tracing ChildhoodBioarchaeological Investigations of Early Lives in Antiquity$
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Jennifer L. Thompson, Marta P. Alfonso-Durruty, and John J. Crandall

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049830

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049830.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Chinchorro Mortuary Practices on Infants

Chinchorro Mortuary Practices on Infants

Northern Chile Archaic Period (BP 7000–3600)

(p.58) 3 Chinchorro Mortuary Practices on Infants
Tracing Childhood

Vivien G. Standen

Bernardo T. Arriaza

Calogero M. Santoro

University Press of Florida

The Chinchorro were coastal hunter-gatherers of the Archaic period in the Atacama Desert, who artificially mummified their infants and fetuses. Their complex mummification process led to the transformation of these bodies into small effigies that were commonly finished with a facial mask and a wig. This process is exceptional as no other pre-state group in the Andes, or the word, has it. From a bioarchaeological standpoint, this complex funerary treatment reveals that the Chinchorro held their infants in high regard. These individuals may have had a symbolic role in the social reproduction of Chinchorro groups.

Keywords:   Artificial mummification, infants, fetuses, Chinchorro, Atacama Desert, Archaic Period

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