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Keywords:

  • Andes;
  • bone chemistry;
  • migration;
  • palaeodiet

Abstract

The Chiribaya were a complex polity during the Andean Late Intermediate Period (c. AD 1000–1300) in the Ilo and Moquegua Valleys of southern Peru. Recent research has demonstrated that the Chiribaya polity was a señorío, a confederacy of economically specialised parcialidades. Here we test hypotheses regarding the movement of individuals and resources among the Chiribaya-affiliated sites of Chiribaya Alta, Chiribaya Baja, San Gerónimo and El Yaral, as well as from outside of the Ilo and Moquegua Valleys. Although archaeological human enamel and bone strontium isotope ratios from Chiribaya Baja and San Gerónimo cluster closely, there is a wider variety of strontium isotope ratios observed at Chiribaya Alta and El Yaral. This indicates that individuals buried in cemeteries at these sites had access to a wider variety of resources, and probably moved between different geological zones throughout their lifetimes. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.