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Exploring Stress and Diet: A Bioarchaeological Understanding of the Chimú at Huaca de la Luna

Mar 21, 2021 @ 2:00 pm 3:30 pm PDT

The Chimú (AD 900-1470) were the second largest Andean empire. Emerging in the Moche Valley of Peru, the Chimú extended their reach from the northern border of Ecuador, south to the Chillón valley of Peru. They built their capital Chan Chan on an empty beach near modern day Trujillo, however, the Chimú also interacted with the previously abandoned capital of the Southern Moche State- the Huacas de Moche. The Chimú remodeled and the religious center of the site, and interred their dead in pre-existing platforms at Huaca de la Luna, and scattered throughout the urban sector. This research presents preliminary findings of 32 burials excavated from Huaca de la Luna or the urban center. The objective of this presentation is to begin a conversation about the Chimú from a bioarchaeology perspective. We analyzed cribra orbitalia, porotic hyperostosis, periosteal, and linear enamel hypoplasia to chart stress. Caries, abscess, antemortem tooth loss, wear, and periodontal disease was analyzed in order to reconstruct diet.

Genesis Torres-Morales is a Ph.D. student in the Anthropology Department at UCR. Genesis interest for bioarchaeology began while in undergraduate after taking a biological anthropology course. She completed a BS at York College of Pennsylvania and an MA at UCR. Genesis has experience working as a teaching assistant and osteology assistant in the Andes, specifically in Peru and Bolivia. For her dissertation project, Genesis is working to analyze diet, nutrition, and mobility by observing the bones of Chimú individuals from the Moche Valley, Peru. She plans to further pursue this research in order to make inferences about the effects of climatic disruptions on a population.

Ms. Torres-Morales is a recipient of the 2020 AIA Orange County Society Grant.

via Zoom: All current society members will receive an email with the Zoom link a week before the lecture. If you don’t currently receive email from AIA-OC Society, please fill out the contact form on this website to be added to the list.