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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses research by the authors among Inca populations from two sites in Peru. Machu Picchu was a royal Inca estate, close to the imperial capital of Cuzco and inhabited by a permanent group of servants, while Túcume is a large site on the northern coast of Peru, in the hinterland of the empire, but with an elite burial context including a number of female attendants. Characterization of both light and heavy isotopes in the bones and teeth of individuals from both sites has permitted the authors to estimate the social status (mitmacona, yanacona, acllacona/mamacona) of the servants at both sites, and to better characterize their geographic origins and diet. When interpreted against an ethnohistorical and archaeological backdrop, isotopic bioarchaeology results discussed here indicate that the acllacona in particular represent a variety of possible manifestations in the archaeological record, reflecting the variety of roles they played in the empire.

Keywords: Inca, Peru, social status, mitmacona, acllacona, mamacona, yanacona, isotopic bioarchaeology, Machu Picchu, Túcume

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