Isotopic Evidence for Camelid Husbandry During the Formative Period at the Pacopampa Site, Peru

Mai Takigami, K. Uzawa, Y. Seki, D. Morales Chocano, M. Yoneda

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9 Citas (Scopus)


Camelids were domesticated in the Andean highlands, such as in the puna habitat, and dispersed into lowland areas and the northern Central Andes. As camelids domesticated in a particular region would have had a greater economic benefit than visiting- or hunted wild camelids, it is important to reconstruct the dispersal of camelid husbandry from its initial site throughout the ancient Andean civilisation. We carried out multi-isotope analyses of animal remains recovered from the Pacopampa site to investigate the nature of camelid pastoralism and utilisation. Strontium and oxygen isotope ratios from tooth enamel suggested that camelids in the early Late Formative Period (800–500 BC) were born near the site and remained in the same habitat for up to three years. Although corresponding data for the Middle Formative Period (1200–800 BC) were not available, carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios were statistically different from those of the Late Formative Period, supporting the possibility that the camelids inhabited the highland plateau like puna. It is inferred that in the northern highlands camelids were initially rare and regarded as either tribute or ritual animals, or they were used as pack animals. Camelid husbandry using maize as fodder began during the Late Formative Period at Pacopampa.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)262-278
Número de páginas17
PublicaciónEnvironmental Archaeology
EstadoPublicada - 2 jul. 2020

Nota bibliográfica

Funding Information:
This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI [grant numbers 23222003, 16H02729, and 16H05639]. The study was conducted with the support of a Joint Research Grant from the Environmental Isotope Study of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Takanori Nakano, Dr. Soichiro Kusaka, Dr. Ki-Cheol Shin, and members of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) for instructions on experimental techniques and assistance in strontium isotope ratio measurements. We also thank Dr. Megumi Saito-Kato and Dr. Nozomi Suzuki for their cooperation in the analysis of oxygen isotope ratios. We thank Ms. Megumi Arata and Ms. Nagisa Nakagawa, who provided invaluable assistance in sample collection, and Dr. Takayuki Omori and members of the university museum of the university of Tokyo, who assisted with carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses. Advice and comments given by Dr. Eisei Tsurumi have been a great help in the discussion on the concept of ?local areas.? Finally, we also would like to thank anonymous referees and editors for useful comments that helped us to improve this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© Association for Environmental Archaeology 2019.


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