The Reconstruction of Identity: A Case Study from Chachapoya, Peru


in Bioarchaeology and Identity in the Americas

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036786
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041865 | DOI:
The Reconstruction of Identity: A Case Study from Chachapoya, Peru

Show Summary Details


The relationship between culture and biology is a fundamental issue in physical anthropology, in which consideration of both cultural and biological facets of group membership and identity can account for the situational and dynamic nature of identity. This chapter explores social-identity formation in the Chachapoya region of northern Peru. Occupying a large area on the eastern drainage of the northern Andes, the people known ethnohistorically as the Chachapoya were incorporated into the Inka Empire as a single administrative unit, presumably based upon perceived commonalities. Archaeological evidence also points toward stylistic and architectural similarities, but perhaps also significant internal sub-group differentiation. Biodistance analyses are used to estimate intra-regional genetic differentiation and biological distances, which suggest significant between-group gene exchange. By considering both biological and archaeological data, bioarchaeologists generate a nuanced understanding of social-identity formation and maintenance.

Keywords: Chachapoya; Peru; group identity; biodistance analysis

Chapter.  7518 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.