Huari-Ancash Bio-Archaeological Research Project
Bioarchaeological Research in Huari Ancash ProjectThe bio-archaeological research is an important part of the project. Marcajirca has many funerary structures, known as chullpas, as well as caves, and semi-caves with human remains. For this reason, Marcajirca has enormous potential for physical anthropological studies. This ensemble, (chullpas, caves, and grottos) around 50, most of them, with human bone remains inside. As the site is far from the city, we think it is necessary to implement a strategy which helps us to make quick analyses and optimize results.
The project is focusing on the Late Intermediate Period (1200-1400 AP). During this period there are 2 ethnic groups in the region. We want to compare the DNA of human bones from sites against other sites and the other group ethnic because this group has been identified through ethnohistorical information. Of course, our archaeological evidence will help us to have more information to make these comparisons.
Why are tombs dug and bones analyzed? The first aim of the research is to know the cult to ancestors; this subject has a deep relationship with funeral patterns. In this case, it is necessary to answer questions such as: were all persons buried in one tomb families or were there other relationships? Were the tombs re-used? Is there a chronological difference between the tombs?
Facing this question, we have designed a strategy which lets us answer these questions. First, it would be necessary to determine the minimum number of persons buried in one tomb and we think IT is possible to carry out this type of analysis on site. In order to determine if members from one family were buried in one tomb, we need to take bone samples for DNA analyses. To determine if tombs were re-used, first, we need to take bone samples for radio carbonic analyses after which the bones are contrasted to determine the bones’ age with DNA analyses. This procedure will help us to determine the chronology of tombs.
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