Cultural History of Cranial Modification in the Lambayeque Valley Complex of Peru



Gómez Isaac, Mónica T

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This thesis serves as a bioarchaeological investigation of cranial modification spanning three millennia and originating from several different archaeological sites found on the north coast of Peru. Utilizing perspectives from cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biology to interpret the nature, variation, and meanings associated with this particular form of body ritualization, this study seeks to translate the emic motivations exercised by indigenous groups long ago of Latin America and specifically the central Andes. Since a single standard interpretation of head shaping is not representative of all cultures that performed this tradition, analysis of data collected from the Lambayeque Valley will provide vital contextual information about the body and this transformative process as regarded by native groups specific to this region. For these reasons, a set of hypotheses addressing cranial modification will address broader questions of social complexity, class, and difference while assessing their relevance to head shaping practices on the north coast of Peru.



Bioarchaeology, Cranial, Peru, Modification, Lambayeque, North Coast