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Kent Johnson will be defending his dissertation proposal, "Social Reorganization Following State Decline in the Osmore Drainage, Peru: Regional Bioarchaeological Approach through Social Identity" at 11:45 a.m. on March 5.
Committee: Jane Buikstra, (co-chair), Chris Stojanowski (co-chair), Kelly Knudson, Paul Goldstein.
Abstract: The decline of Tiwanaku state influence led to sociopolitical reorganization in the Osmore Drainage of southern Peru, beginning around AD 1000. Using a bioarchaeological perspective on social identities, this research will examine the impact of Tiwanaku state decline on social organization among Tiwanaku-affiliated communities and communities affiliated with the nearby Chiribaya polity. Data from human skeletal remains and their associated archaeological contexts will be used to assess: 1) models of social organization among Tiwanaku-affiliated communities prior to state decline, 2) patterns of interaction between Tiwanaku-affiliated and Chiribaya-affiliated communities prior to state decline, and 3) patterns of biosocial interaction between post-decline Tiwanaku communities and Chiribaya-affiliated communities. Microevolutionary processes such as gene flow and genetic isolation will be reconstructed using phenotypic data collected from previously excavated human skeletal remains from 18 Tiwanaku, Chiribaya and Formative Period sites in the Osmore Drainage. Cultural aspects of social identities will be investigated using artificial cranial modification and mortuary rituals, both salient aspects of identity construction in the pre-Hispanic Andes. Additionally, samples of non-human organic materials suitable for radiocarbon assays will be obtained to provide greater temporal resolution and facilitate the reconstruction of the biosocial processes that preceded and followed the decline of Tiwanaku state influence. The results of this research will address an important aspect of post-decline reorganization at the margins of an expansive state: how state decline affects kin, ethnic and political identities that structure biological and cultural interaction within and between communities in a multiethnic, multi-polity regional setting.
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