Spain Project Notice - Paleodietary Analyses Of The First Andean Cities: High-Resolution Assessment To Macronutrients Using A Multiproxy Approach.

Project Notice

PNR 58483
Project Name Paleodietary analyses of the first Andean cities: high-resolution assessment to macronutrients using a multiproxy approach.
Project Detail The nutrients of early Andean city dwellers as proxy of socioecological conditions The transition to urbanism is generally associated with farming of annual staple crops. In the case of the rise of Andean cities around 5 000 years ago, the conditions accompanying this growth are unclear. A seminal 1975 publication suggested that coastal Peruvian civilisation was founded on a fishing economy. And recent archaeological evidence indicates that agriculture significantly preceded the rise of urban centres. Evaluating the diet of these early people could provide clues to the foods that fuelled their urbanisation. With the support of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions programme, the PACHAMAMA project will analyse palaeodietary macronutrients using a multiproxy approach that harnesses bone collagen and dental calculus to enhance understanding of the period’s social complexity and urban development. "Paleodietary analyses of the first Andean cities: high-resolution assessment to macronutrients using a multiproxy approach. The socio-ecological circumstances that underpinned the rise of the earliest urban centers in the Americas are some of the most intriguing and unclear aspects of New World archaeology. In particular, the emergence of Andean cities 5000 years ago has been the subject of contentious debates. On one hand, the Maritime Foundations of Andean Civilization have challenged the conventional assumption that agriculture was a pre-condition for early city development, and on the other, recent archaeological investigations have reenergized these debates by demonstrating that plant management and agriculture were developed in the region before the rise of complex societies and urban centers. Uncertainties remain regarding the proportional contributions of plants, fish and terrestrial animals to individual diet, and their potential roles in sustaining early sedentary and stratified urban populations engaged in monumental architecture. PACHAMAMA will employ a suite of molecular techniques to unlock the relationship between diet and processes of social complexity among early urban groups in coastal Peru. Using a multiproxy approach that integrates stable isotopes of bone collagen (bulk and single amino acids), Bayesian mixing models, and palaeoproteomic analyses of dental calculus, the fellow will address the role of marine resources and plant production systems in Formative period (3000 - 1 BC) populations on the North-Central coast of the Central Andes, a region known as ""the crucible of Andean Civilization."" This novel integrative approach will advance the state-of-the-art on social complexity and urban development in hyper-arid regions of the ancient world.
Funded By European Union (EU)
Sector BPO
Country Spain , Southern Europe
Project Value EUR 181,153

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