Aleksa Alaica

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Toronto, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9580

Approve Date

April 13, 2018

Project Title

Alaica, Aleksa, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Camelid Herding in North Coastal Peru: Socio-political Exchange of the Late Moche (AD650-850) Period Through Isotopic Analysis of Tooth & Bone Remains,' supervised by Dr. Edward Swenson

ALEKSA K. ALAICA, then a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was awarded funding in April 2018 to aid in research on ‘Camelid Herding in North Coastal Peru: Socio-Political Exchange of the Late Moche (AD650-850) Period through Isotopic Analysis of Tooth and Bone Remains,’ supervised by Dr. Edward Swenson. This project utilized stable and radiogenic isotopic data from tooth and bone samples from South American camelids (llama/alpaca), guinea pig, dog and human remains from the site of Huaca Colorada. Baseline sediment, water and plant data were collected immediately around Huaca Colorada and in association with the Jequetepeque River. This study revealed drastically distinct ways in which humans and animals were moving within and outside the southern Jequetepeque valley. Human, dog, and guinea pig remains indicated coastal dietary and local mobility patterns, while camelids showcased extreme variability in diet and mobility patterns with many camelids having highland isotopic patterns that pointed to large networks of interaction. Through the lens of posthumanism and practice theory, these data have been interpreted to represent long-distance tribute where camelids were offered to large feasting events throughout the occupation of Huaca Colorada and were considered extended kin in the socio-political exchange of the Late Moche in the southern Jequetepeque Valley.