Anna Fancher Whittemore

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Cornell U.

Grant number

Gr. 10546

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Whittemore, Anna (Cornell U.) "Lives of the Mitmaqkuna: The Bioarchaeology of Inka-Era Resettlement in Huancasancos, Peru"

My project will use bioarchaeology’the study of human remains from archaeological sites’to understand the lives of people who were forcibly resettled by the Inka Empire. To quell resistance and ramp up production of prized goods like pottery, cloth, and corn, the Inka uprooted and relocated entire communities across their vast empire. This policy is well attested in colonial-era accounts, but very little is known about the mitmaqkuna (those forced to move) as individuals and how they fared far away from their homelands. I am studying the ancient town and cemetery of Sayllamoqo, which my team has identified as a possibly mitmaqkuna colony based on historical records and its pottery, architecture, and location. I will use biogeochemistry to identify who, among those buried at Sayllamoqo, was born elsewhere, and study the bones of these people to see if they experienced violence or high rates of disease. Comparing migrants to locals will reveal how resettlement shaped life experiences. I want to change the conversation on Inka resettlement: it was not only a strategic move on the part of shrewd leaders, but also process that expelled real people from their homes and forced them to start over in strange new lands.