José M Capriles
Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationPennsylvania State U.
Grant numberGr. 9778
Approve DateApril 29, 2019
Project TitleCapriles Flores, Jose (Pennsylvania State U.) "Emergent Social Inequality among Terminal Archaic Period (4,500-3,600 BP) Hunter-Gatherers in the Bolivian Eastern Andes"
Recent anthropological research has called attention to the significance of inter-generational resource transmission for reproducing social inequality by measuring three dimensions of wealth: embodied, material, and relational. In the South Central Andes, the Terminal Archaic Period (4,500-3,600 cal BP) marks a critical transition between mobile foraging egalitarian communities and increasingly hierarchical sedentary agricultural societies. In this project, we propose to evaluate the degree to which hunter-gatherers were experiencing emerging social inequality in Tarija, a strategic region in the eastern Andes for connecting the Chaco lowlands with the Atacama Desert and the Pacific Coast. Specifically, we plan to continue excavations, analyses, and radiocarbon dating of funerary contexts from three recently discovered Terminal Archaic open-air sites. We will then evaluate material wealth by assessing the quality and quantity of burial investment and offerings, embodied wealth by directly examining pathologies and trauma in the human remains, and relational wealth by analyzing the provenience of the offerings and isotopic signatures of mobility. We will then compare these results using multidimensional scaling to determine the structure and degree of social differentiation. This study will contribute in characterizing the institutional social dynamics among hunter-gatherer communities during the emergence of social complexity in the Andes.