Thomas Jamison Snyder

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Davis, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10730

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Snyder, Thomas (California, Davis, U. of) "After the Dust Has Settled: a Bioarchaeology of Climate Change and Recovery in South-Central, Peru"

The variability of cultural responses to climate change is an immediate and pressing global issue, yet modern studies operate at limited timescales and within cultural contexts shaped principally by European colonialism and global markets. The cultural breadth and temporal depth of archaeology provides a means of investigating the diverse ways that human societies have responded to climatological changes through time. This project uses bioarchaeological data from a mortuary population interred at the cemetery site of Yaracachi, in the Moquegua Valley, Peru, to examine the relationship between climate change and human lifeways in the wake of social and ecological upheaval. The Moquegua Valley is an ideal location for this work due to the history of archaeological investigation and excellent preservation of human remains, allowing this project to situate its findings in a well-developed archaeological context. This project examines paleopathological lesions and cranial trauma, combined with stable isotope analysis, in order to shed light on patterns of disease, violence, and diet over time and in relation to dynamic environmental conditions. These data will ultimately be incorporated into ongoing large scale diachronic meta-analyses to develop a broader understanding of how dramatic climate and social changes impacted the ways people interacted with their environment.