Weronika Hanna Tomczyk

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Stanford U.

Grant number

Gr. 10035

Approve Date

August 26, 2020

Project Title

Tomczyk , Weronika (Stanford U.) "Multispecies Relationships in the Northern Provinces of the Wari Empire, Modern Peru "

This project explores human-animal relationships during the rise of the Wari Empire (ca. 600-1100 AD) in modern north-central Peru. By analyzing the animal bones from Wari administrative and religious centers: El Palacio, Ichic Wilkawain, and Castillo de Huarmey, I seek to move beyond the common perception of the animal simply as a resource or commodity. I employ human-nonhuman relationships as a conceptual framework to assess the Wari imperial organization, economics, trade, and daily practices. I theorize that the limit of Wari dominance in provinces can be identified through studies of faunal remains. I investigate the application of transhumance as a premise intertwining anthropological and archaeological theories and providing broader insight into Wari ecological engineering. I aim to verify if pastoralism’s main operative unit, a herd, engaged not just humans and domesticated camelids, but catalyzed the interregional human interactions and multispecies exchange. The transhumant mobility will be a point of origin to study the social and economic importance of other animals in the Andes, especially dogs and non-native wild species. By combining standard zooarchaeological methods, stable isotopes analysis, and geometric morphometrics, this project adds to the body of knowledge on the role of human-animal-landscape entanglement in the creation of ancient empires.