M.A. Theses: Julie Park, 2001

Food from the Heartland: The Iwawi Site and Tiwanaku Political Economy from a Faunal Perspective

Four models of Tiwanaku political economy are examined using faunal remains recovered from the Iwawi site, located within the heartland of the Tiwanaku polity. The site spans 1000BC-AD1000, providing an opportunity to examine continuities and change in the local economy from a site witness to the rise and fall of the Tiwanaku polity. Taxa, camelid species identification, camelid skeletal parts data, modified bone, age profiles and specimens exhibiting lesions or pathologies provide the basis of this analysis. Faunal analysis of the Iwawi sample suggests overall continuities in faunal resource use from the beginning of site occupation to the end. A diverse mixed economy included fishing, hunting, herding and collecting activities. Camelid species identification indicates large camelids, most likely llamas, were the predominate camelids used at the site - though supplemented to some degree by alpacas and vicunas. At Iwawi camelids were used for a variety of purposes that promoted community self-sufficiency. Camelids were used for cargo carrying, local meat production and consumption, wool, and as raw materials for artifact production. The absence of significant economic shifts in resource use through time suggests the Tiwanaku state did not have significant levels of economic control over the inhabitants of Iwawi.