Foodways of the Ancient Andes

Transforming Diet, Cuisine, and Society

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Eating is essential for life, but it also embodies social and symbolic dimensions. This volume shows how foods and peoples were mutually transformed in the ancient Andes.

Exploring the multiple social, ecological, cultural, and ontological dimensions of food in the Andean past, the contributors of Foodways of the Ancient Andes offer diverse theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches that reveal the richness, sophistication, and ingenuity of Andean peoples. The volume spans time periods and localities in the Andean region to reveal how food is intertwined with multiple aspects of the human experience, from production and consumption to ideology and sociopolitical organization. It illustrates the Andean peoples’ resilience in the face of challenges brought about by food scarcity and environmental change. Chapters dissect the intersection of food, power, and status in early states and empires; examine the impact of food during times of conflict and instability; and illuminate how sacred and high-status foods contributed to the building of the Inka Empire.

Featuring forty-six contributors from ten countries, the chapters employ new analytical methods, integrating different food data and interdisciplinary research to show that food can provide not only simple nutrition but also a multitude of strategies, social and political relationships, and ontologies that are otherwise invisible in the archaeological record.

Aleksa K. Alaica
Sonia Alconini
Marta Alfonso-Durruty
Sarah I. Baitzel
Véronique Bélisle
Carolina Belmar
Carrie Anne Berryman
Matthew E. Biwer
Deborah E. Blom
Tamara L. Bray
Matthew T. Brown
Maria C. Bruno
José M. Capriles
Katherine L. Chiou
Susan D. deFrance
Lucia M. Diaz
Richard P. Evershed
Maureen E. Folk
Alexandra Greenwald
Chris Harrod
Christine A. Hastorf
Iain Kendall
Kelly J. Knudson
BrieAnna S. Langlie
Cecilia Lemp
Petrus le Roux
Marcos Martinez
Anahí Maturana-Fernández
Weston C. McCool
Melanie J. Miller
Nicole Misarti
Flavia Morello
Patricia Quiñonez Cuzcano
Omar Reyes
Arturo F. Rivera Infante
Manuel San Román
Francisca Santana-Sagredo
Beth K. Scaffidi
Augusto Tessone
Andrés Troncoso
Tiffiny A. Tung
Mauricio Uribe
Natasha P. Vang
Sadie L. Weber
Kurt M. Wilson
Michelle E. Young
“This book draws together a range of recent research on diet and foodways in the Andes, integrating stable isotope data with the results of zooarchaeological and paleoethnobotanical analysis. It highlights how vital foodstuffs and commensality in both everyday and extraordinary contexts transformed and generated social meaning and social relationships in the ancient Andes.”—Robyn E. Cutright, author of The Story of Food in the Human Past: How What We Ate Made Us Who We Are

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