Variaciones en el comportamiento mortuorio durante la caída del imperio inca en el Pucará de Tilcara (Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy): Aportes desde la entomología forense y la bioantropología

Clarisa Otero, Néstor Centeno, Maria Laura Fuchs, Maria Soledad Gheggi, Verónica Seldes, Kelly J. Knudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the Southern Andes, funerary practices included a variety of ritual acts that went beyond body treatment and location. Their development and characteristics depended mainly on the social condition of the dead while alive. In this article we address the particular case of the mortuary context of a woman whose death was estimated at the end of the Inca period or the beginning of the Hispanic-Indigenous period in the Pucará de Tilcara, in Jujuy (Argentina). Through the interdisciplinary analysis of the archaeological context, including entomological studies of the cadaveric fauna and bioanthropological analysis, it was determined that this woman's body was exposed after her death and during the entire decomposition process. We propose that this exhibition, framed in the cult of ancestor worship, was meant to highlight her social status during life. Mortuary context and chemical analysis of the woman's remains also suggest that she was part of an elite group from another region of Tawantinsuyu, probably representing the imperial administration in its southernmost corner or seeking refuge from the Spanish conquest.

Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalLatin American Antiquity
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • ancestor worship
  • cadaveric fauna
  • Inca
  • northwest Argentina
  • strontium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology

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