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Violence and Crisis in the Pre-Hispanic Peruvian Central Coast

Maricarmen Vega
Publication Year:
192 pages, Illustrated throughout in black & white, and colour
BAR number:


This investigation shows the interaction between socio-political changes and climate crisis in the development of violence in the pre-Hispanic Peruvian central coast and how this violence affected specific population segments.This research highlights three factors that triggered violent episodes in the area: the emergence of social inequalities/a warrior elite; socio-political crises that were produced after the fall of a previous social order; and the need to fight for resources, either during severe droughts or to control the resources of the middle valley region. Males, especially those dedicated to military activities or those from the lower status, were more exposed to violence than the rest of the population. However, in times when violence rose, females were equally affected.Further comparisons of these findings with other Andean regions showed that not all societies reacted in the same way when faced with similar political and environmental challenges.

Maricarmen Vega is a bioarchaeologist and forensic anthropologist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, specializing in violence and human rights. She has more than twenty years of experience in the analysis of human remains from archaeological sites, and works as a forensic expert and consultant in cases of human rights violations.

‘This is the only book-length review of Central Coast Peru bioarchaeology to come out, to my knowledge. As such, this is - and will continue to be - an important reference for archaeologists and biological anthropologists.’ Professor John Verano, Tulane University

Introduction (S3124_Vega_9781407359359_-_intro.pdf, 281 Kb) [Download]

Table of Contents (S3124_Vega_9781407359359_-_toc.pdf, 243 Kb) [Download]