May 16, 2019
Anthropology professor leads international team in the study of South American prehistoric diet
Marta Alfonso-Durruty, associate professor of anthropology, is the leading author on a study recently published in Quaternary Science Reviews titled, "Dietary Diversity in the Atacama Desert during the Late Intermediate Period of Northern Chile."
The study analyzes dental pathologies and stable isotopic data to examine the diversity of prehistoric diets during pre-Inka times in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile. The results show that groups that belonged to the same moiety, but inhabit slightly different habitats, accessed and preferred diets that were unique. This study has enriched not only the understanding of the diet consumed by these prehistoric groups, but also the symbolic and political dimensions of their preferred foods.