A case study of a high-status human skeleton from Pacopampa in Formative Period Peru
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- Nagaoka, T., Seki, Y., Morita, W. et al. Anat Sci Int (2012) 87: 234. doi:10.1007/s12565-011-0120-z
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The Pacopampa site is located in the northern highlands of Peru and is an archaeological site belonging to the Formative Period (2500–1 BC). The excavation of the Pacopampa site yielded unusual human skeletons from the main platform of a ceremonial center of the site during the 2009 field season. The skeletal remains were associated with a pair of gold earplugs, a pair of gold earrings, and shell objects. This specimen is possibly a female aged 20–39 years. Detailed examination of the neurocranium revealed the presence of artificial cranial deformation with decreased cranial length, increased cranial breadth, and lateral bulging of the parietal bones. The estimated stature of this individual was 162 cm, which is about 15 cm higher than that of contemporary females of Pacopampa and about 20–25 cm higher than that of other Formative Period sites in northern Peru. The peculiarity of this individual, detected not only in the cultural artifacts but also in the physical features, is possible evidence for social stratification in the Formative Period.