This study is based on skeletons and mummies belonging to 582 individuals excavated at sites of Pueblo Viejo, Cahuachi, Estaqueria and Atarco in the Nasca valley, South Coast of Peru. Archaeological evidence distinguishes three cultural phases: Nasca (400 BC–550 AD), Wari (600–1100 AD) and Chincha (1100–1412 AD). Since the Chincha human remains were too exiguous (27 individuals), only Nasca and Wari were considered. For the Nasca population, sex ratio was 113 men to 100 women (53% of males); for the Wari population, sex ratio was 117 men to 100 women (54% of males). The palaeodemographic data show that the infant mortality rate was 33‰ for Nasca and 105‰ for Wari. Life expectancy was 38–43 years for Nasca and 31–36 years for Wari. Death percentages in all the age groups increased from Nasca to Wari phase. ANOVA and t-test for paired comparison were applied in order to examine if dental and bone ages were statistically different. Long bones and teeth showed an allometric development, and the age estimated from the tooth formation and eruption was generally higher than the age estimated from the maximum lengths of long bones. The anthropological study of the Nasca valley skeletal populations confirmed the archaeological hypothesis of worse conditions of the Wari population in comparison with the previous Nasca people.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.