Research by Richard Sutter and Tanvi Chhatiawala Published in New Book

9780128019665The paper “Population Structure Analyses using Phenetic Deciduous Tooth Trait Data from San José de Moro, Peru (A.D. 500 – 850),” co-authored by Richard Sutter, chair and professor of anthropology, and Tanvi Chhatiawala (’16) was recently published in the book Biological Distance Analysis: Forensic and Bioarchaeological Perspectives.

The paper is based upon research conducted during July 2012 as part of Sutter’s ANTH B405 Fieldwork in Bioanthropology course at the San José de Moro archaeological site located on the north coast of Peru.

The paper examines the usefulness of genetically influenced human tooth characteristics in children’s deciduous teeth to derive population genetics estimates of inbreeding, gene flow, and genetic relatedness among prehistoric human populations.

“The team compared their results to those previously reported by me in another publication that came out last fall in Current Anthropology,” said Sutter. “We found that the children’s teeth produced similar genetic estimates as did the adult’s permanent tooth traits.”

Richer Sutter Co-authors Chapter on the Moche Collapse

coverA chapter co-authored by Richard Sutter, chair and professor of anthropology, and Kari Zobler about the Moche Collapse in Peru was published in the edited volume (ed. Ronald Faulseit) Beyond Collapse: Archaeological Perspectives on Resilience, Revitalization, and Reorganization in Complex Societiespublished by the Carbondale Center for Archaeological Investigations at Southern Illinois University.

During the environmentally influenced demise of the Moche of Peru (a.d. 200–800), archaeological and biological data provide evidence that Moche communities chose differential responses of resilience, including forging new political alliances, expanding economic production, and adopting new religious practices. At some communities, former Moche elites intermarried and formed political alliances with Cajamarca peoples from the adjacent highlands, while others – such as the nearby inhabitants of Talambo – were able to moderate external highland cultural influence and remained economically independent during a period of political and environmental instability. Such varied responses indicate that the impacts of political collapse on prehistoric peoples were not uniform and often provided new social and political opportunities.