Kelly Knudson

Kelly Knudson
Arizona State University | ASU · Center for Bioarchaeological Research

Professor

About

122
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (122)
Article
Full-text available
Imperial expansion can have substantial impacts on the daily and long-term activities of colonized regions. However, statecraft can vary depending on local resilience and the decisions made by agropastoralists and other economic collectives. We explore how Wari expansion affected, and was affected by, pastoralists’ activities by examining the isoto...
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Climate change is a significant threat to human health, especially for societies already confronted with rising social inequality, political and economic uncertainty, and a cascade of concurrent environmental challenges. Archaeological data about climate and environmental change provide a source of evidence about the potential challenges we face an...
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This article presents outcomes from a Workshop entitled “Bioarchaeology: Taking Stock and Moving Forward,” which was held at Arizona State University (ASU) on March 6–8, 2020. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the School of Human Evolution and Social Change (ASU), and the Center for Bioarchaeological Research (CBR, ASU), the Workshop...
Chapter
An anthropological archaeology perspective on the role of camelid caravans during the Middle Horizon period (600-1000 AD). We employ zooarchaeology and isotope analyses to examine herd profiles and mobility strategies of Late Moche communities in the Jequetepeque Valley of northern Peru.
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En los Andes surandinos, las prácticas funerarias incluyeron una diversidad de actos rituales en torno a los restos de los difuntos que iban más allá de la preparación del cuerpo y el lugar de depósito. El desarrollo y las características de estos actos dependían principalmente de la condición social que tenían los muertos en vida. En el Pucará de...
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Objectives This study aims to determine whether adults from the site of Uraca in the Lower Majes Valley, Arequipa, Peru altered their diets in late-life—if so, were those short-term changes related to accessing distinct foods during periods of short-term mobility, seasonal subsistence strategies without accompanying mobility, or some other type of...
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Objectives: This study aims to determine whether adults from the site of Uraca in the Lower Majes Valley, Arequipa, Peru altered their diets in late-life—if so, were those short-term changes related to accessing distinct foods during periods of short-term mobility, seasonal subsistence strategies without accompanying mobility, or some other type of...
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Camelid pastoralism, agriculture, sedentism, surplus production, increasing cultural complexity, and interregional interaction during northern Chile's Late Formative period (AD 100–400) are seen in the flow of goods and people over expanses of desert. Consolidating evidence of material culture from these interactions with a bioarchaeological dimens...
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The role of animal economies, and particularly the provisioning of feasts, in supporting the rise and maintenance of social complexity are topics of global interest in anthropology. This study investigates how people chose to provision feasts during the late Neolithic Halaf Period in Northern Mesopotamia (ca. 6000-5300 cal. BCE). Zooarcheological a...
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A growing number of studies strive to examine wooden archaeological remains recovered from Norse sites in the North Atlantic, contributing to a better understanding of patterns in both wood exploitation and woodland management. Despite the limited diversity and abundance of trees in the North Atlantic islands, the Medieval Norse kept using wood in...
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The Osmore Drainage of southern Peru has a long and rich history of human occupation. While the utility of stable oxygen and radiogenic strontium isotope values in identifying paleomobility between this region and population centers in the Bolivian altiplano has been well established, many questions about intra-regional mobility remain. To better u...
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Bioarchaeological studies are highly successful in accessing multivalent past social identities. This study applies social identity theory to contexts of violence, developing a theoretical framework to investigate identity-based violence at the Epiclassic (600-900 CE) central Mexican shrine site of Non-Grid 4, where at least 180 individuals were ri...
Preprint
The pre-Hispanic settlement of Paquime (1150/1200–1450 CE) in northwestern Chihuahua exhibits extensive evidence of exchange connections with distant communities, including the remains of over 300 scarlet macaws (Ara macao), brilliantly plumed birds whose geographic origins lie at least 1000 km southeast in the humid lowlands of Mexico. Archaeologi...
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Archaeological chemists compare the radiogenic strontium isotope ratios of humans to those of the environment in order to assess paleomobility in contexts across the world, spanning from periods before modern humans to current forensic applications. These methods rely on the variability of bioavailable strontium isotope ratios that is typically att...
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The analysis of 87 Sr/ 86 Sr has become a robust tool for identifying non-local individuals at archeological sites. The 87 Sr/ 86 Sr in human bioapatite reflects the geological signature of food and water consumed during tissue development. Modeling relationships between 87 Sr/ 86 Sr in human environments, food webs, and archeological human tissues...
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Biogeographical studies of migration and mobility in archaeology and bioarchaeology rely on accurately characterizing local 87Sr/86Sr ranges, either through baseline studies or by statistically parsing archaeological results at a given site. However, when baseline materials are difficult to obtain or suspected to deviate from prehistoric isotopic c...
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Radiogenic strontium isotopes (⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sr) have long been used in analyses of paleomobility within Mesoamerica. While considerable effort has been expended developing ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sr baseline values across the Maya region, work in central Mexico is primarily focused on the Classic period urban center of Teotihuacan. This study adds to this important datas...
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Objectives: Written accounts, as well as a previous craniometric study, indicate that migrations of non-Europeans and conversions of Europeans to Islam define Ottoman communities in Early Modern Europe. What is less clear are the roles of migration and admixture in generating intra-communal variation. This study combines craniometric with strontiu...
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Social Skins of the Head: Body Beliefs and Ritual in Ancient Mesoamerica and the Andes. VERA TIESLER and MARÍA CECILIA LOZADA, editors. 2018. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. xv + 304 pp., $85.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8263-5963-6. - Kelly J. Knudson
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In this study, we employ multiple lines of evidence to elucidate the use of mortuary ritual by the ruling elite at the ancient Maya site of Cahal Pech, Belize, during the Early Classic and early Late Classic periods (AD 250–630). The interments of multiple individuals in Burial 7 of Structure B1, the central structure of an Eastern Triadic Assembla...
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Stable isotope signatures of bioelements are utilized for geolocation of unknown human remains. Hair in particular can generate a high-temporal resolution record of recent travel history, providing critical investigative leads. However, systematic studies of law enforcement packaging materials and evidence packaging protocols are needed, including...
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Recent theoretical innovations in cultural evolutionary theory emphasize the role of cooperative social organizations that unite diverse groups as a key step in the evolution of social complexity. A principal mechanism identified by this theory is feasting, a strategy that reinforces norms of cooperation. Feasts occur throughout the premodern world...
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The Andes mountain range is one key physiographic feature of South America with the potential to have acted as a barrier and corridor for human societies. The goal of this paper is to assess from where and how were the highlands utilized during the last 2000 years, which is a key period witnessing the development of productive economies and changes...
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Objectives Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis is used to reconstruct diet among a pre-Hispanic population from the Peruvian Andes to evaluate whether local foodways changed with Wari imperial influence in the region. This study also compares local diet to other Wari-era sites. Materials and methods Samples derive from the site of Beringa i...
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Objectives: The goal of this paper is to assess the scale of human paleomobility and ecological complementarity between the lowlands and highlands in the southern Andes during the last 2300 years. By providing isotope results for human bone and teeth samples, we assess a hypothesis of ‘high residential mobility’ suggested on the basis of oxygen iso...
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Between approximately 500–1000 CE, much of what is now Peru was integrated into the Wari Empire, centered on the archaeological site of Huari in the Peruvian highlands. The recent discovery of the first unlooted Wari mausoleum of elite adult females, located at Castillo de Huarmey on the Peruvian coast, provides an unprecedented opportunity to unde...
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Biogeochemical reconstructions of life histories of mobility offer a means to obtain nuanced information about regional interactions in the past. We test this method using the Late Intermediate Period Ychsma society on the central Peruvian coast as a case study. Archaeological and ethnohistoric evidence indicates that the Rimac and Lurín Valleys in...
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Despite our instinctive understanding of the importance of “identity,” archaeologists and bioarchaeologists continue to struggle to rigorously investigate this complex phenomenon. Here, we present a contextualized multiscalar bioarchaeological approach to studying identities in the past—individual and group, mutable and immutable—through the mortua...
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The consumption of different types and quantities of food frequently serves as a practice that expresses and reinforces social distinctions among individuals within complex societies. This study explores the dietary behavior of probable sacrificial victims interred within the offering complex underlying the Feathered Serpent Pyramid as a line of ev...
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Objectives: Hypothetical models of socioeconomic organization in pre-Columbian societies generated from the rich ethnohistoric record in the New World require testing against the archaeological and bioarchaeological record. Here, we test ethnohistorian Maria Rostworowski's horizontality model of socioeconomic specialization for the Central Andean...
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In the valley of Ambato, Catamarca, between the sixth to the eleventh centuries AD a process of social differentiation and complexity led to the emergence of an unequal society characterized by the maintenance of economic and political inequalities, craft specialization and intensification in the exploitation of resources. In this context, camelids...
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The Teleoscopic Polity: Andean Patriarchy and Materiality, by Dillehay Tom D. . 2014. xxviii + 388 pp. Springer, New York. $129.00 (cloth), $99.00 (eBook). ISBN 978-3319031286. - Volume 26 Issue 3 - Kelly J. Knudson
Chapter
The unifying themes and concepts that span past and present in migration studies and an analytical framework that is the basis for the edited volume are laid out in this chapter. The concept of disruptions, frequently cited as a cause of past migrations, is discussed. The definition of migration adopted by book contributors, which involves movement...
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This chapter investigates the role of environmental and political disruption on migration patterns in the South-Central Andes during the Middle Horizon (c. A.D. 500–1100) and Late Intermediate Period (c. A.D. 1100–1400) in the San Pedro de Atacama oases of northern Chile. During the centuries covered by this study, life in the oases was impacted by...
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To assess the relationship between the Tiwanaku polity and the individuals buried at the Middle Horizon (∼AD500-1000) cemetery of Larache in northern Chile, a site that has been singled out as a potential elite foreign enclave. We explore this association through the skeletal remains of 48 individuals interred at the cemetery of Larache using bioar...
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Gender and other facets of social identity play important roles in the organization of complex societies. This study reconstructs dietary practices within the Middle Horizon (AD 500-1000) Tiwanaku colonies in southern Peru to increase our knowledge of gendered patterns of consumption within this early expansive state. We use stable isotope analysis...
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Despite being one of the most famous archaeological cemeteries in Peru, many questions remain about the people who were buried at the Paracas Necropolis of Wari Kayan, which was first excavated by Julio C. Tello in 1925. Here, we use bioarchaeology and biogeochemistry to elucidate the lives of individuals buried at Wari Kayan. More specifically, we...
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Bioarchaeological approaches are well suited for examining past responses to political and environmental changes. In the Andes, we hypothesized that political and environmental changes around AD 1100 resulted in behavioral changes, visible as shifts in paleodiet and paleomobility, among individuals in the San Pedro de Atacama oases and Loa River Va...
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During its prehistory, Chile's desert north was occupied by numerous cultures scattered across the various ecological niches of the region. However, from the Late Archaic forward there is archaeological evidence for the sharing of resources and cultural elements across groups, a practice that intensified during the Middle and Late Intermediate Peri...
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Full-text available
During its prehistory, Chile's desert north was occupied by numerous cultures scattered across the various ecological niches of the region. However, from the Late Archaic forward there is archaeological evidence for the sharing of resources and cultural elements across groups, a practice that intensified during the Middle and Late Intermediate Peri...
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Paleomobility has been a key element in the study of the expansion of ancient states and empires, including the Tiwanaku polity of the South Central Andes (AD 500–1000). We present radiogenic strontium and oxygen isotope data from human burials from three cemeteries in the Tiwanaku-affiliated Middle Horizon archaeological site complex of Rio Muerto...
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While the use of radiogenic strontium isotope values to examine paleomobility is increasingly common in the Andes, and beyond, many questions about baseline variability remain. To better understand baseline radiogenic strontium isotope compositions in the Andes, we present new 87Sr/86Sr values from Peruvian soil samples. Modern soil samples were co...
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Despite a long history of research, interactions between the Tiwanaku polity of the Andean Middle Horizon (ca. A.D. 500– 1100) and the San Pedro de Atacama oases of northern Chile remain controversial. Here, we investigate Middle Horizon interactions through an isotopic identification of the geographic origins of individuals buried in San Pedro de...
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This chapter fills a gap in studies of the ancient Andes by incorporating age identities into previous research into the formation of social identities in the Tiwanaku polity (ca. AD 500 – 1150). A general theoretical approach to concepts of childhood in the Andes is discussed, using the ethnographic and ethnohistoric record to outline significant...
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The African Humid Period witnessed a rapid human re-occupation of the Sahara as numerous lakes formed during the Holocene climatic optimum circa 10-5 kya. Permanent waters attracted a variety of aquatic and terrestrial fauna allowing for long-term occupation of specific paleolake basins. The Gobero paleolake in central Niger was one such location t...
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The Middle Period (AD 400-1000) in northern Chile's Atacama oases is characterized by an increase in social complexity and regional interaction, much of which was organized around the power and impact of the Tiwanaku polity. Despite the strong cultural influence of Tiwanaku and numerous other groups evident in interactions with Atacameños, the role...
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Bioarchaeology and biogeochemistry can elucidate aspects of individual life histories that are often lost in the archaeological record. Here, we use stable and radiogenic isotope analyses of enamel, bone and hair to reconstruct paleodiet and paleomobility in an adult male interred along a pre‐Columbian route connecting the northern Chilean coast to...
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Estudios de las formas locales de organización social en zonas periféricas pueden enriquecer nuestra comprensión de los factores sociopolíticos que estructuran las interacciones entre centro y periferia. Esta investigación explora cómo las identidades de grupos locales de San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, influyeron en la manera como los individuos y la...
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During the early medieval period in Ireland, Dublin was established as the largest Viking settlement on the island in the ninth century AD. A previous biodistance study has suggested that the population of the town consisted of a polyethnic amalgam of immigrant and indigenous. In this study, we use biogeochemistry to investigate paleomobility and p...
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While political integration can be achieved by many means, here we focus on the use of feasting and statecraft in the Inka Empire of the Andean Late Horizon (c. AD 1400–1532) in South America. In order to examine Inka political integration of the Lake Titicaca Basin of Bolivia, we examine paleomobility and paleodiet through radiogenic strontium and...
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North Africa is increasingly seen as an important context for understanding modern human evolution and reconstructing biocultural adaptations. The Sahara, in particular, witnessed a fluorescence of hunter-gatherer settlement at the onset of the Holocene after an extended occupational hiatus. Subsequent subsistence changes through the Holocene are c...
Chapter
Using biogeochemistry, archaeologists and bioarchaeologists can identify residential mobility and migration in migratory individuals themselves, rather than using proxies such as artifact distributions. Here, an introduction to biogeochemical approaches to migration is provided, followed by detailed discussions of the challenges of identifying migr...
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Empires have transformed political, social, and environmental landscapes in the past and present. Although much research on archaeological empires focuses on large-scale imperial processes, we use biogeochemistry and bioarchaeology to investigate how imperialism may have reshaped regional political organization and regional migration patterns in th...
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Sociocultural concepts associated with sickness can profoundly influence social processes and individual experiences of disease. Here, we consider the role of sociocultural beliefs concerning sickness in the construction of individuals’ social identities in the pre-Columbian Andes. Paleopathological analyses reveal evidence of mucocutaneous leishma...
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This chapter explores the changing fabric of community organization and identity during the late-precontact and early-historic periods (early eighteenth century) in Spanish Florida. Changes in population structure and demography are modelled through three time periods among three linguistic groups in northern Florida and southern Georgia. Results i...
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The profound biocultural interchange resulting from European contact produced a variety of indigenous experiences. In this chapter, multiple lines of evidence are integrated to infer the changing experience of the post-colonial Mochica from San Pedro de Mórrope. Postcontact declines in health are consistent with fragmentary Lambayeque ethnohistoric...
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Cranial modification is considered a visible and permanent emblem of community identity and embodiment. In the Maya area, head binding is viewed as a normal rite of passage for children; however, the frequency of cranial modification in the archaeological record ranges from 50% to 88% of observable skeletal samples. Are individuals without cranial...
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At birth, parents in many cultures bind the heads of infants to impart a permanent and socially meaningful marker of their child's individual identity. This chapter presents an analysis of crania