Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



This thesis presents macrobotanical and fecal data from Caylán (800 – 1 BCE), a Late and Final Formative urban center located in the Nepeña Valley, on the north-central coast of Peru, Department of Ancash. A predominant theme in Andean archaeology is understanding subsistence strategies practiced by humans during critical social, economic, and political periods in Peruvian prehistory. Excavations at the site of Caylán have unveiled ample amounts of plant and other organic remains. This research consists of a two-part analysis: examination of macrobotanical remains from the 2009 field season and excavated human feces found in various contexts of the site during the 2010 field season. Taxonomic identifications and patterns of intra-site distribution of the plant remains are considered in light of the economic and social meanings attached to industrial and food plants. The incorporation of preserved feces provides valuable evidence for how humans physically incorporated plants into their dietary regime. Examinations at Caylán of how plants are incorporated in human-environment interactions allow for direct correlations between the presence of cultivated and domestic plants and what was consumed by the prehistoric inhabitants of Peru.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Chicoine, David