Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Nelson, Andrew


This thesis is a bioarchaeological study of a sample of Chimu individuals from the site of Chan Chan, the capital of the Chimu polity (900-1470 AD) on the north coast of Peru. This study analyzes the funerary treatment, material culture and osteological remains of 30 individuals buried in three different funerary settings within the Chayhuac Walled Complex in Chan Chan, to explore the hypothesis that the individuals were part of a singular social group that shared similar dimensions of identities, and it seeks to understand why they were interred there after the Chayhuac Walled Complex’s original function ended. This thesis uses the framework of identity studies in bioarchaeology, grounded in the gender archaeology and social memory approaches. The results suggest that these individuals shared a unique set of identities and that their interment was related to their collective identities, the importance of the monument and the construction of social memory.