1st Edition

Cooperation and Hierarchy in Ancient Bolivia Building Community with the Body

By Sara L. Juengst Copyright 2023
    136 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores how past peoples navigated and created power structures and social relationships, using a case study from the Titicaca Basin of Bolivia (800 BC–AD 400). Based on the analysis of human skeletal remains, it combines anthropological social theory, archaeological contexts, and biological indicators of identity, disease, and labor to present a microhistory. The analysis moves in scale from individual experiences of daily life to broad patterns of shared identity and kinship during a time of significant economic and ecological change in the lake basin. The volume is particularly valuable for scholars and students interested in what bioarchaeology can tell us about power and social relationships in the past and how this is relevant to modern constructions of community.

    1 Studying Community and Power in the Past

    2 Life in the Titicaca Basin

    3 Daily Living: Sustenance, Stress, and Strain

    4 Creating Relationships: Family and Friends

    5 Growing Divisions: Violence and Identity

    6 Building Community: Navigating New Terrain



    Sara L. Juengst is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA. As an anthropological bioarchaeologist, her research integrates social theory and skeletal evidence to address lived experiences of diet, disease, migration, and violence in the past and present. Sara’s research primarily focuses on South America (Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru), though she also participates in projects based in North Carolina, Kenya, and Nigeria. Her research explores how people navigated changing social and environmental climates, particularly highlighting how skeletons embody power and community.