Dietary patterns and landscape change in the southern Lake Titicaca Basin Bolivia through the arc of first settlement 1500 BCE – CE 1100

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 12:00 PM

Christine A. Hastorf, PhD

Professor at Department of Anthropology

University of California Berkeley


Decades of research on the Taraco Peninsula in the southern Lake Titicaca basin have amassed a significant amount of archaeological data, particularly attending to the varied subsistence practices used by local communities. The Lake Titicaca basin is unique in the Andean world since people living in this region could have used both terrestrial and aquatic habitats to expand their resource base (large freshwater ecosystems are absent from most of the Andean highlands). The region has a complex history due to the impact of the lake level.  This has been studied by a range of scholars to better understand the timing of the lake size changes. The archaeological team brings together archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological data in conjunction with novel stable isotope analyses of human teeth to better understand people’s dietary patterns over time, particularly in relation to two key foods: maize and fish.