Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Ritual Rodents: The Guinea Pigs of Chincha, Peru

Daniel H. Sandweiss and Elizabeth S. Wing
Journal of Field Archaeology
Vol. 24, No. 1 (Spring, 1997), pp. 47-58
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
DOI: 10.2307/530560
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/530560
Page Count: 12
  • Download ($19.00)
  • Cite this Item
Preview not available

Abstract

Guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) are small rodents that function as food, diagnostic medical devices, divinatory agents, and sacrifices in the Andes today. The ethnohistorical record for the region records similar uses of guinea pigs during the Colonial Period. Most archaeologists have assumed that they fulfilled the same functions in prehispanic time, but rigorous support for this assumption has not been presented. After reviewing the archaeological, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic record for guinea pig use in the Central Andes, we describe the naturally mummified specimens of guinea pigs and other animals from Lo Demás, a late site in the Chincha Valley of Peru. These data allow us to bridge the interpretive gap between the ethnohistoric/ethnographic "present" and the more remote prehispanic past concerning the ritual uses of guinea pigs, and to comment more generally on animal sacrifice in the Andes.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
47
    47
  • Thumbnail: Page 
48
    48
  • Thumbnail: Page 
49
    49
  • Thumbnail: Page 
50
    50
  • Thumbnail: Page 
51
    51
  • Thumbnail: Page 
52
    52
  • Thumbnail: Page 
53
    53
  • Thumbnail: Page 
54
    54
  • Thumbnail: Page 
55
    55
  • Thumbnail: Page 
56
    56
  • Thumbnail: Page 
57
    57
  • Thumbnail: Page 
58
    58