Current Institutional Affiliation
Charles T. Hazelrigg Associate Professor of Anthropology; Chair of Anthropology/Sociology Program, Anthropology, Centre College

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2005
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh
Cuisine and Empire: A Domestic View of Chimu Expansion from the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru

This project investigates how domestic economy and foodways in a small rural Jequetepeque Valley settlement were affected by incorporation into the Chimu state around AD 1200. I predict that household practices change in situations of state expansion and propose that even households in outlying settlements feel the effects of state control. To address how political changes are related to changes in cuisine and domestic practices, I excavate several house clusters at Pedregal, a small village near a prominent Chimu administrative center. I focus on multiple lines of evidence, including domestic ceramics, residential architecture, and faunal and botanical materials, to compare households before and after Chimu conquest. I consider 1) how cuisine shifted during Chimu occupation as a response to changing economic conditions or an articulation of local identity; 2) if changes in how and where people cooked and ate indicate differences in the focus and intensity of women's domestic labor; and 3) whether changes in household food use, particularly in status-related feasting or surplus storage, relate to shifts in the political and economic self-sufficiency of households integrated into the Chimu system. This study will generate better understandings of the interplay between household and state strategies and the relationships among cuisine, the gendered organization of domestic labor, and larger-scale political and economic systems. It will contribute to comparative studies of how ancient states affected the lives of their subjects and to models of social change that link domestic and political spheres.