Inca Empire determined the general diet of its subjects

(ORDO NEWS) — American anthropologists have studied the diet of the inhabitants of the Central Andes in the period from four hundred to seven thousand years ago, and determined that the political system, to a greater extent than the climate, influenced what the locals ate. An article on the topic appeared in Scientific Reports.

What did people who lived in the Central Andes eat 400-7000 years ago? In order to answer this question, the staff of the University of Utah took open information on the remains of 1,767 people found in Peru, as well as in northern Chile. In addition, remains from the vicinity of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia were used.

The nutritional habits of the ancient inhabitants of the Andes were determined by the features of the isotopic composition of bone collagen – the diet of a long-dead person can be roughly estimated by the levels of carbon-13, nitrogen-15 and other isotopes in the bones.

Specifically, the ratio of carbon-13 to nitrogen-15 indicates whether the diet was primarily plant-based (more carbon) or predominantly animal-based (more nitrogen).

In the earliest periods, the diet of coastal communities was based on marine resources and, to a lesser extent, on agricultural products.

The inhabitants of the low mountains bred animals and were engaged in agriculture. The inhabitants of the highlands mainly ate meat.

But in the years 670-1070, the diet of the inhabitants of the coastal regions and the low mountains becomes similar – especially in terms of plant foods.

Scientists believe that this is due to the large-scale cultivation of corn, as well as the heyday of the empires of Tiwanaku and Huari. The strengthening of statehood seriously affected the diet of the Incas.

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