The Ethnogenesis of Pescador Identity: The Impllications of Biodistance Analyses of Initial Period (1550-1250 BC) Human Remains from Gramalote, Peru, for Our Understanding of the Social and Economic Dynamics of Ancient Andean Maritime Communities

Document Type


Presentation Date


Conference Name

79th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology

Conference Location

Austin, TX

Peer Review



The importance and distinctiveness of Peruvian fisherfolk, or pescadores, and their complementary role in coastal valley economies feature prominently in a number of early ethnohistoric accounts (Ramirez 1995, Rostworowski 1976, 1977), and clearly, archaeological evidence indicates that large permanent fishing communities existed for centuries before. What is unclear is the degree to which, if any, these communities remained biologically distinct from other contemporaneous inland communities. Here we report preliminary biodistance analyses for 42 individuals from the north coast early Initial Period (1550– 1250 B.C.) fishing community of Gramalote and discuss their relative distinctiveness from other roughly contemporaneous and subsequent human skeletal populations from the same region.