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Preliminary molecular evidence of feasting in the Inca site of Fuerte Quemado-Intihuatana, Catamarca, Argentina

Lantos, Irene, Orgaz, Martín, Panarello, Héctor O., Maier, Marta S.
Journal of archaeological science: Reports 2017 v.14 pp. 580-590
alcohol drinking, archaeology, beers, ceramics, containers, food consumption, Argentina
Feasting was an important aspect of the domination strategy designed by the Inca Empire in the provinces. Hospitality banquets were the setting for negotiations between Cuzco and the annexed populations. Consumption of food and drink played a fundamental role in these feasts. In this paper we present the first study of organic residues recovered from ceramic vessels from the archaeological site of Fuerte Quemado-Intihuatana (Catamarca, Argentina), an important settlement of the Collasuyu province. Earlier functional studies proposed that these vessels were used to store and serve food and drink in commensal contexts. Results from this preliminary molecular study support this hypothesis because all the containers yielded organic residues. Chemical and isotopic studies suggest that food and different kinds of beers were held in these containers during festive events.