Date of Award

Summer 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Kevin Vaughn

Committee Member 1

Michelle Buzon

Committee Member 2

Richard Sutter


This thesis evaluates how environmental stressors affected three groups (Nasca, Loro, and Chakipampa) that lived in Nasca during the Early Intermediate Period (ca. A.D. 1-750) and the Middle Horizon (ca. A.D. 750-1000). Using fluctuating asymmetry analysis as a proxy for developmental instability, biological evidence is assessed for differential stress levels incurred by groups occupying the Peruvian south coast. This study found high levels of stress in the Middle Horizon, supporting the hypothesis that populations living in Nasca were unfavorably affected by Wari colonizers. However, stress was found to be highest among the Chakipampa. This is attributed to Wari imperialistic occupation and extraction of resources. Conversely, the contemporaneous Loro affiliated population, who presumably avoided Wari influence, experienced the lowest levels of stress among the samples. This research reveals a large distinction between the effects of environmental stressors on the two Middle Horizon groups.