Deborah M. Pearsall (University of Missouri) email@example.com, Karol Chandler-Ezell (Stephen F. Austin State University) Kchandlerezell@yahoo.com, James A. Zeidler (Colorado State University) firstname.lastname@example.org
How Important was Agriculture in Prehistoric Ecuador? Insights from New Phytolith and Starch Research at Real Alto
During the late 1970s phytolith analysis at Real Alto, a Valdivia period (4400 to 1800 cal. BC) site in Guayas Province, Ecuador, revealed the presence of maize (Zea mays) and achira (Canna). Later reanalysis of sediments added arrowroot (Maranta), squash (Cucurbita), and gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) to the assemblage of cultivated or domesticated plants present at the site, and maize presence was confirmed by discriminate function analysis. The question remained, however, of the importance of domesticated plants in subsistence: what role did maize and root crops play in everyday diet? Was maize or any other crop associated with ceremonial rather than domestic use? To address these questions, we analyzed 49 ground stone tools from four Valdivia 3 period structures for phytolith and starch residues. Three structures were domestic, one ceremonial. Maize residues were ubiquitous, or nearly so, on artifacts from all structures. Maize starch granules were more common than maize cob phytoliths on tool surfaces. We conclude that maize was commonly processed in all structures, both domestic and ceremonial. Many stone tools were multipurpose: in addition to grinding maize, tools were used for processing roots and rhizomes, including manioc (Manihot esculenta), arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea), and lleren (Calathea). Real Alto was an agricultural village whose inhabitants had access to a diverse diet that included maize, a number of roots and tubers, fruits, and legumes. The same crops, including both maize and manioc, were processed in the domestic and ceremonial areas of the site.
Diversity Among Early Preceramic Populations of the Central Andes
In recent years, several important archaeological studies have provided new insights into the initial settlement and subsequent economic and technological regionalization that occurred throughout much of South America following the end of glacial conditions. Rather than widespread, inter-regional uniformity in forager economic strategies, these studies indicate a level of early organizational diversity that previously had not been considered for the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene periods (ca. 11,500-8,500 B.P.). Within the Central Andes, several distinct, often overlapping, socio-economic and technological traditions, such as the highland hunting traditions, early maritime adapations, and broad-specturm terrestrial traditions, are believed to have developed as a result of increasingly regionalized settlement. Recent studies, coupled with a growing body of paleoenvironmental data, are beginning to shed light on the broader social, economic, and technological linkages between these various early cultural expressions. This paper discusses two of these early cultural complexes from the North Coast of Peru--the Fishtail and the Paijan--within the context of regionalization and economic diversification, and considers the implications of early organizational diversity on the initial settlement of the region.
Settlement Patterns among Preceramic Populations of the Lower Jequetepeque Valley
Research in the lower Jequetepeque Valley on the north coast of Perú has resulted in the identification of over 300 Preceramic sites. At least 140 of these are late Early (ca. 8900-8000 bp) to Middle Preceramic (ca. 8000-4500 bp) sites located in the Quebradas del Batán and Talambo (QBT). In order to examine how these sites may reflect increasingly complex socio-economic organization, the settlement patterns they represent are assessed. This is accomplished by categorizing the sites by type and discussing how they may have been interlinked in a strategy for occupying the landscape. Drawing heavily from hunter-gatherer site types defined by Dillehay (2000), Binford (1980), and others, a series of seven basic types are used to classify these sites. Results of this site type classification appear to indicate that there was a greater tendency toward semi-sedentism among some Paijanense (ca. 10,800-8500 bp) of the QBT area compared to Middle Preceramic populations. These later populations did not abandon the QBT area; they simply adjusted their occupation and use of the landscape. This adjustment was likely due to increasing aridity and changing socio-economic factors, and demonstrates the dynamic nature of the cultural landscape. This research further demonstrates the need to incorporate greater consideration of adaptive flexibility in understanding the long-term development of greater socio-economic complexity. These results are compared to studies of contemporaneous populations elsewhere in the Central Andes.
Construction, Labor Organization, and Feasting during the Late Archaic Period in the Central Andes
The Late Archaic Period has become significantly relevant within current concerns on Andean Archaeology due to the recent finds at Caral and the resulting interpretations. Theoretical issues on Caral and its neighbors usually address the sociopolitical nature of large polities within the Fortaleza, Pativilca and Supe Valleys. Nevertheless, there has been little concern on the nature of basic social units and the social dynamics that shape their organization. For instance, there is still no clear idea on the spatial organization, construction process and the nature of the activities conducted within public buildings.
The role of ritual and architectural construction in this period is discussed based on recent data from the site of Cerro Lampay, a Late Archaic compound located in the Fortaleza Valley. Excavations at this site provided a detailed documentation of the building process that ended in the entombment of architectural compounds, including a remarkable sequence of construction events preceded by the processing and consumption of foodstuffs. There was not a single, large-scale construction event, but several small-scale events that were accompanied by consumption activities. This pattern suggests a permanent reinforcement of ties and commitments through feasting, which was required to finish the construction process. This scenario supports the idea of emerging leadership capable of mobilizing labor for construction requirements. Nevertheless, the reliance on feasting as ritual practices, and the small scale of these events, suggests a limited power capacity and a weakly formalized authority, which needed to be constantly reinforced through the inferred ritual practices.
Distinguishing Andean Fishers from Farmers: Evidence from Muscle Markers
Analysis of the patterning and distribution of muscle markers throughout the skeleton offers an alternative approach for studying prehistoric lifeways. Principally muscle marker data are used to investigate hypotheses concerning the performance of habitual, strenuous, or labor intensive activities. The present project tests the validity of the hypothesis that maritime hunter-gatherers can be differentiated from subsistence agriculturalists using muscle markers. The preliminary findings of principal components analysis (PCA) on a series of 33 male and 32 female markers collected from 144 individuals representing four well-defined archaeological populations, two maritime hunter-gathers and two agriculturalists, is presented. Results strongly support this hypothesis, confirming that fishers and farmers performed distinct types of physical labor, through interpretable patterns or signatures of muscular use. These signatures are manifested as variation in the severity of muscle marker development in the upper and lower bodies. Specifically, populations practicing maritime subsistence tend to exhibit more strongly developed upper bodies than farmers, while populations focused on agricultural activities generally exhibit greater lower body development than fishers. Interestingly, even though gender differences were noted in significant markers, the patterns observed clearly differentiate male and female fishers and farmers. The results of this project form a framework upon which further research can be based.
Izumi Shimada (Southern Illinois University) email@example.com, Rafael Segura (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Riva-Aguero Institute) firstname.lastname@example.org, David Goldstein (Southern Illinois University) email@example.com, and Melody Shimada (Southern Illinois University)
What Did People Do at Pachacamac?: Identity, Form, Timing and Meaning of Offerings
The site of Pachacamac is widely known as a pilgrimage or more broadly as a religious center. But, in concrete human behavioral terms, what did people do at Pachacamac in pre-Inca times? We examine this basic question from the complementary perspectives of botanical, faunal, and artifactual (including their chemical signatures) remains that were excavated at the site, particularly in the Pilgrims’ Plaza in 2004 and 2005. Thousands of diverse offerings were documented ranging from whole guinea pigs and maize kernels pressed onto wet clay surfaces to stone or adobe enclosures with centrally placed ceramic vessel(s) or dried fish covering their floors. Plants and animal species represented in offerings and other contexts are diverse but predominantly local in character. Fauna range from deer, llamas, sea lion, whale to diverse species of birds, fish, rodents and insects. Taken together, these offerings and organic remains from other contexts definitely have temporal and spatial order; they appear to have been placed mostly in the austral spring and fall, and their intensity and formality seem to inversely correlate with distance to the Pachacamac (Painted) and Old Pachacamac (Lima) temples. As with the use of the cemetery at the Pachacamac Temple, competition for access to and retention of ritual spaces was apparently intense and secured only by regular visits and offerings. Variation in the form and substance of offerings in space, together with stylistic, paste and chemical composition of associated ceramics, points to the co-existence of multiple groups from different areas of the Central Coast.
Rafael Segura (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Riva-Aguero Institute) firstname.lastname@example.org, Izumi Shimada (Southern Illinois University) email@example.com, Go Matsumoto (Southern Illinois University) firstname.lastname@example.org
Living with the Dead: Conception and Treatment of the Dead at Pachacamac
The paper presents preliminary results of our 2005 excavations in front of the Pachacamac Temple (aka Painted Temple) at the famed pre-Hispanic religious center of Pachacamac on the Central Coast of Peru. We recovered over __ funerary bundles in various states of preservation dating from Middle Lima to Late Horizon. The paper focuses on data and insights into the conception and treatment of the dead as revealed by excavation and examination of some 40 bundles that were packed in two levels in a largely undisturbed double-chamber tomb built with wooden posts and beams. Notable features of the tomb include (1) an orderly layout of its bundles around the principal one which had a cinnabar-painted wooden false head, (2) the varied sizes, forms, constructions, contents, and states of preservation of its bundles, (3) its intense use over a number of generations, (4) the builders’ and/or users’ disregard of the earlier burials, and (5) its shallow depth, probable surface markers, and easy access. These and other features of this tomb as well as those of nearby funerary contexts show complex and persistent interaction between the dead and the living. Heads and in some cases much of the bundles had been transferred from one location to another, repackaged and reburied. Thus, we must recognize limitations of our mortuary analysis as a given funerary context may represent only one phase or facet of a long-term mortuary program.
Architectural Vessels of the Moche: Something Borrowed, Something New
Three-dimensional representations of architecture in the form of ceramic vessels are known throughout the Andes, beginning in the Formative period in
This paper will discuss Moche architectural vessels, placing them in a broader social and cultural context. Comparisons with modeled house pots from the Virú/Gallinazo tradition reveal that vessel shapes and architectural form were incorporated into Moche examples and altered in significant ways. These artistic adaptations illustrate a shift in importance from figures within architecture to architecture itself. These changes, visible in the artistic record, may serve to inform the cultural relationships between Virú/Gallinazo and Moche, a topic of current debate.
This study forms part of a larger investigation which examines the role of architectural vessels in Moche culture. This dissertation-in-progress constructs the first comprehensive corpus of Moche representations of architecture and aims to determine the structural types represented and how both vessels and architecture functioned in Moche society, practically and conceptually.
Kuelap, Beyond the Fortress
Since being revealed to the West in 1843, the enormous hilltop ruin of Kuelap, located in northeastern Peru, has always been imagined as a fortress. However there is no basis for this assumption. For example the most complete record of the Inca conquest of the Chachapoya, the chronicle of Blas Valera recorded in Garcilaso, has no reference that any battle occurred at Kuelap. Indeed the name Kuelap is almost completely absent from all colonial records (There is a brief reference to an allyu Kuelap in a Chachapoya court document from 1577, but this citation is without elaboration.
My presentation will consider how Kuelap became framed militaristically and reexamine of this configuration. The paper will also provide a description of the architecture of Kuelap and offer a historiography of the ruin.
Incallajta: Using Technology to Reconstruct the Past
Prior analyses of the Inka site of Incallajta, Bolivia have argued that this site was an administrative, political, ceremonial, or military center. Most recently, Coben has argued that it was the "other Cuzco" of the Charcas, designed at least in part for the performance of the most important Inka ceremonies that according to the chronicles were restricted to Cuzco itself. In this paper, we explore how the kallanka, the largest single room structure of the Inka Empire and a focal point of this performance center, was located, oriented and constructed on the site. We will focus upon how the space was structured, its relationship to the adjacent southern plazas, and most importantly how one would approach this building and constructed space from out lying areas.
Integral to our analysis is our digital reconstruction of the center, utilizing the latest in computer technology. We will briefly describe the method/process by which we have reconstructed the site. Through a series of digitally reconstructed “animated walk-through” simulations, we analyze how access to the kallanka and central plaza area was orchestrated through narrow and controlled entry points and winding passages. We will similarly explore the architecture of the kallanka and how its construction, physical scale, and relationship to adjacent areas would have been impacted the experience of the space, including the changing light within the structure and questions of water movement, storage and drainage.
The Sunturhuasi and the Acllahuasi of Urcos near Calca
At the foot of the nevado Sahuasiray Pitusiray and in the the valley of the Urubamba river near Calca are the ruins of an Inca building that the chronicler Murua identifies as an Acllahuasi. Next to it on a hill is a round building of the Sunturhuasi type. The paper will discuss also the important myth that Murua gives of the place.
Two Archaeologies of Ayni
The Quechua expression ayni is usually translated as ‘reciprocity”, with the implication that it is both balanced and egalitarian. This has created a problem in Inka ethno-/pre-history: How do we explain the relationship between local-level balanced reciprocity and other forms of reciprocityhierarchical and imbalancedat both a local level and at other levels of scale? I will use linguistic and cultural evidence to suggest that our conception of the word “ayni” is at fault, and that ayni is inherently incomplete, unbalanced, and hierarchical (ref: Gose), rendering the alleged transformation of ayni at different levels of scale a non-problem. Our understanding of “ayni” has to be both narrowed and expanded, narrowed to underscore its inherent hierarchy, broadened to include feasting and ritual as behavioral modalities that are every bit much as political and economic as production.
The Inca and Colonial Occupations of the Rapayán Valley and Their Impact on the Local Population
Excavations held at the Rapayán site in 2005 in the poorly known Upper Marañón Drainage confirmed a very important and direct Inca occupation of the region. Before the local population was reduced in the actual Rapayán village around A.D. 1578, the Spaniards constructed an Early Colonial church in the middle of the Inca settlement. In this presentation, using architectural data and the material remains recovered during the 2005 excavations, I will comment on the successive events that have happened at the Rapayán site, and I will discuss some of the impact of the Inca and Colonial occupations on the local inhabitants.
The Spanish Transformation of the Inka Imperial Hearland: Perspectives from Cusco's Rural Hinterland
At the time of the European invasion, the Cusco region of highland Peru was the heartland of the largest native empire to develop in the Americas. The Inka capital and its surrounding hinterland was densely settled by a cosmopolitan population whose labor supported state institutions and the imperial elitein particular a select group of royal lineages that controlled vast wealth and productive resources. This paper draws on archaeology and ethnohistory from a study region just to the west of Cusco to consider some of the dynamics of restructuring the Inka imperial heartland as a provincial region in the Spanish empire. Previous scholarship has tended to focus on the reconfiguration of elite strata in the city of Cusco, while retainer populations and rural communities have received less attention.
The rich documentary record from the Xaquixaguana Valley and Maras area identifies Inka and Colonial Period settlements and chronicles the complex interplay between Spaniards, Andean elites, religious orders, and local communities in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Systematic regional data collected by the Xaquixaguana Plain Archaeological Survey present an independent means of assessing settlement pattern variability in the Inka and Colonial Period. Perspectives from Cusco’s rural hinterland facilitate a more holistic approach to the transformations in settlement, political economy, and resource control that occurred as the Inka heartland was provincialized. They also demonstrate how Andean communities near Cusco adapted to new imperial arrangements and acted to protect or even advance their interests.
The Quito Manuscript: The Submerged Native Chronicle in the Historical Memoirs of Peru (1644)
This paper will present new evidence concerning the origins and nature of the native Andean history found in Book II of Fernando de Montesinos’s Historical Memoirs of Peru. A re-evaluation of the original 1644 manuscript of the text in light of the other four books (mainly unpublished) of this monumental work, reveals that the narrative in Book II was not composed by Montesinos. Linguistic evidence suggests that the author of this history was an individual of indigenous descent from the northern Andes.
This presentation will also examine the author’s long chronology of pre-Inca kings, which some commentators have linked to either the Tiwanaku or Wari empires. The restoration of the original text has revealed the existence of rhythmic, poetical structures throughout the pre-Inca king lists in this account; these passages were radically altered in all existing editions of the text. While the structure of these passages does not reflect any known Andean narrative tradition, it is highly similar to the genealogies found in the biblical book of Genesis (in the Latin Vulgate). This analysis will conclude with a consideration of how the author may have relied upon biblical models to create positive views of the Andean past.
The Rapaz “Khipu House” and its Precinct
Seven months of 2005 team fieldwork yield the first clear description of the “khipu house” or Kaha Wayi in Rapaz, a village at 4000m. in Oyón Province, central Peru. Its unique collection of patrimonial khipus forms part of a sacred context. Kaha Wayi, whose name means ‘Counting House’ in Quechua, is an administrative center of possibly colonial origin. At the same time Kaha Wayi functions as a temple to the deified mountains. Kaha Wayi has as its complement a community facility called Pasa Qullqa (‘seasonal storehouse’). This building held and redistributed the goods which the “Khipu house” controlled. Kaha Wayi´s khipus are of radically non-Inka design. Contrary to uniformly wrong published reports, they constitute a large collection of specimens rather than a single giant khipu. The Rapaz patrimony presents the nearest ethnographic counterpart to archaeologically known Inka centers of ceremony and redistribution, perhaps including nearby Huánuco Pampa.
Duality and Synchronicity: Old and New Visions of the Monumental Center at Chavín de Huántar, Perú
For the past fifty years, investigators at Chavín de Huántar have focused largely on establishing and refining the site’s chronology based on sculptural changes, ceramic sequences, and architectural phases. Supported by their results, I argue that research must now seek to define a greater synchronic view of the monumental center its design, function, and significance at the height of the Chavin culture. As I will demonstrate, this may be achieved foremost by analyzing the design of the monumental sculptures, by examining their original layout within the architectural program, and by then comparing such contemporary stuctures, namely Buildings A and B. Recent information from the Stanford excavations has prompted a more integrated vision of these buildings and their associated plazas. Based on this information and on the sculptural program, I will propose that, at the height of the Chavin cultural period, Building A and the rectangular plazas corresponded with Building B and the Circular Plaza in the symbolic structuring of the monumental site. Taken together, these two architectural programs express principles of duality deeply embedded in the Chavin culture. The proposed synchronic view thus will be argued to clarify and augment a longstanding vision demonstrated previously by Cordy-Collins, Burger, and Roe among others of an organized system of symbolic dualities at Chavín de Huántar.
Initial Social Differentiation Among the Formative Period Huaracane in the Middle Moquegua Valley, Southern Perú
The Huaracane Tradition of the middle Moquegua Valley (385 BC AD 340?) refers to the first known agricultural communities in the region. This tradition, which developed independently from contemporary Formative Period societies in the Titicaca Basin, is identified by a distinctive local ceramic assemblage and unique mortuary practices. Settlement pattern research suggests that the Huaracane were a decentralized village society reliant upon simple valley bottom agriculture. However, investigations of mortuary contexts suggest that late in the Huaracane sequence the process of social differentiation may have begun. This existing picture relies almost entirely upon mortuary and survey data. To date, none of the numerous Huaracane habitation sites in the valley have seen household or community based investigations. This paper will outline important lacunae in our understanding of Huaracane social organization. In addition, current models relevant to the topic of initial social differentiation focusing upon the monopolization of trade routes and the exchange of exotic prestige goods as initial sources of social power will be discussed in relation to a proposed research plan for the investigation of Huaracane social differentiation. This research will proceed through the investigation of domestic contexts at Yahuay Alta, the only known Huaracane site with both domestic clusters and public architecture. This public architecture includes two raised platforms and a large platform mound located in front of an open plaza. If, as the mortuary data suggests, there was significant social differentiation in Huaracane society, the site of Yahuay Alta should be the location to find evidence for it.
Martin Giesso (Northeastern Illinois University) email@example.com, Robert J. Speakman (University of Missouri) SpeakmanR@missouri.edu, Michael D. Glascock (University of Missouri) GlascockM@missouri.edu
The Cerro Sapo Quarries (Bolivia) and Sodalite Procurement in the Andes
Sodalite was a valuable lithic raw material for Andean people in preColumbian times, because of its deep blue color. It is found in very few locations of the Andean range, and in archaeological sites from central Argentina and Chile to Ecuador. The Cerro Sapo is located 90km northwest of the city of Cochabamba. Several mines were described there in the 1930s. Exploitation began at least in Formative times and continues until the present. At the Missouri University Research Reactor we analyzed eight samples of intense blue sodalite recently obtained (2005) from a Cerro Sapo mine gallery through laser ablation ICP-MS and we compared them to sodalite from other regions of Bolivia.
The Pumapunku Pyramid and Changing Political Landscapes of the Andes
In this paper, I employ Tiwanaku’s Pumapunku Complex as a case study to critique extreme constructivist and essentialist paradigms of landscape, i.e., that the landscape is a tabula rasa upon which people inscribe meanings, or that it is a material reality that strongly determines meaning and activity. I would offer a dialectical or poststructuralist view, one that does not subscribe to extreme constructivism but that does recognize the essential role of interpretation and that understands meaning as an emergent quality that derives from and drives human practice. That said, a landscape and its features, for all that they can be associated with arbitrary symbols, are not entirely malleable, physically or semiotically: there are certain physical aspects of landscape features that lend it to iconic and indexical associations with certain symbols and meanings more than others. Furthermore, because of their physicality and materiality, landscapes and their features are an essential component of a recursive relationship between the activities, the assignation of meaning to place through human activity, and the way a place’s form and materiality structures activity.
From the time of its construction in the Middle Horizon, the Pumapunku Complex at Tiwanaku, Bolivia, constituted a node in semiotic webs of relationships that connected it with other structures and natural features at the site and farther afield across the Andes. As Tiwanaku was abandoned and later reconquered by the Inka, these semiotic webs shifted in their logic and content as well as the different places they connected, but the places themselves helped determine the nature of the later webs of meaning.
Ethnoecological Perspectives on the Agricultural Landscape of the Taraco Peninsula, Bolivia
The Taraco Peninsula, located between 3810-4100masl in the southern basin of Lake Titicaca (Bolivia), is today a highly productive agricultural landscape in the cold and dry Andean altiplano. Ethnobotanical fieldwork among Aymara farmers in 2003-2004 revealed important insights into how they successfully cultivate this adverse environment. In this paper, we examine how these farmers describe various aspects of the physical landscape, including soils, drainage, and vegetation, and how these variables influence what, when, and where they plant each year. We also examine how farmers work with yearly fluctuations in rainfall and lake level. We use basic GIS analysis to illustrate the distribution of these variables and how agricultural fields are placed across the landscape. These data reflect the dynamics of contemporary agricultural production in the Lake Titicaca Basin. They also shed light on factors that may have influenced ancient agricultural practices, in particular climate change and drastic shifts in the lake level.
Uru-Chipayas are considered oldest ethnic group in
Bastien and graduate student, Henri Migala, began research in 1987, 2 years accumulated research and continues with seven fieldtrips, another planned for August. Our findings indicate that Uru Chipayas of Santa Anna village have maintained strong cultural continuity: transformations of the dual and quadripartite divisions into quaternary division with two main ayllus Manansaya and Urinsaya, each also divided into two, but now with two adjacent ayllus, modernistic in style, one for tourists with a model huts, and another, Ayapiri, being a resettlement at some distance from center organized by Catholic church. Presently another village is being planned by the government, using land from surrounding Aymaras, the Urus biggest threat, but now because Aymaras have abandoned villages, Chipayas are trying to get it. Another change has been SIL, transcription of Chipaya language, publication of NT in Chipaya, and teaching in Chipaya language at schools. Western medicine has also contributed to the population (400 around 1940 and now well over the carrying capacity with a total census of 2000).
Chipaya ethnology at the present indicates these tentative conclusions: the silo system is still used to divide the fields for planting of quinoa with the silos and their saints absent but division of fields both for washing the land and distributing the fields occurring; Chipayas travel to the Yungas to work coca fields, plant crops and to Chile, today, to work on orchards for Chilenos, dispersing themselves in outlying regions but with their center still at Santa Anna Chapel, although Manasaya has become Protestant, Urinsaya remains with a blended Ancestor Worship and Catholic religion. They all unite at the central chapel.
Others have shown the use of metaphors and kinship systems expressed in land and village planning, such as the Mountain Body Metaphor in Kaata; RT Zuidema with the Ceque system, Reinhard with line drawings and sacred mountains, and most pertinent Wachtel's explanation of the Silo system for the Chipaya. As I argued in Mountain of the Condor that once the people of Kaata began settling in La Paz and the Yungas, then what were encapsulated as the high, center, and low on Mount Kaata were extend to the high La Paz and low Yungas. Similar patterns appear in Santa Anna as Chipaya extend themselves to
Powerpoint pictures are used to illustrate above.
Disease Ecology of Human and Non-Human Primate Interactions in the History of Malaria in Lowland South America
The origin and subsequent proliferation of malarias capable of infecting humans in South America remain unclear, particularly with respect to the role of Neotropical monkeys in the infectious chain. The evidence to date will be reviewed for Pre-Columbian human malaria, introduction with colonization, zoonotic transfer from cebid monkeys, and anthroponotic transfer to monkeys. Cultural behaviors (primate hunting and pet-keeping) and ecological changes favorable to proliferation of mosquito vectors will also be addressed.
Arqueología de la cuenca medio del río Caquetá-Amazonia colombiana
Se presenta una síntesis con los resultados arqueológicos para esta región, así como el enfoque interdisciplinario que ha permitido detallar el manejo antropico de los recursos del bosque húmedo tropical, según los cuales es una de las razones que han permitido la conservación de este frágil ecosistema.
Los resultados presentan tres periodos de ocupación: el primero desde el holoceno temprano (alrededor de 9.300 -8.000 años A.P.) correspondiente a los recolectores-horticultores; el segundo periodo (4700 años A.P) es el de los agricultores tempranos; el tercer periodo (2500 a 450 años A.P) corresponde con los agricultores ceramistas constructores de los suelos antropicos o “Terras pretas” (suelos negros).
Las crónicas europeas del periodo de descubrimiento y contacto dan cuenta de gran cantidad de asentamientos en las márgenes del río con una alta densidad poblacional.
Threading the Needle: Discerning Pattern and Meaning in the Archaeology of Ecuadorian Amazonia
Test excavations at three sites in the Grefa tract in a petroleum exploration block assigned to Kerr-McGee illustrate many of the challenges presented by archaeological investigation in the Amazonian region of eastern Ecuador. Most archaeological research in the Amazon Basin has been carried out in Brazil. On large sites, prominent on the landscape. In contrast, sites in the Western Amazon region are usually invisible and are discovered through systematic subsurface testing. The majority of sites are smaller than 2ha. This reflects societies organized not around central places but rather around networks of smaller communities such as Harner describes for the Shuar (Jivaro) and Taylor notes for the 16th century historic Gae peoples. Each of these communities may have circulated for greater or lesser distances within a discrete territory. Archaeological environmental impact assessments and mitigation afforded opportunities for point and transect surveys and point excavation. The Grefa sites were located through systematic shovel-test survey. The areas negatively impacted were mitigated by excavation within the limits imposed by natural disturbance and severe time constraints. These sites illustrate the processes impacting natural and cultural stratigraphy, the generally shallow cultural deposits which are vulnerable to disturbance, bioturbation, and loss of soil through lateral erosion. Given these negative conditions, it was gratifying to recover two rock middens, evidence for heating of raw material as a first step in lithic production. Comparison of the ceramics established the sequential nature of the principal occupations of the two sites, even without 14C dares. Careful analysis of the cultural stratigraphy established an earlier occupation which was also dated.
Ancestors, Trees, and Anthropogenesis: Displacement and Renewal in Amazonian Death Rituals
In many native societies of lowland South America, cultural responses to death emphasize “forgetting” ancestors and distancing the living from the dead. Among the Wari’ of western Rondonia, Brazil death rituals traditionally developed through two, parallel processes of transformation: transforming the body of the deceased, and transforming places associated with the dead person’s former presence. In both processes, burning was a principal mechanism. Bodies were roasted and the flesh consumed in order to eradicate the corpse and radically alter mourners’ images of the deceased. Funerary cannibalism and the year-long rites of mourning that followed symbolically moved the dead person out of human society and into the forest world of animal spirits. This paper traces the parallel ritual process in which memories of ancestors are also displaced into the forest, focused in trees and other plant-traces of the former presences of the dead. Burning is an integral part of this process as well, with implications for issues of biodiversity and anthropogenic transformations of the Amazonian landscape.
Copyright © 2015