Szpak, Paul, U. of Western Ontario, London, Canada - To aid research on 'Social and Geographic Lives of North Peruvian Camelids: Perspectives from Stable Isotope Analyses,' supervised by Dr. Christine White
PAUL SZPAK, then a student at University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, was awarded funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Social and Geographic Lives of North Peruvian Camelids: Perspectives from Stable Isotope Analyses,' supervised by Dr. Christine White. This project utilized isotopic data derived from multiple tissues (bone, hair, nails) of South American camelids (llama/alpaca) from archaeological sites from the north coast of Peru. In conjunction with baseline plant isotopic data collected along an altitudinal transect in the Moche River Valley region, this study produced isotopic evidence consistent with locally raised coastal camelids, a pattern of animal husbandry that disappeared following the arrival of European domesticates. The isotopic evidence suggests a pattern of camelid husbandry that differs markedly from that observed today in the Andes. Specifically, it is proposed that coastal camelid herding was performed at a small scale, with small numbers of animals, or perhaps even single animals, being kept by families or other small social units. This pattern is supported by extremely high levels of between-individual isotopic variation and inconsistent patterns of within-individual isotopic variation, both of which are driven by high levels of dietary differences between individual animals.
Szpak, Paul, Jean-Francois Millaire, Christine D. White, and Fred J. Longstaffe. 2014. Small Scale Camelid Husbandry on the North Coast of Peru (Virú Valley): Insight from Stable Isotope Analysis. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 36:110-129.
Alconini, Dr. Sonia, U. of Texas, San Antonio, TX - To aid research on 'Imperial Marginality and Frontier: Kallawayas and Chuchos in the Eastern Inka Frontier'
DR. SONIA ALCONINI, University of Texas, San Antonio, Texas, was awarded funding in November 2005, to aid research on 'Imperial Marginality and Frontier: Kallawayas and Chuchos in the Eastern Inka Frontier.' This research is part of a large-scale project studying the eastern Inka frontier, and the effects of the Inka conquest on the local sociopolitical dynamics. Specifically, the research questions were: 1) what were the limits of imperial expansion? 2) what kinds of changes did the Inka promote in the local settlement dynamics? 3) what were the functions of the Inka installations? and 4) what were the effects of the Inka frontier on the local social and economic structure? In order to answer these questions, a pedestrian survey in the Charazani valley was conducted to record the location and size of Inka and pre-Inka settlements, to document the intensity and distribution of surface cultural materials, and to map selected sites. This region was strategically located in a corridor connecting the highlands and tropical piedmonts, in a spectrum of altitudinal ecologies. Surveys in this valley revealed a dense pre-Hispanic occupation, with nearly 400 sites. Most sites were small household units dating to the Inka period, and dispersed in the mid-altitude agricultural terraces. In the high altitude Puna, the settlements focusing on pastoral activities, increased significantly in size with the Inkas. The strategic distribution of local Yunga settlements suggests that these populations were central in the expansion of long-distance trade circuits that the Inka and Tiwanaku sought to monopolize. Therefore, with the Inkas, the expansion of the agricultural and pastoral capabilities of the region, along with the establishment of administrative centers in earlier ceremonial sites, suggest that the region was important in terms of the influx of resources to the eastern frontier.
Cervantes Quequezana, Gabriela, U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'The Sican Capital as an Urban Community: State Politics and Urban Organization in Precolumbian Peru,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Arkush
Preliminary abstract: This research will explore the nature of the capital of the prehispanic Sican Kingdom (AD 900 -- 1100) in the La Leche Valley, Peru. Preliminary evidence suggests that the Sican capital differs markedly from typical compact urban centers of later North Coast Peruvian prehistory, and research is needed to explore the extent and implications of these differences. Intensive survey of previously unstudied domestic areas will document the extent and socioeconomic differentiation of the capital's residential population. The information generated will reveal key aspects of political centralization in the Sican polity, and will provide for a comparative understanding of the capital as an urban community. The investigation will consist of a six month surface survey, mapping, and intensive surface collection program to recover artifact assemblages to be used to examine patterns of intra-site variability in status, wealth, and economic activities, and to reconstruct the use of space within the site.
Haber, Dr. Alejandro, U. Nacional de Catamarca, Argentina - To aid 4th WAC inter-congress on 'Archaeological Theory in South America,' 2007, Catamarca, in collaboration with Dr. Cristobal Gnecco
'Archaeological Theory in South America,'
July 3-7, 2007, Universidad Nacional de Catamarca, Catamarca, Argentina
Organizers: Dr. Alejandro F. Haber (Universidad Nacional de Catamarca) and Dr. Cristóbal Gnecco (Universidad de Cauca)
'Archaeological Theory in South America' was the focus on this inter-congress of the World Archaeological Congress held in Catamarca, Argentina. Nearly 400 participants -- including junior and senior archaeologists; indigenous, peasant, and other social representatives; and specialists from other disciplinary fields (arts, philosophy, sociology, political science, education) -- engaged in discussion in 40 different sessions covering a range of issues of interest to archaeologists, such as political repression, gender, ethics, agency and practice, indigenous history, public archaeology, and cultural tourism.
Lechtman, Dr. Heather, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Bronze and Andean Exchange Networks During the Middle Horizon'
DR. HEATHER LECHTMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in May 2004 to aid resarch on 'Bronze and Andean Exchange Networks During the Middle Horizon.' The Andean Middle Horizon (ca. 400-1000 C.E.) was a period during which the Wari and Tiwanaku states dominated the Central and South-central Andean regions. The Tiwanaku sphere of influence encompassed most of what is today northern Chile and the high plateau (altiplano) of Bolivia, extending into northwest Argentina. As a result of the topographic extremes of the region, the needs of communities for staple goods and for non-local materials, such as metallic ores for the production of bronze, were satisfied through elaborate and long-distance exchange networks. Goods were carried by llama caravans that distributed products and raw materials throughout the Tiwanaku sphere. Bronze was a new material developed during the Middle Horizon. Using the technique of lead isotope analysis, this project compares the isotopic signatures of Middle Horizon bronze artifacts with the isotopic signatures of ores available for bronze manufacture. A close match in isotopic signatures provides a strong indication that ore and artifact are related. In this way we are able to define the extent of the geographic zone accessed for ore mining, we can determine how far bronze production centers were located from their sources of ore, and we can trace the trajectories along which the llama caravan exchange networks dispersed ores and objects.
Politis, Dr. Gustavo G., U. Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina - To aid research on 'Ethnoarchaeological Study of the Hoti Indians from the Venezuelan Amazon'
DR. GUSTAVO G. POLITIS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina, received funding in January 2003 to aid research on 'Ethnoarchaeological Study of the Hotï Indians form the Venezuelan Amazon.' The project focused on the Hotï Indians of the High Orinoco Basin, an egalitarian tropical forest group whose traditional subsistence is based on hunting, gathering, and fishing and on small-scale horticulture. Fieldwork was carried out in the Alto Parucito River area, in two semi-permanent camps. Data recorded concentrated on aspects relevant for the interpretation of the archaeological record such as: subsistence, mobility (both residential and logistical), daily foraging trips, hunting and butchering techniques, food taboos, and discard patterns. Results obtained contribute to the discussion about how hunter-gatherers modified the composition and the structure of the rainforest, producing what has been called the 'anthropomorphization of the tropical forest.' The results also show that the combination of hunting strategies associated with the beliefs of territorial and personal spirits and with complex bone discard patterns are indicating that in this society, the ideational dimension strongly affects the way they hunt the animals, butcher them, and discard their bones. The case presented here expands archaeological interpretative horizon indicating that simple, non-hierarchical societies can develope highly complex ways of bone breakage and discard as well as sophisticated strategies to manage the tropical forest.
Thames, Horacio B., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Emergence and Development of Political Organization in the Tafi Valley (N.W. Argentina),' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Drennan
HORACIO B. THAMES, then a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received funding in May 2002 to aid research on 'Emergence and Development of Political Organization in the Tafi Valley (N.W. Argentina),' supervised by Dr. Robert D. Drennan. Full-coverage survey of the Tafi Valley involved the detection and recording of architectural remains and surface scatters throughout the valley floor and piedmont zone. Instead of sites, collection units were used as the basic spatial unit of data recording and analysis. A collection unit represents a standardized area delineated in the field whose boundaries were marked on air photographs. Two types of artifact collections were made within each collection unit. Systematic collection circles were used to collect all visible artifacts until reaching a minimum sample size. When sherd density was low, an opportunistic general collection was carried out. In addition, diagnostic sherds were collected when available from each collection unit. A series of shovel probes was dug in collection units containing surface architecture when surface artifact density was low. Survey methodology utilized yielded representative collections of ceramics of various kinds that are suitable for quantitative analysis. The information provided by the regional survey primarily allowed the grantee to create a reliable database and to develop digital maps. Databases will allow the grantee to calculate both proportions of sherds of various kinds (of particular periods, or forms) and densities of surface ceramics. Digital maps compiled display areas occupied during Formative and Regional Development periods and exhibit the spatial distribution of different kinds of artifacts. A typology based on formal attributes was developed to categorize domestic, public, and productive (agricultural and pastoral) structures recorded. Intersite comparison of architectural composition will be used to assess character and magnitude of complexity (i.e., functional differentiation) throughout the sequence.
Arkush, Dr. Elizabeth Nelson, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research and writing on 'War, Violent Spectacle, and Political Authority in the Pre-Hispanic Andes' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
DR. ELIZABETH N. ARKUSH, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in April 2009, to aid research and writing on 'War, Violent Spectacle, and Political Authority in the Pre-Hispanic Andes.' Over the course of millennia in the pre-Columbian Andes, leaders extended their power with both military victories and a panoply of warlike representations and performances: the display of human trophies, the mutilation and sacrifice of captives taken in combat, staged battles for an audience, weapons intended for display rather than use, warrior processions, the interment of elites presented as warriors, and militaristic iconography. These displays have conditioned longstanding discussions among archaeologists about the extent to which pre-Columbian Andean warfare was ritualized, comparable to 'western kinds of war' or uniquely Andean. This book draws on information in the archaeological and ethnographic literature to disentangle evidence about the practice and intensity of war from spectacles and statements about war, examining how these phenomena informed each other and diverged from each other over Andean prehistory. Skeletal trauma and defensive settlement patterns form reliable indicators for the level of violent threat Andean populations actually faced in different times and places. This evidence is compared with patterns of militaristic display to show how both warfare and violent spectacle were related to the changing nature of Andean political authority and the balance of constraint, coercion, and attraction in political interaction.
Chen, Peiyu, U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Household Practice and Early Social Inequality: Huaca Negra, Virú Valley, Peru.,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Arkush
Preliminary abstract: This research aims to address the nature of the development of social complexity reflected in early permanent household inequality by excavating the Late Preceramic/ Initial Period site, Huaca Negra, Virú Valley, Peru. This time span witnessed the emergence of large-scale monument-building on Peru's northern and central coast. Instead of assuming that the emergence of institutionalized household inequality necessarily paralleled to early monument construction, this research examines the relationship between the two aspects and attempts to answer two questions: (1) did the same principle of social hierarchy function in both public and household realms? (2) through what kinds of domestic practices did potential leaders in the community differentiate themselves from others? Unequal access to subsistence resources, craft goods and exotic materials between different households will be analyzed as evidences of inequality in economic, cultural or social capital respectively. These forms of capital could have been manipulated by aggrandizer seeking social status or prestige. Taking household as analytic unit to evaluate these questions avoids the bias caused by age and gender inequality embedded in even the most 'egalitarian' society. The reflection of domestic life in the community enables a bottom-up perspective that is crucial for understanding the emergence of early social inequality.