Social Interaction and Communities of Practice in Formative Period NW Argentina: A Multi-analytical Study of Ceramics
Lazzari, M; Pereyra Domingorena, L; Stoner, W; et al.Scattolin, MC; Korstanje, MA; Glascock, M
Date: 1 March 2019
University of New Mexico Press
The study of long-distance exchange of goods and resources has long been central to the understanding of socio-political and cultural complexity in the south-central Andes. Traditional studies have emphasized typological similarities to reconstruct regional networks, proposing the dominance of different centres through time. While ...
The study of long-distance exchange of goods and resources has long been central to the understanding of socio-political and cultural complexity in the south-central Andes. Traditional studies have emphasized typological similarities to reconstruct regional networks, proposing the dominance of different centres through time. While these approaches were informative on the general direction of contacts, the nature and scale of interaction has remained speculative. This chapter summarises the latest results of our ongoing research project on long-distance circulation of archaeological materials in northwestern Argentina during part of the Formative Period (ca. 1500 BC-AD 1000). The study applied a multianalytical methodological strategy integrating archaeological analysis with archaeometric techniques, including thin section petrography, instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) and laser ablation inductively coupled massspectometry (LA-ICP-MS) in order to contribute an evidence-based holistic view of preHispanic exchange networks. The study examined materials traditionally studied separately, including 542 ceramic samples and 113 obsidian and volcanic rock artifacts, from seven sectors in the semi-arid valleys area. We summarize here the results of the ceramic analysis, showing the 19-2 following trends: (1) inter-valley heterogeneity of clay and fabrics for ordinary wares; (2) intervalley homogeneity of clay and fabrics for a wide range of decorated wares; (3) selective circulation of two distinct polychrome wares. These trends reflect the complex inter-community relationships experienced in small-scale societies. The study offers a new platform to model ancient exchange, and circulation and interaction more broadly, based on actual material transfers. The results call for the re-examination of the centralized models of exchange and interaction that are often drawn upon to account for emergent cultural complexity in the past, both in the Andes and beyond.
College of Humanities
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