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vol.50 issue3Isotopic study of marine and terrestrial resources in the prehistory of the Atacama desertLOCAL METAL PRODUCTION AND COEXISTENCE OF METALLURGICAL TECHNOLOGIES IN SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA DURING THE MIDDLE PERIOD (400-1000 AD) author indexsubject indexarticles search
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Chungará (Arica)

On-line version ISSN 0717-7356

Abstract

HORTA TRICALLOTIS, Helena  and  FAUNDES CATALAN, Wilfredo. MANUFACTURE OF COPPER ORE BEADSIN ATACAMA (CHILE) DURING THE MIDDLE HORIZON (CA. 400-1000 AD): NEW CONTEXTUAL EVIDENCES AND CONTRIBUTIONS FROM EXPERIMENTAL ARCHEOLOGY. Chungará (Arica) [online]. 2018, vol.50, n.3, pp.397-422. ISSN 0717-7356.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-73562018005000801.

This article presents the results of contextual research and archaeological experimentation carried out in relation to the social and ritual role played by the manufacture of copper ore objects (beads, pendants and plaques, mainly), and their various contexts of use in the Atacama salt flat for the Middle Horizon (ca. 400-1000AD). Our analysis - focused on the comprehensive observation of the elements that made up the burial offerings of Quitor 6 cemetery in San Pedro de Atacama - throws light on the renewed importance gained by this industry during the Middle Horizon. At the same time, it reveals hitherto unknown details about the specialization and differential distribution of lapidary manufacture within the Atacamenian society. Through the application of archaeological experimentation, the original function of a wooden artifact has been established, which turns out to be the base or support used specifically for the drilling of beads. New information is also presented about certain funerary ritual gestures associated with copper ore, data that reinforce the special bond that existed for thousands of years between the mineral, the Atacamenian communities (ayllus) and the objects offered to their ancestors or deities. We consider that this set of evidence strongly suggests that the population buried in Quitor 6 cemetery could correspond to a group specialized in copper ore lapidary manufacture.

Keywords : Copper ore; necklace beads manufacture; craft specialization; experimental archeology; Quitor 6 cemetery; oases of Atacama.

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