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Estudios atacameños

versión On-line ISSN 0718-1043


BALLESTER R., Benjamín. Harpoon technology in the Atacama desert coast, northern Chile. Estud. atacam. [online]. 2018, n.57, pp.65-950. ISSN 0718-1043.

Marine hunting was an essential activity in the way of life of the Atacama Desert littoral inhabitants, at northern Chile. A pillar in their social structure that was based in the material means to realize it, as boats and their sophisticated harpoon device, resting in the last the possibility of capture and drag mainland preys that substantially outweigh the hunter. Currently the knowledge of harpooning is scarce in archaeology. For this reason we will delve in their morphology, composition, technical qualities, instrumental diversity, and chronology from a 129 harpoon heads sample from different prehistoric periods (6500 cal BP to colony). We will begin conceptually defining the harpoon function, followed by a first typological exercise to order the multiplicity of forms and solutions in a global scale to place the analyzed specimens. In a second typological exercise we will classify the local expression diversity, differentiating them materially and placing them chronologically. Only after this necessary classificatory stage we can approach to their harpoon technology, the hunter role as a social subject, and the position of hunting in the littoral society.

Palabras clave : harpooning; marine hunting; knowledge; social organization; technology.

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