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Estudios atacameños

On-line version ISSN 0718-1043


QUIROZ, Luciana et al. About smoking practices and smoking complexes during the Early Ceramic period in northern semiarid region of Chile. Estud. atacam. [online]. 2020, n.66, pp.237-270. ISSN 0718-1043.

Smoking pipes are one of the cultural expressions of Early Ceramic Period groups that inhabited the northern semiarid region (NSA) of Chile between Salado and Choapa rivers basins (26º-31, 5ºS). We have explored the smoking complex in this region in search of the type of connections we previously found for the Chilean central region in La Granja archeological context of the Cachapoal basin (Planella, Belmar, Quiroz, Falabella, Alfaro, Echeverría y Niemeyer, 2016). Specialized analysis, i.e ceramic and lithic, archaeobotanical (microfossils) and chemical (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) of smoking pipes fragments from three northern semiarid areas (Copiapó, Huasco-Elqui, Limarí and Choapa), has shown that the major part of them correspond to the “Inverted T” pipes type, and have evidenced the presence of Pooideae phytoliths, Nicotiana spp., Zea mays L. and Solanaceae starch grains, as well as chemical compound where the fatty acids methyl esters highlighted (palmitic and stearic) and long chain alcohols. The morphology and contents of pipes, also seen in those from central Chile, confirms the existence of a shared cultural background between these regions, albeit in multiple contexts. Finally, it is concluded that this contextual diversity is evocative of the ritual centrality in the re-conceptualization of smoking complex in NSA.

Keywords : “Inverted T” pipes; smoking practices; El Molle Complex; tobacco.

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