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The Handbook of South American Archaeology

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Handbook of South American Archaeology Edited by Helaine Silverman University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA and William H. Isbell State University of New York, Binghamton, NY, USA The Handbook of South American Archaeology has been created as a major reference work for archaeologists working in South America, professors and their upper-division undergraduate and graduate students in South American archaeology courses including areal courses (Central Andes, North Andes, tropical lowlands), archaeologists working elsewhere in the world who want to learn about South American prehistory in a single volume. The contributions of this seminal handbook have been commissioned from leading local and global authorities on South America. Authors present the dynamic evolutionary processes of the ancient societies and principal geographical regions of the continent and consider issues such as environmental setting and ecological adaptations, social equality/inequality, identity formation, long-distance/intercultural interaction, religious systems and their material manifestations, ideological orientations, and political and economic organization as these developed over time. The volume is organized thematically to promote and facilitate geographical comparisons, notably between the Andes and greater Amazonia. The bibliography section of each chapter is a valuable research tool in itself for readers wishing to delve deeper into the particular topics under consideration. Of particular merit and originality is the final section dealing with the ethics and practice of archaeology in South America today with each contribution written by a local scholar. This edited work presents long-term research results while simultaneously highlighting the most exciting new research and greatest archaeological problems recently resolved or still awaiting solution. Chapters are written in accessible language and each contribution includes maps and many other figures and photographs to illustrate the text. Handbook of South American Archaeology belongs on the bookshelf of every archaeologists working or living in South American but also will be of interest to those who study larger anthropological issues - such as cultural adaptation and state formation - in the prehistoric and historic periods.

Chapters (59)

Looking at a map (Figures 1.1, 1.2, 2.1), South America hangs heavily from the narrow, funnel-like Isthmus of Panama, which thus serves to delimit the continent on the north. Indeed, it was through Panama’s densely vegetated tropical environment that the first settlers of the vacant (in human terms) continent had to pass, and adapt, more than ten thousand years ago (Ranere and Cooke 2003); maritime movement hugging the coastline was also a possibility (Fladmark 1979). Oceans border South America on all sides, further defining and, until the age of European exploration, largely isolating it from the rest of the world, save for intrepid indigenous navigators who trafficked luxury goods, including Spondylus shell, between Ecuador and the west coast of Mexico (Marcos 1977–78) and Panamanian chiefs who pursued esoteric knowledge in the more complex chiefdom societies of northern Colombia (Helms 1976). But this hyper-geographical continental essence—or South America as a natural unit—is belied by what may have been the world’s greatest linguistic, cultural, and botanical diversity. This extraordinary heterogeneity is the challenge that faced Julian H. Steward (Figure 1.3) in the early 1940s as he sought to devise a framework with which to organize the approximately two hundred chapters commissioned for the six-volume Handbook of South American Indians (HSAI; the seventh volume is the index) from an international cast of more than ninety leading ethnographers, archaeologists, physical anthropologists, ethnologists, linguists, cultural geographers and art historians. In this introduction to the Handbook of South American Archaeology (HSAA), I consider Steward’s organization of the HSAI and some of the continental schemes that followed it. I do not discuss exclusively ethnographic volumes (e.g., Gross 1973; Lyons 1974). I conclude with comments on a new critical scholarship for supra-area archaeology.
There is widespread agreement among archeologists that most late Pleistocene and early Holocene human populations were mobile, traversing large foraging territories to meet subsistence, social, technological, and other needs. A broad array of early foraging societies practiced a mobile way of life dictated by the availability of resources and probably by social conflict. Others probably stayed for relatively long periods in resource rich habitats such as deltas and bays, riverine estuaries, and lacustrine environs; others probably aggregated socially for various reasons. In many places, changes in mobility appear to coincide with shifting climatic conditions and biotic reorganization during this period, reflecting adaptations to local subsistence opportunities and increasing population density in some areas. The vastness of unpopulated terrain and the ecological diversity of South America, especially in the Andean mountains and the Amazon basin, offered limitless options for relocation and pursuit of mobile resources.
The Atacama Desert is an inhospitable region with few fresh water resources. Therefore it is remarkable that people settled in this area 10,000–11,000 years ago and quickly became highly skilled fisher folk. Reliance on marine resources allowed them not only to endure the harsh conditions of the desert, but also to adopt a sedentary way of life. It is even more intriguing that about 7,000 years ago some of these groups, those we call the Chinchorros, began to mummify their dead in a sophisticated and evocative manner — an intriguing mortuary practice that persisted for nearly four thousand years. The Chinchorros were the earliest preceramic fisher-hunter-gatherer people to inhabit the Atacama Desert shore. They are named after a beach in Arica, which yielded hundreds of mummies in the early 1900s with the discoveries of Max Uhle. Chinchorro archeology has come a long way since Uhle’s initial work. Early studies focused on chronology, but we are now focusing on evolutionary reconstruction, human diseases, population genetics, diet, and the social meaning of Chinchorro mortuary practices. In this chapter, we present the culture history of the circumstances and events that allowed for the early settlement of the Atacama coast and we explain the unique Chinchorro mummification practices.
What is usually known as Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, extends today over more than one million square kilometers. This extensive territory can be divided into North Patagonia, covering between 39°30' S and 44° S, South Patagonia, from 44° S to the Strait of Magellan (ca. 52° S) and Tierra del Fuego (ca. 52°–54° S). The available paleoclimatic information points to the existence of arid conditions at least since the end of the Pleistocene in most of extra-Andean continental Patagonia, which today is characterized by the presence of steppe (Figure 4.1). This steppe is dominated by Stipa speciosa, S. humilis, and a variety of shrubs, without much variation during the Holocene (Mancini 1998). After the retreat of the Pleistocene glaciers ca. 14,000 BP, a warmer trend was initiated, that was interrupted by a cold pulse around 11,000 BP. Warmer conditions returned afterwards (Markgraf 1993; Heusser 1994). Several lakes near the Cordillera had high stands of vegetation during the time when humans were dispersing into Patagonia. In all, southern South America was probably a better world to live in than the heavily glaciated territory of North America. Not only was the development of glaciers less extensive in South America, but the more maritime climate presented a less seasonal habitat. The human exploration and colonization of this large piece of land began in late Pleistocene times, starting at least 12,000 to 13,000 BP (Orquera 1987; Miotti 1996; Borrero and Franco 1997; Borrero and McEwan 1997), a time for which there is no climatic analogue in modern ecosystems [Note 1]. This chapter considers the data pertinent to the early peoples of Patagonia. Later prehistory is treated in Mena (1997).
Village life had an early start in the lowlands of northwestern South America, compared to most other areas of the New World. In western Ecuador permanent settlements were firmly established by the late fourth millennium BC. A little earlier, semi-sedentary communities developed in northern Colombia. On the Pacific side of Panama sedentism lagged behind the other two regions but signs of the beginnings of village life were evident by as early as the middle of the third millennium BC. The ecological configurations vary among each of these regions; however, each comprises a lowland tropical environment, cut by rivers and bordered by the sea. In the highlands of the northern Andes, the development of permanent villages was delayed by two or three thousand years (Bruhns 2003; Correal Urrego 2000; Lippi 2003; Raymond 1998). For each of these regions—western Ecuador, northern Colombia, and Pacific Panama—archaeological sequences exist that allow some insight into the social and economic conditions that existed before and during the founding of sedentary communities. Here I first examine each of these sequences and then attempt some comparisons between the three. The character and detail of the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental research vary among the three regions, which to some extent limits the possibility of making valid comparisons.
The Andes is a region of great environmental diversity, and the period of human occupation over the last 13,000 or more years has been a time of change in climate and environment. Our understanding of the ancient people of the Andes must be embedded in this physical context. In this chapter, we focus on the Central Andes—or modern day Peru, highland Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Chile (Figure 6.1). We also recommend Chapter 2 in Moseley (2001) and Chapter 1 in Richardson (1994). Though lying mostly in the southern tropics, the Central Andes includes high, snow-capped peaks, rich intermontane valleys, well-watered eastern slopes dropping to the Amazon jungle, and arid western slopes descending to a coastal desert broken by irrigable valleys and fronting one of the world’s richest fisheries (Figure 6.2). Within this general setting lie a multitude of microenvironments, the location, size, and productivity of which have varied as climate changed and natural and cultural forces altered the landscape and necessarily affected human-environment interactions. As one outcome of this diversity, ancient Andean people found and domesticated a wide variety of plants adapted to the range of available habitats (see National Research Council 1989; see Chapter 7 in this volume). The number of domesticated animals, however, was not correspondingly large, consisting of guinea pigs, several birds, llama, and alpaca; the dog came into the region early but already domesticated. Technology, history, cultural practices, religion, perception, and individual and group idiosyncrasies can all affect the way a society and its members dynamically interact with their environment and respond to environmental and climatic change (Sandweiss et al. 2001). Nevertheless, people must make a living from the natural world around them, and when that world changes, they must respond in some way. How humans took advantage of, altered, or succumbed to the physical conditions imposed by the Andean region through time is an important part of regional prehistory. Indeed, the special characteristics of the Central Andean environment play major roles in many influential if controversial ideas about the Andean past (e.g., rich ocean: maritime foundations of Andean civilization, Moseley 1975 but cf. e.g., Raymond 1981; highland microenvironments: ecological complementarity/“verticality,” Murra 1972 but cf. e.g., van Buren 1996).
The Andes encompass deserts, tropical forests, and high elevation environments. An equally diverse array of crops is present, many with origins in regions as distant as west Mexico and Brazil (Figure 7.1). The story of agriculture, and the plant domestication underwriting it, begins in the Early Holocene, in the economies of early hunter-gatherers. It culminates in the late pre-Hispanic period when populations throughout the area had agricultural economies that supported large populations, many of which were organized as highly complex societies. In this chapter I review the crops that underlie Andean agriculture, summarize our understanding of their areas of origin, and review the archaeological record of plant domestication and agriculture. I focus only on major domesticated plants that occur in the Andean archaeological record. The key sources include Hernández Bermejo and León (1994), Piperno and Pearsall (1998), Sauer (1993), and Smartt and Simmonds (1995).
The dog (Canis familiaris) was already domesticated when early humans entered the western hemisphere. Over the ensuing millennia Native Americans domesticated comparatively few indigenous animals, in contrast to the many animals that were genetically and behaviorally modified from their wild ancestors through captive controlled breeding in the Old World. New World animal domesticates included only two large birds (the turkey in North America and muscovy duck, Cairina moschata, from Mexico south into South America), a medium-sized rodent (guinea pig, Cavia porcellus), and two camelids (llama, Lama glama, and alpaca, Vicugna pacos). Diamond (1999) explains this by suggesting that relatively few candidates appropriate for domestication survived the massive extinctions of the terminal Pleistocene, and that geographical peculiarities of the western hemisphere inhibited the subsequent diffusion of domesticates from their areas of origin.
Humans have lived in the high Andes for at least 10,000 years, and for most of that time, they were hunting and gathering people. That these adaptations were successful is obvious: Wari, Tiwanaku, and Inca were among the most powerful of the archaic states to arise in the Andes and each had its origin in a high elevation basin. These polities were ultimately based upon the achievements of their distant ancestors, who learned to cope with the rigors of life at high elevation, eventually domesticated plants and animals, and created early forms of social inequality that laid the foundations for persistent forms of leadership and hierarchy. In this chapter I will outline what we know of these early foraging people, and situate them within their ecological, biological, and chronological contexts. The time frame to be considered ranges from approximately 11,000 BC to 1800 BC, and is commonly known as the Archaic or Preceramic Period [Note 1]. Specific questions to be addressed include the following: the timing of and processes by which the high Andes were permanently occupied, the adaptive radiation of foragers after permanent settlement had been achieved, the nature of social formations and their interactions, subsistence change through time and the emergence of different forms of low-level food production, and finally, persistent leadership and the origins of social inequality.
The simultaneous publication in 1998 of two Terminal Pleistocene, Paleoindian-age fishing sites in southern Peru demonstrated conclusively that fishing is very nearly as old in the New World as the presence of humans (Sandweiss et al. 1998; Keefer et al. 1998). Why is it important whether or not some of the first settlers of the New World knew how to fish? In a seminal review of the anthropology of fishing, James Acheson (1981: 277) wrote, “fishing poses some very unusual constraints and problems. Marine adaptations are one of the most extreme achieved by man”. Among other factors that together contribute to the unique nature of such adaptations, Acheson noted human beings’ lack of physiological adaptation to aquatic environments, physical and social risk, non-transferability of most terrestrial hunting technology, high degree of faunal diversity, periodic and unpredictable stock failure, low visibility of prey, and the problems of common property resources (Acheson 1981: 276–277). Given these distinct biological, technological, and social correlates of fishing, as archaeologists working in coastal zones, we should be concerned with tracking and analyzing maritime adaptations through time (see for instance Erlandson 2001). Nowhere is this more true than the coast of Peru and adjacent countries in western South America, one of the world’s most productive marine ecosystems.
In this chapter, I introduce historical ecology, new ecology, landscape, and domestication of landscape as key concepts for understanding complex, long term interactions between humans and the environment. I show how historical ecology challenges traditional assumptions and myths about Amazonia. Later, I survey examples of human activities that have created, transformed, and managed environments and their association to biodiversity. In this chapter, I use the term Amazonia to refer to the Amazon basin (the entire region drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries) and more loosely to refer to the tropical lowlands of South America or Greater Amazonia (cf. Lathrap 1970; Denevan 2001). As an anthropogenic environment and interacting culture area of considerable time depth, Amazonia is tied to the neotropics or tropical regions of the Americas.
The productivity of ancient Amazonian food procurement and production economies has received considerable attention for many years by archaeologists interested in the degree of sociopolitical and cultural complexity that can be sustained in the diverse Amazonian habitats (Figure 12.1). Theories on agricultural development also underpin arguments about the nature and implications of large-scale population movements—disaporas—attached to major proto-linguistic stocks, such as Arawakan-Maipuran, Tupian- Guaranían, and Cariban, among others, that are in turn linked to the spread of major archaeological traditions, such as the Amazonian Polychrome or the “Barrancoid”/Incised Rim traditions. The debates surrounding the issues of when and where new subsistence products and technologies show up in the archaeological record, and how these spread and changed has been a major stimulus in researching the origins and development of agriculture in Amazonia. This chapter focuses on some on selected examples of archaeological evidence that have shed light on the rise of agriculture in Amazonia. Extensive, detailed exegesis on this topic can be consulted in the works of Piperno and Pearsall (1998), Denevan (2001), and Harris (1989, 1991).
Ancient raised fields are known in various countries of South America. Among them are the Llanos de Mojos in Bolivia, Lake Titicaca basin in Bolivia and Peru, Lerma in north Argentina, at the mouth of the Guayas River in Ecuador, in the savannas of highland Bogotá and San Jorge River on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, the Llanos of Apure and the middle Orinoco in Venezuela, along the eastern coast of Guyana, on the western and eastern coast of Suriname, and on Marajó Island at the mouth of Amazon River in Brazil (Darch 1983; Denevan et al. 1987). Most of these earthworks are dated in the first millenium AD, but some of them were made as early as 1000 BC. Thousands of pre-Columbian raised fields surrounded by ditches are located in the coastal zones of the Guianas (Figure 13.1). These agricultural fields were first made by a Barrancoid group in coastal Suriname. Later ones are ascribed to Arauquinoid groups belonging to a cultural continuum settled between Cayenne Island and Berbice River in eastern Guyana. This represents a territory approximately 600 km long where raised field technology was intensively used for almost one thousand years before the European Conquest. This paper deals with three main categories of pre-Columbian earthworks, primarily of the western French Guiana coast: raised fields, ditches and ponds, and causeways.
The pampas and campos of Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil are extensive grasslands located in the eastern part of the South American southern cone (Figure 14.1). Foragers have inhabited this wide area since the end of the Pleistocene; only in Late Holocene times did some groups become horticulturists. How these people lived, the temporal and spatial variability of their basic foraging life during millennia, how some of these groups incorporated horticulture in late times, and how this significantly changed their mode of life, is the subject of this chapter. In spite of the long tradition of archaeological research in the three countries that comprise this region, the knowledge of the prehistoric past is still extremely uneven, providing a largely incomplete perspective on the indigenous historical trajectories. Some areas, such as the northwestern sector of the pampas and the Parana-Uruguay interfluvial grasslands are unknown due to the absence of systematic research. Therefore, the coverage of this paper will be uneven and will tackle only the main cultural developments in this vast region.
Ecuadorian archaeology is to be understood in terms of a tight interaction between major ecosystems: the coastal region, the highlands, and the Amazon region. A synthesis, however, has been hampered by the uneven development of archaeology, particularly in the Amazon region, where little research has been carried out. This situation is largely due to the misconception that the terra firme region has been, since pre-Columbian times, a hinterland with few cultural innovations. Recent research has not only shown a livelier picture of cultural development in the region, but also a wealth of archaeological data unexpected a few years ago. This chapter will address present day developments in the archaeology of Ecuador’s Amazon region, with particular emphasis on the discovery of a series of pre-Columbian settlements in the upper Upano Valley, Morona Santiago Province. It is suggested that a high demographic concentration on the eastern slopes of the Andes, during the Regional Development period (500 BC-AD 500), was made possible by the active role of these groups in an exchange network between the highlands and the plain of the Amazon. The upper Upano region was a locus of chiefdom-level sociopolitical complexity characterized by prolific labor-intensive mound-building activity as well as dynamic intra- and interregional trade relationships. Upano is one of a growing number of cognate societies known in other parts of lowland South America, attesting to the significance of the tropical region for the rise of pre-Columbian social complexity, while raising questions about the limits to political development in that environment.
The Guianas Shield forms an “island” of approximately 1,800,000 km2 bordered by the Amazon and Negro rivers, the Casiquiare Canal, the Orinoco River and the Atlantic Ocean. It is constituted by the five Guianas: Venezuelan Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Amapá in Brazil (Figure 16.1). As in the Amazonian rainforest, many different natural environments can be distinguished. However, there are three main landscapes that had strong influence on the pre-Columbian peopling: the grassy savannas in the center, the inland rain forest covering most of the area, and the coastal plain. The cultural evolution of the Guianas is divided into five main eras (Tables 16.1, 16.2) that represent different food procurement strategies: nomadic hunter-gatherers; semisedentary fishermen-gatherers; the first farmers employing slash-and-burn agriculture; raised fields farmers employing permanent agriculture; and people undergoing cultural changes after AD 1200. It is very probable that groups using these different strategies lived simultaneously, as indicated below.
Several of the pre-Columbian cultures of Suriname constructed sizeable earthworks. The Pondokreek culture made a great circular trench in the interior; the Barbakoeba culture of coastal East Suriname practiced agriculture on raised fields (Versteeg 2003). The Mabaruma and Hertenrits cultures stand apart from these because they made earthen mounds on which they built villages near their raised fields. This chapter discusses the mound builders who lived in the coastal plain of west Suriname from the fourth to thirteenth century AD.
Sambaquis (the Brazilian term for shell mounds, derived from the Tupi language) are widely distributed along the shoreline of Brazil and were noted in European accounts as early as the sixteenth century. They typically occur in highly productive bay and lagoon ecotones where the mingling of salt and fresh waters supports mangrove vegetation and abundant shellfish, fish, and aquatic birds. More than one thousand sambaqui locations are recorded in Brazil’s national register of archaeological sites [Note 1], but represent a fraction of the original number because colonial through modern settlements coincide with these favorable environments. Although sambaquis are of variable scale overall, massive shell mounds are characteristic of Brazil’s southern coast (Figure 18.1). The term “sambaqui” is applied to cultural deposits of varying size and stratigraphy in which shell is a major constituent, undoubtedly encompassing accumulations with a range of functions and origins. Proportions of soil, sand, shell [Note 2], and the kinds of cultural inclusions and features in sambaquis also are variable. Small sambaquis often consist of shell layers over sandy substrates or sequences of shell and sand layers, with or without signs of burning or significant numbers of artifacts. Larger shell mounds typically have horizontally and vertically complex stratigraphy, including alternating sequences of shell deposits, narrower and darker layers of charcoal and burned bone that mark occupation surfaces, and clusters of burials, hearths, and postholes descending from these surfaces.
The study of the pre-Columbian occupation on Marajó Island dates back to the beginnings of archaeology as a field of inquiry in Brazil during the late nineteenth century. Elaborate funerary vessels, together with other exquisite pottery objects excavated from Marajoara cemetery mounds soon filled museums in Rio de Janeiro and Belém, while short notes and articles published in important journals attracted worldwide attention to the unexpected traits of “civilization” just discovered in the tropics. For decades to come, the origins of the people who built the 10- to 12 m-high earthen mounds and the meanings of the decorative designs on their pottery were a matter of speculation. A change in research objectives and methodology took place with the arrival of Betty Meggers and Clifford Evans, who carried out the first regional survey on Marajó Island during the late 1940s, providing a comprehensive account of Marajoara culture and previous occupations. Based on ceramic attributes, Meggers and Evans (1957) defined five different archaeological phases for Marajó Island alone. With the exception of the Marajoara Phase, which is the fourth one, the others were called “tropical forest phases,” after Steward (1948).
This paper intends to examine the available archaeological evidence of the social formations that occupied the Amazonian floodplain from ca. 500 BC to AD 1500. It is based on work done in different South American countries, but it will have a strong focus on the Brazilian Amazon due to the availability of new information for this area, the comparatively larger size of the Amazon basin in Brazil, and the fact that this is my own area of active research. In the Brazilian Amazon, as in other Amazonian countries, the possibility of doing large-scale fieldwork is severely limited by logistical problems such as cost of transport, site visibility, access to Indigenous lands and the increasing danger posed by drug trafficking and guerilla warfare (Oyuela-Caycedo and Bonzani 2005: xviii; Politis 1996). On the other hand, there is a noticeable increase in large-scale regional projects related to contract archaeology, mostly from mining, hydroelectric and pipeline construction, normally in areas located away from the main Amazonian floodplain. Although much of the data remain unpublished, in the few cases that are reported the publications have brought new and insightful information on cultural sequences of poorly known areas (Miller et al. 1992).
The late pre-Hispanic societies of southwestern Colombia have served as “classic” examples in the chiefdom literature. The early Spanish colonizers found it easy to identify indigenous caciques and cacicazgos (or señores and señoríos). The ethnohistoric sources on the Muisca and the Cauca Valley are especially rich in descriptions of wealthy and powerful chiefs promoting economic specialization and engaged in continual rivalry and warfare against each other, and these sources have been widely utilized by anthropologists (for example, Trimborn 1949; Carneiro 1990, 1991; Langebaek 1987, 1992). There is also substantial precedent behind the application of the term “chiefdom” to the much earlier pre-Hispanic societies of the zone (for example, Reichel-Dolmatoff 1973). Some argument has focused on whether these societies were chiefdoms or not, but this argument depends on taking quite a narrow definition of “chiefdom” as a very specific societal type with a redistributive economy and a particular kind of kinship system. If “chiefdom” is used in a broader sense to refer to any society that encompasses more than a single local community and has some degree of institutionalized social inequality (Drennan and Uribe 1987), then it is clear that southwestern Colombia witnessed the emergence of numerous chiefdoms over a period of at least 1,500 years prior to the Spanish Conquest. Identifying a society as a chiefdom, based on such a broad definition, however, is not really to say very much; it is not a conclusion, but rather a starting point for investigation of the nature and variety of social organization that fits under this broad umbrella and of the forces that produce it (Drennan 1995a, 1996). A great deal of work still remains to be done in order to document just how complex these various societies were, as well as just how they were complex (Gnecco 1996a).
The main objective of this paper is to discuss what we have learned of the relationships of these chiefdom societies with their environments and the transformations of the landscape as case studies in historical ecology. In both complexes of chiefdoms, Sinú and Tairona, the human populations shaped the landscape to such a degree that they are best understood as anthropogenic—two great archaeological landscapes transformed by human activities involving intensive selection and modification (Denevan 1992: 375). The impact of these chiefdoms on the landscape is apparent even in the present, defining the ecology of the regions. Only recently have they become more “natural” after the depopulation created by the Spanish conquest that decimated the native population to a fraction of its pre-Hispanic size. This chapter considers how and why these pre-Hispanic societies developed a degree of complexity that places them in the chiefdom category. All of them had a strong impact on their landscapes, to the point that the modern environments can be characterized as archaeological artifacts still in use today. Descendents of the original inhabitants still live in both regions. Linguistically, the descendents of the Sinú have lost their language, making it impossible to classify them in terms of known linguistic families (Adelaar and Muysken 2004). However, taking toponyms into consideration the area seems to have been occupied by Chibchan speakers. In the case of the SNSM, the various groups that still exist also belong to the Chibchan language family.
Venezuela comprises a 91,205 km2 territory in northernmost South America, sharing borders with northern Brazil, Guiana and Colombia. Its location was strategic in ancient times (as today) for interaction with the Caribbean islands, Amazonian lowlands, and the Andes. Venezuela’s biodiversity encompasses a contrastive variety of environments, which are, from north to south: the Caribbean coast, the coastal mountain chain, the northernmost Andes, the llanos, the Orinoquia, and the tropical forest (Figure 23.1). This landscape, marked by tropical seasonality, promoted regional cultural development and diversity and complex economic and sociopolitical interaction networks (Arroyo et al. 1999; Cruxent and Rouse 1982). Instead of understanding local developments in their own terms, early scholarship (e.g., Nomland 1935; Osgood and Howard 1943) viewed Venezuela as a pathway to fill out holes between key cultural cores in western and eastern South America. The “H theory” represented Venezuela as a horizontal barrier to as well as a conduit for movements connecting Mesoamerica to the Andes, and the Amazon to the Caribbean. The Valencian and Middle Orinoquian cultures were considered genuine Venezuelan examples of this cultural confluence, combining and diffusing highland and lowland traits (Kidder 1944; Osgood and Howard 1943).
The formal definition of the Formative Period in the New World began with the seminal work of Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips (1958) in their attempt to devise a historicaldevelopmental periodization scheme for pan-hemispherical application. As Jorge Marcos has noted, this concept was largely “identical to what Gordon Childe had called the Early Neolithic” of the Old World (Marcos 2003:7), with connotations of agricultural production and sedentary village life. James A. Ford (1969) carried out the first detailed treatment of the concept for the Americas; he posed a unitary model of Formative development from maritime diffusion, which he pitted against an alternative explanation based upon the “psychic unity of man”. As Ford (1969: 9) defines it, the Formative Period consists of “the 3000 years (or less in some regions) during which the elements of ceramics, ground stone tools, handmade figurines, and manioc and maize agriculture were being diffused and welded into the socioeconomic life of the people living in the region extending from Peru to the eastern United States”. Such unitary diffusionist models were posited as early as 1917 by Herbert Spinden (1917, 1928), but were not systematically explored or championed until the work of Ford (1969) and, in more recent decades, various writings of the late Donald W. Lathrap (see, for example, Lathrap 1974, 1977, 1985, 1987; Lathrap et al. 1975), among others. This chapter begins with a summary of the Formative Period cultures known for the coast and western lowlands: the Valdivia, Machalilla, and Chorrera cultures. Following that, I consider the Formative Period manifestations in the northern, central, and southern highlands, and the eastern lowlands or oriente. Figure 24.1 shows the locations of the various archaeological areas and sites discussed in the text.
A complex mosaic of regional cultural styles observed within the coastal plain and inland basins of western Ecuador beginning at approximately 500 BC are one expression of extensive cultural transformations following the earlier widespread Late Formative Period Chorrera style (see Chapter 24 in this volume). These transformations are the basis for the definition of a period of regionalization or the “Regional Developmental Period” (500 BC –AD 500) in the cultural historic sequence for Ecuador (Evans and Meggers 1961). This rise of diverse regional cultural styles exhibiting elaborate ceramic figurine art adorned with symbols of authority and power, production and display of luxury goods including gold and silver objects, and urban centers with earthen platforms was initially linked to environment and interaction as central factors affecting sociocultural change (Meggers 1966). The differences in sociopolitical complexity among the cultural phases were attributed to differences in environmental potential and access to outside influences (Meggers 1966:69–70). This model carries overtones of a stage scheme, which is strongly evolutionary. Marcos (1986: 37–38) offers an alternative to an environmentally focused model for Regional Developmental Period developments. His model is based on trade, competition, and conflict. According to Marcos, the appearance of the cultural phases of the period is due to a network of exchange based in traffic of Spondylus, which served to create a series of chiefdoms and kin groups or clans. These groups, or the named cultural styles, were in competition to control or expand control of a sphere of influence in the network of long distance trade centered on the exchange of Spondylus.
Archaeological fieldwork undertaken in recent decades can be compared to shining a flashlight into the corners of a dark room. Site surveys, mapping, test excavations and occasionally more extensive programs of area excavation have been applied in different combinations in various settings. Our knowledge of site sizes and their internal organization as well as site densities, hierarchies and inter-site relationships is therefore still very uneven. This overview examines what kind of “integration” was achieved in different contexts and also evaluates some of the insights provided by the early ethnohistoric records, in comparison with the archaeological record. We deal first with the Santiago-Cayapas Basin and northern Manabi, then look at the Guayas Basin, Gulf of Guayaquil, Puná Island and the Santa Elena Peninsula, concluding with southern Manabi (Figure 26.1). This geographical zoning in no sense implies bounded constraints on regional interaction but simply provides a useful framework for assessing current knowledge.
The natural beauty, temperate climate, and general productivity of the intermontane basins of highland Ecuador have attracted human occupation for millennia. Narrow in comparison to other sectors of the Andes, the equatorial highlands are defined by two parallel ranges known as the Cordillera Occidental and the Cordillera Oriental, each studded with an impressive array of snow-capped peaks. The intercordilleran zone between them, sometimes referred to as the “avenue of the volcanos,” is divided into 15 intermontane basins by a series of low, transverse ridges called “nudos.” During the late pre-Hispanic period, beginning around AD 800, the populations of several basins coalesced and began to develop collective identities and more complex forms of sociopolitical organization. Within a cultural evolutionary framework, these new formations would be classed as chiefdoms, though they offer something of a challenge to our conventional models of chiefdom-level polities as well as to the framework itself. While the archaeological data from the Ecuadorian highlands are relatively sparse, when used in conjunction with the ethnohistoric information, it is possible to gain some insight into the trajectories, organization, and operation of the late pre-Incaic societies of this region. The picture that emerges contributes to our understanding of the range of variability encompassed under the rubric of “chiefdom” and ideas about the mechanisms that underpin these formations. The political configuration of the equatorial Andes may be viewed as one of a growing number of cases that point to alternative ways of conceiving and modeling social complexity beyond vertical integration and hierarchical order (e.g., White 1995; McIntosh 1999).
The Titicaca basin sits at the northern end of the expansive altiplano high plains, straddling the highland border of modern Peru and Bolivia. The grasslands are excellent for herding and are also arable along the lakeshore, being a center of tuber production and the font of the domestic Chenopodium and the potato. The lake is full of edible fish as well as having a range of useful waterweeds and reeds along the lakeshore. Early human evidence suggests foraging, hunting, fishing, and birding were all productive subsistence strategies. When these activities began in the area is not firmly known, but there are solid dates for foragers by 4000 BC.
The south coast of Peru was the nucleus of two import regional cultures that are exemplary of non-state sociocultural complexity: Paracas during the Early Horizon (ca. 700 BC—AD 1) and Nasca in the Early Intermediate Period (ca. AD 1—700). Geographically, these cultures extended for approximately 375 km along the desert coast, from the Cañete Valley in the north to the Acarí Valley in the south (Figure 29.1). This arid strip of land, sandwiched between the foothills of the Andean Mountains to the east and the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west, was made habitable by several river systems carrying water from the high Andes; all but the Ica River run east-to-west. Irrigation farming provided the main subsistence for these cultures, supplemented by fishing and hunting. This chapter provides an overview of these two ancient societies, which figure prominently in discussions of Central Andean prehistory. The reader wishing a more comprehensive survey should consult, among other works, Paul (1990, 1991), Tello (1959), Tello and Mejía Xesspe (1979), Proulx (1968, 2006), Silverman (1993, 2002) and Silverman and Proulx (2002).
The people that inhabited northwestern Argentina before the arrival of the Incas shared a basic, common cultural background with other Andean societies (Figure 30.1). Nevertheless, they seem to have followed a unique developmental trajectory that differs from the socio-cultural processes that took place in the Central Andes. This chapter is a survey of these societies. Excellent syntheses are already available (e.g., González 1977; González and Pérez 1972; Ottonello and Lorandi 1987; Raffino 1988) and we refer readers to them for further information on specific archaeological materials. We organize our discussion in terms of the existing periodification for this area: Early (ca. 500 BC-AD 650, sometimes called Formative), Middle (ca. AD 650–900) and Late (ca. AD 900–1400/1470) (González and Pérez 1972) (Figure 30.2). Instead of discussing each period as an evolutionary stage in a unified developmental sequence, we adopt a perspective that focuses on the lived experiences of the past groups. We discuss how landscapes, places, and identities were socially constructed and negotiated in each period, stressing the importance of daily life experiences and interactions as much as the central role of material culture in these socio-cultural processes.
The emergence of cultural complexity on the coast of Peru almost five thousand years ago has been much debated (e.g., Engel 1957a, b; Lanning 1967; Moseley 1975; Haas and Creamer 2004; Haas et al. 2004a, b; Shady 1999, 2001, 2006 inter alia). This chapter critically examines this process of civilization during the Late Pre-ceramic, Initial Period, and Early Horizon. It also traces the history of archaeological investigation and cultural theory that has brought us to the current level of understanding.
The nature of pre-Hispanic urbanism is one of the most controversial issues in the archaeology of the Central Andes. The contrasting positions range from the nature of the concept itself to the chronology of the process, the role of presumably urban complexes, and the characteristics of the social and economic context. The discrepancies and contradictions were heightened in the last decade when the astonishing monumental architecture of the Late Pre-ceramic Period (2700–1800/1500 BC) on Peru’s north-central coast (“norte chico”) was reinterpreted by Ruth Shady (2006; Shady and Leyva 2003; Shady et al. 2001), on the basis of her fieldwork at Caral in the Supe Valley, as evidence of a process of nucleation (Figure 32.1). Shady explains the architectural complexity of Caral and the diffusion along the norte chico of ceremonial architecture with pyramids, raised atriums, ventilated hearths and sunken circular courts as an effect of the presumed rise of the inchoate state, its capital city, and its secondary and tertiary administrative centers. Shady (Shady and Leyva 2003) adapts Childe’s (1974 inter alia) theory of the urban revolution to approach the issue from a perspective that is eclectic, pragmatic, comparative, and axiomatic at the same time. Additional data have been generated by the multi-valley project of Jonathan Haas and collaborators. Haas has some reservations as regards the centralized characteristics of the norte chico’s political institutions while recognizing the remarkable complexity of the norte chico phenomenon (Haas and Creamer 2004; Haas et al. 2004).
The Tupi of Brazil undertook an enormous territorial expansion more than 2,000 years ago. The word Tupi is applied to a linguistic stock that encompasses approximately 41 languages that spread, several millennia ago, throughout eastern South America (Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay). Of those 41 languages, the two most frequently mentioned since the arrival of Europeans have been Guarani and Tupinambá. The term Tupi is also used to refer to the speakers of these languages. Noelli’s paper (1998) included discussion of nineteenth and much of twentieth century research on the Tupi. I do not repeat that information here. Suffice it to say that for more than a century, between 1838 and 1946, hypotheses were developed with historical and ethnographic data and were influenced by theories ranging from degenerationism to racial and geographic determinism to evolutionism. Most theories were based on the historic location of known Tupian people. With the publication of the Handbook of South American Indians in the late 1940s, archaeological information has been interpreted in frameworks of ecological determinism and diffusionism. During the same period, methods of historical linguistics were introduced, especially to identify the relationships among kin languages. As with debates about origins and cultural evolution elsewhere in South America, two of the key figures in the Tupi origins and migration debate were Betty J. Meggers (1963, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1982) and Donald W. Lathrap (1970). PRONAPA (Programa Nacional de Pesquisas Arqueológicas) was very active in Tupi archaeology at the same time, 1965–1970 (e.g., PRONAPA 1970) [Note 1]. It was also in this period that Jose Brochado (1973, 1984; Brochado et al. 1969) worked intensively on Tupi archaeology. Brochado subsequently completed doctoral studies at the University of Illinois in Urbana- Champaign under the mentorship of Lathrap (see Brochado 1984).
The study of ancient human migration has long been a notable aspect of anthropological research as scholars investigate why people opt, or are forced to move from their homeland to a new locale. Explanations vary widely, but according to Arutinov (2002: 89) the underlying motivation for most migrations, “including the most ancient ones, are…things are not going well for a people in their own homeland,” leading people to seek a better life in another place. Similarly, individuals and families may be drawn to an urban center in pursuit of new economic, social, political, or other kinds of opportunities. The potential push and pull factors for migration highlight a key path of inquiry worth exploring in the archaeological record. Why are people moved, or why do they opt to leave a familiar landscape filled with known kith and kin to venture to an unknown locale, often filled with strangers and customs different from one’s own? And how can researchers detect this movement in the archaeological record? In this chapter, I discuss ways in which non-local (non-natal) individuals can be identified using data on skeletal morphology and the chemical composition of bones and teeth, and I discuss how they can be used to address questions about migration and diaspora communities in the ancient Andes. Archaeologists working in the Andes have examined the Inca policy of relocating groups of people and creating diaspora communities in the process (Bauer and Stanish 2001; D’Altroy 2002; Julien 2000) and have provided a thorough overview of how diasporas relate to ayllus and the vertical archipelago systems (Goldstein 2005). My focus is on an earlier time period: the Middle Horizon (AD 500–1000). I summarize bioarchaeological studies that document diaspora communities associated with the Tiwanaku and Wari states (Figure 34.1).
Chavín de Huántar, an archaeological site in the Peruvian north highlands, has long been recognized as one of the most important centers of the pre-Hispanic Andes. This understanding predates the beginning of scientific archaeology in Peru. In 1553 Pedro Cieza de Leon, a Spanish soldier and keenly observant chronicler, reported that the massive constructions at Chavín de Huántar had been built by a race of giants long before the Inca conquest and that their portraits in stone could still be seen at the site. When the Archbishop of Lima visited the site in 1593 he described Chavin as an ancient fortress. In 1616 the writer Vasquez de Espinoza offered a more astute assessment: “It was a huaca or sanctuary, one of the most famous of the gentiles, like Rome or Jerusalem among us; a place where the Indians came to make offerings and sacrifices, because the demon in this place declared many oracles to them, and so they attended from throughout the kingdom” (Vasquez de Espinoza 1948 [1616]: 458). The reputation of this long-abandoned archaeological complex as a center of great spiritual power and oracular authority was reiterated in 1619 by a Jesuit mission to Cajatambo when the local residents described Chavín de Huántar’s main construction as “a building that is very feared and greatly venerated and they call it the house of the huacas … and they [the huacas] spoke and answered the men [who were] their children, and [they spoke] to the heads of lineages that exist today among the Indians of this land” (Duviols 1973).
The Mochicas (also called the Moche) developed as independent and interacting polities in the northern valleys of coastal Peru between AD 200 and 850 (Figure 36.1). As with most coastal societies, the Mochicas can be understood as a truly successful adaptation to the coastal environment, where maritime resources were combined with an advanced agriculture based on irrigation technology. The large, northern, multi-river Piura, Lambayeque and Jequetepeque valleys contrast with the much smaller southern Chicama, Moche, Virú and Santa valleys. This influenced historical processes, which were quite distinct, and are only now coming into focus as a result of long-term archaeological research projects. The Mochicas inherited a long cultural tradition, quite distinct from other traditions in the Central Andes. From the precocious coastal societies of the Late Preceramic through to Cupisnique (Chavin’s coastal spin-off), and into a number of small and locally constrained societies such as Salinar, the Mochica tradition experienced a history of success and failure, adaptation and environmental catastrophe, technological mastery in metallurgy and irrigation, and great achievements in art and religious architecture. But because the Mochicas were not one but many independent polities not all achievements, nor every trait or characteristic – be it art or technology – can be attributed to the whole of the Mochicas. The distribution of Mochica cultural features varies from time to time, as do some of their regional expressions.
“Middle Horizon” is a period in Peruvian prehistory (Figure 37.1), but cultural dynamics embraced an area much larger than Peru (Figure 37.2). The Middle Horizon was the time when leadership in complexity within the Central Andes shifted from northern Peru and the Pacific coast – especially the spectacular Moche culture (see Chapter 36 in this volume) – to south central Peru, northwestern Bolivia and the Andean highlands (Figure 37.1). A new religious art spread through the Andes, composed of three primary supernatural images. From new urban capitals in central highland Peru and Lake Titicaca Bolivia, the distinctive religious icons diagnostic of the Middle Horizon reached the northern Peruvian mountains and coast. In the south they dispersed through the highlands, reaching southern Bolivia and the eastern valleys that descend to tropical forests – among them, Cochabamba with its immense mounds and idyllic conditions for maize agriculture. Northern Chile, at least as far south as San Pedro de Atacama, participated in this great interaction sphere, as did northwestern Argentina’s La Aguada cultural style (see Chapter 30 in this volume; Figures 30.5, 30.6).
This chapter is a brief review of some of the polities that developed in the Central Andes during the Late Intermediate Period—that is, between the contraction of Wari and the expansion of Inca influence over the Central Andes [Note 1]. During the LIP, polities of varying political and economic complexity emerged, expanded and collapsed. Coastal polities were, in general, more complex than highland ones and some of the coastal polities were able to expand beyond their regions, whereas few highland polities did so. The following chapter, Chapter 39, deals with the greatest of the LIP polities, the Chimú Empire. My concern here is the other “less imperial” societies that nevertheless were also the context faced by the expanding Inca empire. Traditional interpretations of LIP societies have relied heavily on ethnohistorical documents, which are Spanish descriptions of local polities under Inca rule at the time of the Spanish conquest (e.g., Bonavia 1991; Lumbreras 1974, 1990; Ravines 1994). The epistemological problems of using Spanish descriptions of early Colonial Period polities, which had already been shaped by the Inca imperial policies and were being reshaped by the Spanish administration, to talk about pre-Inca polities are obvious (see criticisms in Netherly 1988, 1990; Salomon 1986, 1999 inter alia). Here I try to level the ground by using almost exclusively archaeological data to review the state of our knowledge regarding the LIP world. Archaeological information collected over the last few decades allows us to grasp, to some extent, the considerable political and economic variation that existed among polities on the coast and in the highlands during the several centuries of the LIP, ca. AD 1000–1400.
The Chimú Empire was one of the largest pre-Hispanic New World states, dominating much of the north coast of Peru between ca. AD 900 to 1470 when conquered by the rival Inca Empire. The Chimú capital, Chan Chan, was established between AD 900–1000 on a flat plain near the Pacific Ocean, some seven kilometers north of the Moche River. By the fifteenth century Chan Chan had developed into one of the largest urban settlements in the pre-Hispanic Americas and the Chimú state had evolved into one of the most powerful polities in Andean prehistory. This intriguing legend of dynastic foundation and expansion has been revised and modified by over five decades of archaeological research, which has explored the complexities of statecraft, social order, worldview and religion in the Kingdom of Chimor. The Chan Chan-Moche Valley Project (1969–1974) was a pivotal investigation, as its members developed an influential model of Chimú social organization and imperial administration that was derived from the study of architecture, settlement patterns, and associated artifacts from Chan Chan and other sites in the Chimú heartland of the Moche, Chicama, and Virú valleys (see, inter alia, Moseley and Cordy-Collins 1990; Moseley and Day 1982; Moseley and Mackey 1973, 1974). Subsequent investigations have expanded these understandings with new research at Chimú provincial centers and smaller settlements, as well as investigations into the peripheries of the kingdom of Chimor. In the following discussion we summarize patterns of imperial expansion and incorporation, first considering Chan Chan and the Chimú heartland and then examining the northern and southern expansions of the Chimú state. We then discuss Chimú worldview, religion, and social order, and conclude with a discussion of the disruptions and continuities on the north coast after the Inca conquest of Chimor.
The Inca Empire (Figure 40.1) was the last native state to develop in South America before sixteenth century European invasions introduced foreign culture, religion, and disease. Building on principles common to a millennium-long tradition of Andean statecraft, the Incas innovated and modified their imperial strategies and practices to dominate a larger and more ecologically diverse territory—and to administer a more numerous and cosmopolitan population—than any earlier Andean civilizations. This chapter presents a brief, archaeologically driven account of the rise and expansion of the Inca Empire, focusing on the material record to describe certain essential characteristics of the Inca imperial order (for more comprehensive syntheses see, e.g., D’Altroy 2002; Stanish 2001; and the classic statement by Rowe 1946). In focusing on Inca archaeology this paper cannot do justice to the major contributions made by anthropologists and ethnohistorians to Inca studies (see, e.g., Murra 1980 [1955]; Zuidema 1964; Rostworowski 1999; Pease 1991; Urton 1990—to name only a few).
The knotted-stringed instrument used for record keeping in the Inca empire, known as khipu, from Quechua, “knot” [Note 1], was the subject of considerable interest from the earliest days following the Spanish invasion of the Andes, beginning in 1532. Early postconquest reports of encounters with Inca record keepers tell of old men carrying bundles of strings with which they recounted all manner of information pertaining to the Andean past—from census figures for this or that province to details of the deeds performed by each of the dozen kings that had ruled before the arrival of the Europeans (Cieza 1967; Pizarro 1920). The recording device in question was a construction of knotted, colorful strings made of spun and plied camelid hair or cotton fiber (Figure 41.1). These devices were used by Inca state record keepers for retaining different types of administrative records and for registering information consulted in the production of historical and other types of narrative performances (Cobo 1983; Garcilaso de la Vega 1966; Mackey et al. 1990; Quilter and Urton 2002; Urton 1998). While it remains uncertain how narratives were produced from the knotted-string registers, we understand a good deal about how quantitative information and statistical data were recorded.
Andean scholars often perceive northwestern Argentina in particular, and the South Andes in general, as a marginal area of Tawantinsuyu (literally, “land of the four quarters”, the Inca name for their Empire) and, therefore, that Inca domination had a shallow impact on local societies. There are a number of reasons for this perception. First, the South Andes are far from the core of the Empire. Second, Inca architecture and material objects in this part of Tawantinsuyu are not as abundant as in the Central Andes, nor do they exhibit, in comparison, high quality and great investment of labor. Third, toward the end of Tawantinsuyu’s history, the Incas were clearly more interested in the northern frontier than in the southlands. Fourth, it is generally believed that Inca occupation only lasted a few years in this southern corner of Tawantinsuyu, from approximately AD 1470 until the Spanish conquest [Note 1].
The discussion of inter-zonal relationships must necessarily begin by stating what is to be understood by the concept of relationship in a culture history archaeological sense. In simple terms I will refer to relationship as the interaction—direct or indirect—between two or more individuals (groups or communities) living in close proximity or far apart. Interactions are, in turn, defined as the consequence of human encounter, through physical or ideological contact, in which there is a social exchange of ideas, goods, or information that can be said to be sought by the involved individuals as an agency to supplement or complement their material or symbolic life ways. Social interactions are a very important part of past and present lifeways. They take many forms and can be expressed in a variety of ways that are not always archaeologically evident, as they may or may not leave material traces. Unfortunately, unless there is a way to substantiate such interactions, one cannot establish or infer such relationships. In general, the presence of exotic goods (raw or processed materials) can be considered evidence of past relationships. The same can be said of technological traditions, ceramic objects, or any other items that can be defined as pertaining to a given cultural affiliation different from that ascribed to the archaeological contexts in which they were found. The nature of these relationships is often difficult to establish, nonetheless, the connection between separate groups can be recognized and its causes and consequences hypothesized.
The area that is bounded by the 2nd and 6th degrees of latitude South—basically Guayaquil- Cuenca in Ecuador to Lambayeque-Bagua in Peru (Figure 44.1)—has traditionally been seen as an environmentally unattractive buffer zone, which formed an anthropogeographic barrier and projected Ecuador (the North Andes) and Peru (the Central Andes) into different trajectories of socio-cultural development (Burger 1984). However, surveys conducted over the last thirty years on both sides of the modern Ecuadorian-Peruvian border now allow scholars to reconstruct a more complex situation, in which there were significant interactions among many regional cultures living in numerous environments. This paper presents an interpretation of this region in terms of cultural boundaries and cultural crossings.
At the cloud forest juncture of the northeastern Peruvian Andes and the upper Amazon basin, the pre-Columbian societies subsumed under the label “Chachapoya culture” occupied the Colonial-period threshold to mythical El Dorado and the feral lowland rainforests. To scholars and the public, the region evokes images of abandoned jungle cites and the quintessential “lost civilization,” cloaked in impenetrable forest and mystery. Today, the northern Peruvian cloud forest is remote, with large uninhabited expanses representing archaeological terra incognita and reputedly “some of the last forested wilderness of South America” (Young and León 1999: 11). Yet paradoxically, these montane forests harbor archaeological evidence of dense pre-Hispanic populations and spectacular monumental archaeological sites. Mounting evidence shows that, far from being isolated, the Chachapoya thrived at a cultural crossroads that once connected distant Andean and Amazonian societies.
The Llanos de Mojos (hereafter Mojos) is a tropical savanna in the Bolivian Amazon, shaped by cycles of drought and flood and the labor of generations of farmers. The accounts of Jesuit missionaries from the mid 1600s described large villages with powerful chiefs and influential shamans in the savanna. Was this true? And what kind of economy would have supported these societies? The answers first became apparent in the 1950s with the spread of air travel that revealed artificial earthworks, including agricultural fields, causeways and canals on the landscape below. Recent archaeological research confirms that Mojos was one of several areas within the Amazon basin that had large sedentary populations. Mojos is a research frontier where scant archaeological investigation has been conducted compared to, say, Syria or the Yucatan Peninsula, whose areas are similar. Mojos is a fascinating test case to understand relationships between politics and economics in the Amazon basin over the long term. Because of its location between the Xingu, middle Amazon and Andes, Mojos is also relevant to discussions of cultural history and the movement of groups of people across the continent. Finally, study of the region’s landscapes shows how pre-Columbian peoples acted on their understanding of the relationship between nature and culture to build their environment. This chapter reviews the physical and human geography of Mojos, describes previous archaeological research, and then discusses political and social organization, analyses of interregional contacts, and the creation of anthropogenic landscapes.
Identity is one of anthropology’s oldest and favorite topics of inquiry. Interests have bounced between polemic ideas of primordial conditions, biology, descent, and natural communities to those of situation and contingency, alliance, and imagined communities. Identity in cultural anthropology is most commonly viewed as a sense of self or self-awareness – of personhood or subjectivity – that involves reflexive understandings of sameness and difference with “others” (Jenkins 1996). This paper discusses questions of identity and, particularly, historical and archaeological identities in Amazonia. It takes as its point of departure the idea that questions of identity, like those of equally popular agency or practice, are scalar. Further, in place of traditional views of cultural and ecological uniformity, recent research on all fronts, aided by the immense power of computers and remotely sensed imagery, suggests that variability and dynamic change are no less pronounced in Amazonia than any other equally proportioned place on earth (and see Chapters 11, 12, 20 and 50 in this volume).
This chapter considers prehistoric patterns of interaction in northern Chile from the time of the early agricultural settlements to the late pre-Hispanic period. Northern Chile encompasses the Atacama Desert and oases and the western valleys of the Andes mountains (Figure 48.1), more or less south to the location of contemporary Santiago/Copiapó. It is an “Andean” region in cultural, geographic and environmental terms, in contrast to the area lying south, a region characterized by temperate forests, steppes, fjords, islands, high rainfall, and extremely simple societies from the earliest prehistoric occupations through the ethnographically known peoples of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego (see McEwan et al. 1997 for the most current discussion). The Highland Andean Tradition appeared in northern Chile by the time the old Chinchorro tradition was dying out (see Chapter 3 in this volume), overlapping Chinchorro for a period of five hundred years, and running up to recent times. Within this Andean Tradition a specific suite of features from the circum-Titicaca/altiplano area intruded into the coastal valleys of northern Chile as a result of influence from altiplano societies. The manifestation of influences from the altiplano that developed in the western valleys was somewhat different from those influences in the Atacama Desert zone. In the former, it seems there was a more direct relation to the circum-Titicaca area, becoming a constituent part of the emerging civilization that later centered on the Tiwanaku state. In the desert, the influence was rather indirect and more symbolic. This is identified with the Alto Ramirez development in both the western valleys and the Atacama Desert. My essay begins with Alto Ramirez and continues through the Inca conquest (see Figure 48.2).
Mortuary remains have long served to define archaeological culture groups, providing both the materials for delineating discrete assemblages and the evidence of unique, culturally bounded manners of treating the dead. Graves also provide evidence of trade and exchange, such that materials are seen to reflect the exchange of ideas and the seeds of social change. Stanish (1992: 29–30, 2005; Aldenderfer and Stanish 1993), however, has taken issue with the use of grave goods for the study of ethnic affiliation. To trace colonies of core communities in far-flung regions, it is best, he feels, to work with domestic contexts that are not characterized by such high variability in stylistic expression, and objects of high ritual and symbolic value. A true ethnic colony will be expressed in the more mundane world of the household. It follows, of course, that graves are thus not ideal places to look at evidence of interaction as they typically contain higher proportions of high-status goods, including mobile pieces such as exotic non-local ceramics (see Sutter 2005 and Stovel 1997 for complementary discussions). Thus using exclusively mortuary remains would lead one to exaggerate non-local interaction and the impact of foreign communities. This paper addresses these issues through use of the concept of the social field (discussed below) in an attempt to put forth a more complex social model for the unique cultural landscape of prehistoric interaction in San Pedro de Atacama.
Maracá funerary urns have been a show-piece for Amazonian archaeology since the end of the nineteenth century when exploration of the Maracá River region of Brazil began. Publications and exhibitions on Amazonian prehistory almost always refer to Maracá and present images of the mysterious anthropomorphic urns, which are as famous as Marajoara and Santarem pottery. Although images of the urns became familiar, it is less than a decade since archaeological research produced the first data on the funerary patterns of Maracá society and placed it within a cultural temporal context in the Amazon region. In the context of Amazonian archaeology, Maracá, along with Marajó, Aruã, Aristé, and Mazagão, is an example of the mosaic of cultural diversity that proliferated in the lower Amazon before Europeans occupied the region in the seventeenth century (see Chapters 19 and 47 in this volume).
In this chapter, I emphasize the kinds of social interaction that material expressions of ancestors enable, encourage or organize. For this, it is useful to consider Gell’s contention (1998: 20) that artworks are purposeful extensions, or agents, of people. Artworks are “persons” not in the biological, organismal sense, but from their role in mediating social relations. An object can actively shape interactions or initiate “causal sequences” (Gell 1998: 16) between its makers, users, patrons, audience, and indeed, itself—i.e., exert agency. The metaphor between artworks and persons deserves consideration here because many Andean ancestor effigies acted for and assumed the image of people. I contend that ancient Andean ancestors were like “persons”. This is precisely because, as objects of veneration, Andean effigies enabled crucial physical interactions between people and divinities. Three general questions guide this discussion: What were some of the principal forms of Andean ancestor effigies? Where do we find ancestor effigies and their veneration? And perhaps most important, what did ancestor images do?
Human sacrifice took many forms in ancient South America. Individuals were killed and placed in tombs to accompany important persons in the afterlife, buried as dedicatory offerings in monumental buildings, and offered in various contexts as gifts to the gods. Captives were taken in small-scale raiding and in organized warfare, and executed in both formal rituals and impromptu reprisals. In some cases, body parts were collected from dead enemies and modified for various uses. Sacrificial practices can be reconstructed from both indirect and direct sources. Indirect sources include historic accounts of trophy taking (such as the Jívaro of tropical Ecuador), descriptions of sacrificial practices recorded by Spanish and native chroniclers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and depictions of sacrifice and trophy taking in ancient South American art. Indirect sources must be used with caution: ethnohistoric accounts have various inherent sources of bias (Rowe 1946; Salomon and Urioste 1991; Adorno 2000), and iconographic depictions of human sacrifice often reference mythical or metaphoric elements (Cordy-Collins 1992; Proulx 2001). Archaeological evidence of retainer and dedicatory burials, mass graves, and isolated body parts constitute direct evidence of sacrificial practices. The careful analysis of human remains from these contexts is important in distinguishing between sacrificial practices and standard mortuary behavior. Direct archaeological evidence of human sacrifice is therefore important in confirming or questioning events inferred from ethnohistoric and iconographic sources. Fortunately, the database of physical evidence of human sacrifice in Central Andean South America has grown substantially in recent years, thanks to field projects with an increasing focus on the careful excavation and curation of human remains and laboratory analyses of this material. This review will focus primarily on Central Andean South America, where the ethnohistoric and archaeological records are most detailed.
The political use of the pre-Columbian past has a long tradition in Latin America. Nationstates such as Mexico and Peru have a vast array of monumental archaeological remains that have been incorporated into the normative western histories each of these political formations has imagined for itself. Ecuador, too, has pyramids and mounds, which have been readily incorporated into the imaginary of the nation and have been deployed ideologically to legitimize its political forms of governance. However, unlike the greater areas of Maya, Aztec and Inca ruins, Ecuador’s imaginaries about its pre-Columbian past are less dependant on monumental evidence. Rather, like the other nation-states of South America (with the exception of Peru) Ecuador is more interested in asserting: 1) an Indigenous origin of the nation (however mythical this might be); 2) a European onslaught that overwhelmed native cultures (however favorably this might be understood); and 3) a modern (or postmodern) reconfiguration of a cosmic racial nation. It is also in this form that race, and particularly a mestizo racial production of it, is to a large degree the hidden scripture of the appropriation of the past in Ecuador, as well as the rest of South America.
Cultural Heritage Management (henceforth, CHM) is a long-term and integral strategy for planning the development of a valley or a region for its preservation and the dissemination of its cultural heritage resources to the public. CHM’s strategy is not unlike a multidisciplinary research project, integrated by a set of successive and linked phases: planning, study, preservation, presentation, promotion, sustainability. Peru’s cultural patrimony is characterized by a diverse and complex set of cultural resources, which are especially rich for the pre-Hispanic era. These constitute the main pillar in the government’s quest for new activities and attractions to support a rise in cultural tourism from national and international visitors. Archaeological heritage can provide solid foundations to CHM plans, but ethnographic and historical resources should complement it as cultural heritage in Peru. For instance, north coast sugar cane mills of the nineteenth century agro-industrial era, and certainly the many Colonial era monuments, could be viable targets of incorporation into a CHM strategy. Improving roads to these many attractions would facilitate the creation of a cultural heritage network and ultimately benefit local populations. This kind of broad assemblage of resources will be vital, but not sufficient, for creating a successful CHM project. This chapter is written at a time when the field of cultural heritage management in Peru is at a crossroads: only recently is the management of cultural heritage being addressed as a complex network of organizational resources [Note 1], rather than a strategy that pinpoints investment in discrete resources. The creation of a network is an important operational concept in the conservation and promotion of cultural heritage and the development of “cultural districts” or tourist regions.
This chapter is concerned with the links between the material culture of the ancient site of Tiwanaku and competing unifying ideologies of nationalism and indigenous pride in Bolivia. I narrate the story of the Bennett Monolith, discovered at Tiwanaku in 1932 by Wendell C. Bennett, as well as the associations of both the monolith and the archaeological site with the construction of national and cultural identity by Bolivians today. The monolith’s journey from Tiwanaku to the capital city of La Paz, and then back to Tiwanaku in 2002, after 69 years, has marked different intellectual and political movements that have swayed this small Andean country for almost a century. The Bennett Monolith and Tiwanaku iconography have alternately been seen by Bolivians as symbolic of past Andean glory, nationalist sentiment, religious superstition, and ethnic restitution. Given Bolivia’s recent sociopolitical history and the role grassroots social movements and indigenous political parties are playing in shaping the country’s governing structure, it is important to examine and trace some of the myriad ways in which representations of cultural patrimony and heritage have been used in the effort to challenge Bolivia’s long-standing social hierarchy. Understanding the arduous process and negotiations that culminated in the return trip of the monolith to Tiwanaku and the implications of this return for the construction of a new unifying Bolivian identity based on discourses of indigenousness contributes to a clearer vision of ongoing transformative processes in Bolivian society today. I write this chapter from two entangled perspectives, that of a cultural anthropologist working in Bolivia and that of a Bolivian with deep attachment to her country of birth.
The history of professional archaeology in Colombia began at the onset of the twentieth century with foreigners of different academic backgrounds (such as the German, Konrad Preuss, the North American, Alden Mason, and the Spaniard, José Pérez de Barradas), but soon after national researchers took over. With few exceptions, over the last six decades foreign archaeologists have avoided fieldwork in Colombia both because the country never experienced the development of social and political complexity characteristic of the Central Andes and Mesoamerica (and, thus, was academically less attractive), and because of the dangers created by the chronic violence that has swept the country since the 1950s. As a result, archaeology in Colombia has been carried out mostly by Colombians. This apparent “independence,” however, must be understood and situated by a description of the problems dominating Colombian archaeology, and that is the purpose of this paper. I have divided the exposition into three parts: the first deals with the relationship between archaeology and modernity, whose imprint is still felt, no matter how anachronistic it may seem; the second deals with the scientific phase of that relationship; and the third with the way it has been challenged and, to certain extent, superseded.
In order to understand the role played by archaeology in Uruguay in the creation of the narratives of nationhood, I must provide some background about both the indigenous people who populated that land in colonial and pre-contact times and the way in which they were and are perceived by mainstream Criollo society. This will help us understand the ideological framework in which archaeology developed as a discipline and how this influenced the way in which it dealt with the indigenous past. In the territory of Uruguay, most of the groups encountered by European invaders at the time of contact were either nomadic or very mobile, seasonally occupying different sites. They did not practice agriculture at a significant scale and did not depend on it for their subsistence. Moreover, the Amerindians who populated the land did not live in cities, did not build structures of stone, and did not have a penchant for monumental architecture. Consequently, there are no magnificent ruins constructed by indigenous peoples in the remote past.
Throughout the nineteenth century, despite official attention to scholarship in general, and the foundation of the Historical and Geographical Institute, there was no law regarding archaeological remains in Brazil. Museum officials as well as amateurs and others often collected and registered archaeological artifacts at will. Nevertheless, and despite a lack of early protection, Brazilian identity has been linked to archaeological heritage since the nineteenth century (notwithstanding a brief eclipse at the beginning of the twentieth century). Romantic nationalism was grounded on the idealization of natives, and archaeology played a role. Archaeological resources in Brazil have been the subject of several legislative efforts, the first of them in 1920, when the Brazilian Society for the Fine Arts, or “Sociedade Brasileira de Belas Artes,” through its president, Bruno Lobo, asked the keeper of the classical antiquities of the National Museum, Alberto Childe, to prepare a bill for the protection of the national artistic heritage. Childe’s proposal was mostly concerned with archaeological sites and defended the nationalization of these cultural resources. The bill proposed that “archaeological remains, buildings, sites, caves, cemeteries, shell middens are considered national assets and are to be owned only by each state of the Union.” The proposal was not taken into consideration by the Congress, dominated as it was by representatives not interested in nationalization of private property, even if it was aimed at preserving archaeological resources.
Our intention in creating the HSAA was to bring together in a single collection current articles describing the people and cultures of the aboriginal South American past. There were many reasons for having undertaken such a project, but certainly our primary motivations involved the fact that as archaeological area studies increase, the practitioners and their discourses become more knowledgeable and specialized, and also more involuted, with fewer and fewer relationships among scholars in neighboring places. Eventually, continental issues and common goals recede into the background, replaced by concerns as well as knowledge defined in local, regional and national theaters. With few exceptions archaeologists are no longer South Americanists, but Amazonianists, Caribbeanists, Central Andeanists, etc. Many pre-historians, and especially the residents of modern South American nations, have become even more spatially specialized, bounded by the arbitrary frontiers of modern states – the archaeology of Peru, or Argentina, or Colombia, etc. Of course, modern national boundaries have nothing to do with prehistoric cultures and their spheres of interaction, but they have everything to do with the current practice of archaeology, from institutional control of archaeological patrimony to professional training and circles of colleagues, to journals, associations, and languages of communication. Furthermore, more and more contemporary archaeology is linked to identity, that is, almost always, presently defined as national identity, or regional or community identity. Rarely does the framework involve a more international Native American identity, or global humanist identity. Surely, our new century will see this change, as enlightenment ideology of national sovereignty is eclipsed by international organizations such as the Mercosur in the South American southern cone and the European Union, to say nothing of postmodern globalism. In the meantime, we need grander, continental perspectives on the past. Necessarily, the HSAA expresses the area foci of our era, but it seeks to promote knowledge of a whole, stimulating dialogue and collaboration among the diverse assemblage of pre-historians and other readers interested in the South American continent. By bringing together this set of integrative summaries and analytical discussions – some from traditional, but many from less conventional perspectives – we hope to encourage a more inclusive intellectual gaze, embracing the continent, among South American archaeologists as well as the broader community of scholars, students, and lay readers who enjoy archaeological knowledge. Beyond the increased depth of knowledge area specialists acquire when they refine their understandings of neighboring cultures, the teaching of South American archaeology may benefit from more continental perspectives, as well as the new instructional resource that the HSAA represents for comparative scholarship, presenting current statements as well as extensive bibliographies that should promote cultural comparisons and generalization, both among the prehistoric cultures of South America and between South American and other societies of the ancient world.
... While archaeological studies of human activity in the Andes have been abundant [51], genetic studies are far scarcer but show that the region is characterised by high human mobility and genetic exchange [48,50,[52][53][54][55]. High-resolution genome-wide aDNA data have only begun to be published in the last few years for pre-Columbian South America [46,56,57], with only two studies looking at the Inka period [55,58]. ...
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The rulers of the Inka empire conquered approximately 2 million km2 of the South American Andes in just under 100 years from 1438–1533 CE. Inside the empire, the elite conducted a systematic resettlement of the many Indigenous peoples in the Andes that had been rapidly colonised. The nature of this resettlement phenomenon is recorded within the Spanish colonial ethnohistorical record. Here we have broadly characterised the resettlement policy, despite the often incomplete and conflicting details in the descriptions. We then review research from multiple disciplines that investigate the empirical reality of the Inka resettlement policy, including stable isotope analysis, intentional cranial deformation morphology, ceramic artefact chemical analyses and genetics. Further, we discuss the benefits and limitations of each discipline for investigating the resettlement policy and emphasise their collective value in an interdisciplinary characterisation of the resettlement policy.
... No suporte cerâmico, a iconografia se dá por meio de pintura e apliques, como aqueles identificados por Gomes (2002) na cultura tapajônica associados aos vasos de gargalo. Nos líticos (BOOMERT, 1987;ROSTAIN, 2010;VEERSTEG, 2003;ZEIDLER, 2008) geralmente ocorre a representação de sapos em forma de pingente com furos laterais indicando uso como colar, i.e, os muiraquitãs amazônicos (BARATA, 1954) e caribenhos. Na metalurgia (COGGINS, 1992) foram confeccionados como pingentes e adornos em forma de chocalho ou guizo de cascavel, os chamados cascaveles, que geralmente eram de cobre, tumbaga e ouro. ...
... The period known as the Late Formative (800 -400 cal BC) represents an interesting moment in Ecuadorian archaeology. In a region that emphasizes the important role played by interregional interaction in its prehispanic societies (Zeidler 2008;, the area that now constitutes the province of Imbabura and northern portion of Pichincha contains a unique variety of evidence of non-local goods during this period. ...
... Tal Phalan et al., 2016). (Forman & Godron, 1986;Denevan, 1992;Forman, 1997;Balée, 1998;Hornborg, 2005;Balée & Erickson, 2006;Lui, 2008;Silverman & Isbell, 2008;Turner & Gardner, 2015 (CCBB, 2004;Melatti, 2014;Souza, 2015). "No Brasil, há cada vez mais sítios com artefatos e outras marcas da presença humana que remontam a datas anteriores ao Holoceno." ...
Thesis
O processo de ocupação humana no território brasileiro tem provocado, há séculos, profundas alterações no meio ambiente. Desde os primeiros habitantes, a natureza tem sofrido alguma mudança no seu formato, em algum grau de escala. Se os povos tradicionais nativos possuem uma preocupação em conciliar a relação homem-meio ambiente, a invasão europeia inverteu toda essa lógica. Dos processos primitivos até o uso da mecanização moderna, o Brasil pós-1500 mostrou a força humana sobre a natureza e seus consequentes impactos. Apesar dos esforços maiores ou menores, das denúncias propaladas desde do período colonial, avança-se a destruição de ecossistemas de suma importância local e global. Diante desse cenário, o país possui biomas com enorme perigo de perdas irreversíveis se nada for feito. Neste contexto, esta tese tem como objetivo entender essas transformações com olhares histórico, geográfico e econômico, culminando numa análise quantitativa do uso da terra de 2004 a 2019 focada nos municípios dos dois principais biomas brasileiros ameaçados, Cerrado e Amazônia. Por meio de diferentes instrumentos da econometria espacial cujos princípios são as primeiras leis da Geografia, se pretende identificar os fatores que modificaram o uso da terra no período citado e propor medidas para atenuar o impacto do principal vetor de desmatamento direto nos biomas citados: a pecuária. Por meio dessa análise, pretende-se avaliar como a intensificação da bovinocultura de corte altera as emissões, a configuração do uso da terra, pode auxiliar no cumprimento da Lei de Proteção da Vegetação Nativa e gerar ganhos econômicos dentro de uma área com mais de 1.700 municípios. O objetivo final é determinar qual a melhor política de intensificação da atividade de pecuária de corte considerando o trade-off meio ambiente e economia. A escolha permitirá que o país consiga oferecer aos consumidores domésticos e internacionais uma atividade mais sustentável com minimização do impacto ambiental gerado e receitas majoradas. Com isso, a tese mostra que as alterações no uso da terra em quatro diferentes classes – agricultura, pecuária, floresta e outros usos – são fenômenos locais cujo somatório tem um impacto global relevante. Os resultados reforçam a importância de políticas públicas ambientais e agrícolas e observarem as diferenças entre os municípios em sua formulação e implementação. Há, para o Brasil, um imenso potencial tanto de ampliar a área florestal com a intensificação e de restaurar grandes áreas liberadas com o incremento do sistema produtivo de carne bovina. Assim, o país tem nas suas mãos uma chance ímpar de ter uma pecuária sustentável econômica e ambientalmente com uma política governamental que considere a diversidade local. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- The process of human occupation in Brazilian territory has caused profound changes in the environment for centuries. Since the first inhabitants, nature has undergone some change in its shape, to some degree of scale. If native traditional peoples have a concern to reconcile the man-environment relationship, the European invasion has reversed all this logic. From primitive processes to the use of modern mechanization, post-1500 Brazil showed human strength under nature and its consequent impacts. Despite the major or minor efforts, the denunciations proposed since the colonial period, the destruction of ecosystems of great local and global importance is advanced. Given this scenario, the country has biomes with enormous danger of irreversible losses if nothing is done. In this context, this thesis aims to understand these transformations in historical, geographical, and economic views, culminating in a quantitative analysis of land use from 2004 to 2019 focused on the municipalities of the two main threatened Brazilian biomes, Cerrado and Amazon. Through different instruments of spatial econometrics whose principles are the first laws of geography, it is intended to identify the factors that modified land use in the period mentioned and propose measures to mitigate the impact of the main vector of direct deforestation in the biomes mentioned: livestock. Through this analysis, it is intended to evaluate how the intensification of beef cattle culture alters emissions, the configuration of land use, can assist in complying with the Native Vegetation Protection Law and generates economic gains within an area with more than 1,700 municipalities. The goal is to determine the best policy of intensification of beef livestock activity considering the trade-off environment and economy. The choice will allow the country to be able to offer domestic and international consumers a more sustainable activity with minimization of the environmental impact generated and increased revenues. Considering all these facts, the thesis shows that changes in land use in four different classes – agriculture, livestock, forest, and other uses – are local phenomena whose sum has a relevant global impact. The results reinforce the importance of environmental and agricultural public policies and the observer in the differences between the municipalities in their formulation and implementation. For Brazil, there is an immense potential for both expanding the forest area with intensification and restoring large areas released with the increase of the beef production system. The country has in its hands a unique chance to have a sustainable livestock economically and environmentally with a government policy that considers local diversity.
... We found some titles specifically about Historical Ecology in Brazil [53][54][55][56]. Other books contain chapters dedicated to Historical Ecology research in Brazil [57][58][59][60]. The majority of the editors of these books have also authored scientific articles selected in this systematic mapping. ...
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Historical Ecology is a multidisciplinary field that studies long-term relationships between humanity and the environment. There is a missing synthesis effort to organize and present the state of the scholarship in Historical Ecology in Brazil. We aimed to characterize by whom, when, where, what, and how research in Historical Ecology has been conducted in Brazil. We made a systematic mapping of 118 scientific articles published in Portuguese, Spanish, and English that fit our inclusion criteria. The results showed articles from 1998 to May 2021, published in 79 different journals. We found 264 national and international authors (60% men and 40%women); 91% of all investigations were carried out in the Amazon and Atlantic Forest biomes. There are few works about Cerrado, Caatinga, and Pampa, and none for Pantanal. The most mentioned keywords were historical ecology, Amazon, forest, and archaeology. Twenty-three articles focused on a particular species, primarily plants; 37% of all articles used Historical Ecology as its central axis of research, and 63% as auxiliary. We found more than 35 methodological procedures, both from the social and natural sciences. This overview revealed achievements, research gaps, and opportunities in this field.
... The availability of samples is affected not by the state of preservation of the skeletal and dental material, but instead by the lack of records. A book published by Springer on the archaeology of South America is proof of this (Silverman and Isbell, 2008). In this publication, the description of the stage of physical inactivity during the Formative period in northern South America refers to issues involving the paleo diet, but with regard to Colombia, describes this process in little more than half a page without referencing any osteological or dental evidence. ...
... However, identity typology depends upon scalar dimensions and the meaning of rurality of agricultural landscapes (Amilhat-Szary, 2009) or 'farmscape' in neotropical mountains. The scale jumping needed to transition this process to a larger regional or continental level masks many proprieties that used to separate, yet in some cases used to unite, different holarchies of lower-resolution into a larger, more homogeneous 'Andean' culture of higher holons throughout antiquity and the historical period (Silverman & isbell, 2008). it is a bizarre Janus-face construction typical of transitional, hybrid, or indeterminate landscapes in what is referred to in the Arabic term Barzakh (Figure 1), that makes up the fuzzy boundaries with the complexity of coupled panarchy of the Andes, often manifested as a time- Figure 1. ...
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We seek to (re)construct a geocritical narrative for the essence of place, by (re)writing mountain specificities that imprint cultural traits on tropical and temperate Andean landscapes, creating a unique identity trilemma for the people of highland South America. We use onomastics as a study of mistaken individuality, with a poststructuralism approach to define ‘the Andean’ within humanistic geoecology; thus, we incorporate notions related to common phenotypic traits of ‘Andeanity’, together with cryptic, emergent properties of ‘Andeaness’ and mystic conditions of spirituality of ‘Andeanitude’, to produce a new trifecta of ecoregional building, with a challenging epistemology for ‘Andean’ as a biocultural heritage landscape informed from traditional knowledge, dialectically appropriated from the old and the young, the foreign and the native, and the original and the composed. Hence, the imagined, heterogeneous, and dynamic identity of Andean people is characterized as dynamic and evolving flow of the mountainscape. We argue that it is still adapting to frameworks of global environment change; hence, it is subjected to withering if not for certain biocultural microrefugia that keep Andean landscape memory alive. With a review of the hermeneutics of Andes, because of orthographic variants (c.f.: graphiosis) that incorporated Kichwa-based, Kañary-based or Mapudungun-based words in the hegemonic lexicon of colonial expansionism of Castilian terms, we argue for the inclusion of vernacular descriptors instead of Roman Sanctorum or Patriotic ephemerides utilized to name geographical features in Andean South America. A plea to restore vernacular descriptors with the original peoples’ language uses, toponymy and onomatopoeia, brings political recognition and invigorates original communities’ pride of their ancestral heritage to reinforce their wellbeing in biodiversity microrefugia. Switching from imperial, imposed names of colonialist geographies to vernacular words or other non-hegemonic locatives of (de) colonial scholarship will help find a better “sense of place” in the Andes and will increase the likelihood of survival and (re)generation of ancestral socio-ecological production Andean mountainscapes.
... On the other hand, long term archaeological occupation have been found in most valley systems surround Lake Titicaca (Capriles et al., 2014, Craig et al., 2010, Erickson, 2000, Hastorf, 2005, Silverman and Isbell, 2008, Stanish, 2003. The valleys located in the southern part of the Lake Wiñaymarka (Tiwanaku, Katari and Desaguadero River), are one example among other that highlight this continuity (Albarracin-Jordan and Mathews, 1990, Bandy, 2006, Hastorf, 1999, Isbell and Silverman, 2002, Janusek, 2008, Kolata, 2003. ...
Article
The Altiplano and more specifically the Titicaca circum-lake sector have recorded several major landscape transformations. In particular, changes in the lake water level lead to a significant vulnerability and contributed to the development of flexible and diverse agropastoral activities of the pre-Columbian and current populations to climate change. The Tiwanaku River, particularly because of the presence of the pre-Columbian Tiwanaku site, has been the subject of several research studies aimed at characterizing the environment of the archaeological site. Here we propose a new synthesis of the geomorphology of the Tiwanaku River watershed based on an interdisciplinary approach (Historical geography and remote sensing, cross combined with field survey). Our results show that the general organization of the drainage system is influenced by lake level and climatic changes. However several watercourses of the Tiwanaku River might be related to pre-Columbian agricultural or proto-urban structures. Our work allowed to estimate the regressive pattern of the coastline of Lake Titicaca and to identify major changes of the terminal and medium watercourse of the Tiwanaku River over the last 70 years.
... Archaeological research in the Central Andes is extraordinarily rich (Silverman and Isbell, 2008), but ancient DNA (aDNA) studies to date have been limited, so there has been little information about demographic change over time. Studies of uniparental DNA indicated evidence for a degree of genetic homogeneity of the Central and Southern Highlands, especially for the Y chromosome (Barbieri et al., 2014;Gó mez-Carballa et al., 2018;Harris et al., 2018;Sandoval et al., 2013Sandoval et al., , 2016, while studies with aDNA suggested substantial continuity as well as gene flow between the Coast and the Highlands (Baca et al., 2012;Fehren-Schmitz et al., 2014, 2017Russo et al., 2018;Valverde et al., 2016). ...
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There are many unanswered questions about the population history of the Central and South Central Andes, particularly regarding the impact of large-scale societies, such as the Moche, Wari, Tiwanaku, and Inca. We assembled genome-wide data on 89 individuals dating from ∼9,000-500 years ago (BP), with a particular focus on the period of the rise and fall of state societies. Today’s genetic structure began to develop by 5,800 BP, followed by bi-directional gene flow between the North and South Highlands, and between the Highlands and Coast. We detect minimal admixture among neighboring groups between ∼2,000–500 BP, although we do detect cosmopolitanism (people of diverse ancestries living side-by-side) in the heartlands of the Tiwanaku and Inca polities. We also highlight cases of long-range mobility connecting the Andes to Argentina and the Northwest Andes to the Amazon Basin. Video Abstract Download : Download video (26MB)
... Archaeological research in the Central Andes is extraordinarily rich (Silverman and Isbell, 2008), but ancient DNA (aDNA) studies to date have been limited, so there has been little information about demographic change over time. Studies of uniparental DNA indicated evidence for a degree of genetic homogeneity of the Central and Southern Highlands, especially for the Y chromosome (Barbieri et al., 2014;Gó mez-Carballa et al., 2018;Harris et al., 2018;Sandoval et al., 2013Sandoval et al., , 2016, while studies with aDNA suggested substantial continuity as well as gene flow between the Coast and the Highlands (Baca et al., 2012;Fehren-Schmitz et al., 2014Russo et al., 2018;Valverde et al., 2016). ...
... No suporte cerâmico, a iconografia se dá por meio de pintura e apliques, como aqueles identificados por Gomes (2002) na cultura tapajônica associados aos vasos de gargalo. Nos líticos (BOOMERT, 1987;ROSTAIN, 2010;VEERSTEG, 2003;ZEIDLER, 2008) geralmente ocorre a representação de sapos em forma de pingente com furos laterais indicando uso como colar, i.e, os muiraquitãs amazônicos (BARATA, 1954) e caribenhos. Na metalurgia (COGGINS, 1992) foram confeccionados como pingentes e adornos em forma de chocalho ou guizo de cascavel, os chamados cascaveles, que geralmente eram de cobre, tumbaga e ouro. ...
Article
Este artigo apresenta os resultados da análise dos vasilhames com apliques de anuros das cerâmicas arqueológicas oriundas de coletas sistemáticas nas estearias maranhenses associando-os às espécies biológicas. Parte-se, portanto, de um estudo interdisciplinar que busca atentar para a importância deste tipo de abordagem ainda pouco utilizada pelos arqueólogos brasileiros, sobretudo na Amazônia, cuja imagética arqueológica associada a sapos e rãs é recorrente no material arqueológico desta região. Apresentam-se os apliques de anuros, sua análise tecnológica, as formas dos vasilhames e a identificação das espécies, fomentando a interpretação dos resultados com enfoque na relação entre cultura material e biologia.
... Tutishcanyo, Kotosh, Valdivia and Corrugate) and traditional coca chewing 24 . Therefore, here we address (ii) whether gene flow accompanied the cultural and socioeconomic interactions between Andean and Amazon Yunga populations ? ...
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Western South America was one of the worldwide cradles of civilization. The well known Inca Empire was the tip of the iceberg of a cultural and biological evolutionary process that started 14-11 thousand years ago. Genetic data from 18 Peruvian populations reveal that: (1) The between-population homogenization of the central-southern Andes and its differentiation with respect to Amazonian populations of similar latitudes do not extend northward. Instead, longitudinal gene flow between the northern coast of Peru, Andes and Amazonia accompanied cultural and socioeconomic interactions revealed by archeological studies. This pattern recapitulates the environmental and cultural differentiation between the fertile north, where altitudes are lower; and the arid south, where the Andes are higher, acting as a genetic barrier between the sharply different environments of the Andes and Amazonia (2). The genetic homogenization between the populations of the arid Andes is not only due to migration during the Inca Empire or the subsequent colonial period. It started at least during the earlier expansion of the pre-Inca Wari Empire (600-1000 YBP) (3) This demographic history allowed for cases of positive natural selection in the high and arid Andes vs. the low Amazon tropical forest: in the Andes, HAND2-AS1 (heart and neural crest derivatives expressed 2 antisense RNA1, related with cardiovascular function) and DUOX2 (dual oxidase 2, related to thyroid function and innate immunity) genes; in the Amazon, the gene encoding for the CD45 protein, essential for antigen recognition by T/B lymphocytes in viral-host interaction, consistent with the host-virus arms race hypothesis.
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1. Marine ecosystems play a key role in human wellbeing, particularly in the Global South through small-scale fisheries (SSF). While many have speculated that such activities are central to the provision of cultural benefits (such as cultural identity and heritage values), there are key information gaps regarding SSF cultural contributions to societies and their historical importance. 2. In this paper, we sought to identify and characterize the historical-cultural benefits derived from SSF in Peru and their transformative role for early societies’ development. 3. We carried out an extensive review of archaeological literature focusing on early coastal Peruvian settlements, cultures, and civilizations (i.e. pre-Hispanic period: 13,000 BCE–1532 CE). 4. Our results suggest that the interaction between coastal dwellers and marine ecosystems in Peru is ancient, reciprocal and dynamic. These interactions were crucial for social transformation in Peru across millennia. Through fisheries, the first coastal Peruvians enjoyed multiple cultural benefits that entail a range of experiences, identities, and beliefs. These benefits were susceptible to social and environmental changes, while the same benefits allowed early dwellers to gain more capabilities to evolve socially and to shape their environment. 5. Understanding the evolving interaction between environmental spaces and cultural practices may provide valuable insights for improving current and future marine resources and seascape management. 6. Through this paper, we call for a reflection on the past, present and future of SSF, and their valuable role within society. Based on ample evidence we conclude that SSF are not only a food-producing activity, but also a highly important cultural practice for coastal Peruvians.
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RESUMEN En este artículo presentamos un panorama de la teoría arqueológica desarrollada en el Perú de las últimas dos décadas. Con ese objetivo, en primer lugar, se plantea el lugar y naturaleza de la teoría en la práctica arqueológica peruana. En segundo lugar, se describen sintéticamente los contextos políticos y económicos en los cuales se ha desarrollado la práctica arqueológica de los últimos años. En tercer lugar, se describe un panorama de las teorías arqueológicas utilizadas en nuestro país, enfocándonos en los principales temas de estudio desarrollados. En cuarto lugar, se revisan otros tópicos teóricos relevantes que se han desarrollado en la arqueología peruana. Finalmente, se dejan planteados algunos temas que merecerían mayor desarrollo teórico en la arqueología peruana. ABSTRACT In this article, we present an overview of the archaeological theory developed in Peru in the last two decades. For that purpose, first, the place and nature of the theory in Peruvian archaeological practice is considered. Secondly, the political and economic contexts in which the archaeological practice of recent years has developed are briefly described. Third, an outlook of the archaeological theories used in our country is described, focusing on the main developed topics of study. Fourth, other relevant theoretical topics that have been developed in Peruvian archaeology are reviewed. Finally, some issues that deserve further theoretical development in Peruvian archaeology are introduced.
Article
We examine three avian remains from the Última Esperanza cave complex. This site is a Natural Monument situated along the flanks of Cerro Benítez, Magallanes Region of Chile. A tarsometatarsus (MLP 94-VIII-10-12) is assigned to Rhea pennata, and a humerus (MLP 94-VIII-10-111) to Phalacrocorax brasilianus. Both, R. pennata and P. brasilianus, are currently distributed in the Magallanes Region, and their presence within the cave can be easily explained by the cut marks found on the tarsometatarsus, that evidence human consumption. The absence of traces on the humerus is not decisive in this regard, because the wings are not the most fleshy parts of the body and therefore, not the preferred piece by predators. It can represent the waste. A small bill (MLP 94-VIII-10-140) of a passerine bird belongs to a fresh bone and should be treated as contamination.
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During 2017 and 2018, the Huari Urban Prehistory Project conducted excavations in the non-elite Patipampa sector of Huari in Ayacucho, Peru. Quotidian resource acquisition, distribution, and use are not well understood in Huari as previous excavations have focused on monumental architecture and mortuary centers. This thesis presents research on the Patipampa obsidian artifact assemblage and its relation to Wari political economy in a non-elite context. I conducted portable X-ray fluorescence and lithic attribute analyses on 446 obsidian artifacts in order to understand obsidian’s role at Patipampa. My research supports the idea that the people of Patipampa had unrestricted access to Quispisisa obsidian and did not need to conserve material. It appears that the Wari provided Quispisisa obsidian via a redistributive economic system. The presence of additional types brings into question other forms of resource acquisition at Huari and ties to the local Puzolana obsidian source.
Thesis
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This research aims to analyze the reason that led to the insertion of articles 13, 14, 28, 40, 41 and 42 in the 18th Century Colonial Directorate dealing with the ebriedades and the aguardente trade with indigenous intending also to understand some of its implications in the daily life of the Negro River natives. For that, this study developed from a cultural history point of view searching in the letters of colonial agents, and in the travel diaries information that allowed us to build a framework of the characters involved and their performances. Special attention was given to the Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira's Viagem Filosófica, but also presenting some nheengatu written documents unknown by the historiography of the period. The ethnographies of Negro River people were fundamental to understand the dimensions of action of the indigenous subjects. After all, what does the term ebriedades mean in that law?
Conference Paper
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The first attempts at synthetizing the diversity of Brazilian rock art sites and the spread of graphic similarities envolved a certain amount of environmental determinism and traditionalism. We propose an agent-based model able to verify the possible effects of theoretical perspectives on the landscape. Our model uses a number of hunters moving randomly and a set of shelters where they can make new paintings according to simples rules. Three different mechanisms can be modified: exogenous (by nature, some shelters are fit for painting and not others), endogenous (by culture, some shelters are preferred by each hunter, and not others) and cumulative (shelters with paintings are more attractive). Compared to the archaeological context, only exogenous and cumulative constraints seem able to result in a landscape where a few shelters are concentrating most of the paintings. Endogenous constraints alone seem unable to produce the same results without another mechanism for transmission.
Article
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In the 15th century, ∼900,000 Native Americans, mostly Tupí speakers, lived on the Brazilian coast. By the end of the 18th century, the coastal native populations were declared extinct. The Tupí arrived on the east coast after leaving the Amazonian basin ∼2,000 y before present; however, there is no consensus on how this migration occurred: toward the northern Amazon and then directly to the Atlantic coast, or heading south into the continent and then migrating to the coast. Here we leveraged genomic data from one of the last remaining putative representatives of the Tupí coastal branch, a small, admixed, self-reported Tupiniquim community, as well as data of a Guaraní Mbyá native population from Southern Brazil and of three other native populations from the Amazonian region. We demonstrated that the Tupiniquim Native American ancestry is not related to any extant Brazilian Native American population already studied, and thus they could be considered the only living representatives of the extinct Tupí branch that used to settle the Atlantic Coast of Brazil. Furthermore, these data show evidence of a direct migration from Amazon to the Northeast Coast in pre-Columbian time, giving rise to the Tupí Coastal populations, and a single distinct migration southward that originated the Guaraní people from Brazil and Paraguay. This study elucidates the population dynamics and diversification of the Brazilian natives at a genomic level, which was made possible by recovering data from the Brazilian coastal population through the genomes of mestizo individuals.
Chapter
We have chosen to address the complexity of the links between the environment and health by examining a particular case: the history of a major public health problem in Latin America, Chagas disease, a parasitic disease transmitted to humans by vector bugs such as Triatoma, from wild natural reservoirs. The historical analysis of its discovery and the socio-economic conditions of its propagation, shows that a multiplicity of different environments are in operation. Moreover, the reduction of this abundance of cause-and-effect relationships to a single dominant factor is at the origin of the considerable difficulties encountered in the attempts to control the disease. The history of Chagas disease, like that of most ecosystem-related diseases, demonstrates the illusion, or even the danger, of a simplified environmental approach in the management of these pathologies.
Article
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We aim to identify how much there is of myth and reality in the economic historiography of Venezuela and in the theories or approaches to development that attempt to explain its current situation. In order to do so, we specify some of the elements that have built a Venezuelan semantics on oil, a kind of «social schizophrenia» that has served as a political support for the economic authoritarianism that has ruled from the dictator Gómez (1908) to the present day. We speak of seven keys, in reference to the marking periods of the economic history, showing their successes, errors and omissions. At the end, a draft of proposals to convert the country's hydrocarbon reserves into a direct lever for productive development, after overcoming the political process that has been pushing the country to the bottom of an ever-deeper precipice.
Book
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El libro ofrece un panorama integral y actualizado de las diferentes estrategias de subsistencia y prácticas alimentarias de las sociedades indígenas que ocuparon los distintos entornos naturales del continente americano desde fines del Pleistoceno, hace más de 14 mil años. Busca, por un lado, construir saberes disciplinares acerca de la subsistencia, la alimentación y los conceptos y métodos para abordarlas. Por otro lado, se propone poner en discusión las concepciones arqueológicas tradicionales sobre la subsistencia y la alimentación. El libro consta de dos partes. La primera parte introduce al lector en los aspectos más generales, teóricos y metodológicos sobre la subsistencia y la alimentación en arqueología. La segunda parte del libro se centra en las principales etapas de la secuencia de producción de alimentos.
Article
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Este artículo discute las evidencias de violencia perimortem y las relaciones espaciales de partes esqueletales recuperadas en la Estructura Funeraria 4 del sector I del sitio de Punta de la Peña 9 (Antofagasta de la Sierra, Catamarca, Argentina). Esta estructura, que contiene varios individuos correspondientes a la segunda mitad del primer milenio dC, presenta evidencias de haber sido reabierta en al menos dos eventos de inhumación, lo que produjo alteraciones de los patrones mortuorios y desarticulación de partes anatómicas. Estas reaperturas se relacionan con una dinámica particular de las prácticas de entierro en Antofagasta de la Sierra. Se trata del primer entierro secundario múltiple identificado para el área, el cual incluye a su vez los primeros casos de trauma intencional y muerte en condiciones violentas. Se inhumaron al menos siete individuos de ambos sexos y de distintos rangos de edad, cuatro de los cuales presentan lesiones perimortem en los cráneos, evidencia directa de situaciones de violencia interpersonal para los grupos agropastoriles de este período.
Article
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The paper addresses the historical evidence in archaeology and geology about climate changes in the past, cites the contemporaneous scientific evidence about these changes in different settings, and enumerates effects which would enhance the consequences of such changes. A few examples of vulnerabilities of the coastal zone are commented, chosen because they are not so often recalled. The specific case of Brazilian coastal zone is briefly introduced. Finally, as its main purpose, the paper stresses the urgent need for action related to the unavoidable time delay for building responses to climate changes, regardless of their causes.
Article
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Resumo: este artigo apresenta elementos que nos permitem advogar que é possível trabalhar com uma perspectiva de história de longa duração para a região do baixo São Francisco. Apresenta-se o contexto de ocupação humana do rio, indicando que, muito antes do período colonial, ocorreram inúmeros elementos de "mistura" cultural e que, portanto, a ideia de " descaracterização" que se tem para o passado recente dos grupos indígenas regionais precisa ser revista. Em seguida, apresenta-se a cerâmica que presentemente é produzida pelas mulheres Xocó (Kariri). Por fim, discute-se sobre elementos tecnológicos cerâmicos do sítio Cipó, um sítio com uma longa sequência de ocupação e datação proveniente do período de contato, que permite observar uma continuidade cultural entre o passado pré-colonial até o presente. Palavras-chave: História de Longa Duração no Baixo São Francisco. Etnoarqueologia Xokó. Aná-lise Cerâmica. Arqueologia do Período de Contato. bem sabido que a história da colonização europeia no Brasil começou no nordeste bra-sileiro com a chegada das caravelas portuguesas no litoral sul do atual estado da Bahia,
Chapter
In this chapter, we will compare the forms of Portuguese colonization (Brazil) with the Spanish colonization undertaken in the Amazon region, one of the largest native socio-diversities in the world. In this context, unlike the Virreinato del Perú (Viceroyalty of Peru) or the Virreynato da Nueva España (Viceroyalty of New Spain), there were no alleged high civilizations, which make the reports about the peoples of the region more sparse and diffuse. Besides, several of these populations have only recently been in permanent contact with non-Indians, no longer having to face only the struggle against the historical exploitation of silver and gold in their lands, but also of oil, gas, occupation of their territories with roads and power plants. Such perspectives imply updating the critiques of colonialism made in previous chapters to understand how the present challenges faced by queer indigenous people in the region are linked to those historically faced in the Amazon as well as in the Andes and south of the Río Bravo del Norte. At the end of this chapter, we will seek to systematize elements that allow us to answer the question indicated after this book: What does it mean to be gay and indigenous in Latin America? What are the implications, starting from this questioning, to understand the intricacies of the colonial process?
Chapter
Particularities of South American archaeological record have constantly challenged global proposals and explanations about humankind past. In this book we illustrate how particular cases of South American archaeology have contributed to the understanding of a global and basic issue: human relations with their environments and landscapes during the past. We have learnt that models proposed for other parts of the world to explain, for example, human occupation of territories, use and management of biota and mineral resources, domestication of plants and animals, should not be uncritically projected into South American past. Undoubtedly, this apprenticeship has also been inspired on the numerous contemporary indigenous people, whose daily activities and cosmologies changed and expanded our interpretative horizon concerning complexity of the relationship between nature and culture. We present in this book papers that connect local/regional study cases with global issues and discuss topics such as: regional trajectories of societies that create different cultural landscapes in South America, subsistence practices and social strategies for the use and management of different resources (including plants, animals and minerals), and material culture and its relation to the representation of natural world.
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Archaeological concept-, theory-, and model-building in the Andes tend to lag behind some major archaeological regions of the world. A brief review of previous dominant models in the Andes are considered and attention is made of the need to envision new interpretative modelling in the region, based on new and exciting discoveries over the past two decades. Suggestions are made as to some directions this modelling may take.
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Explaining the stability of human populations provides knowledge for understanding the resilience of human societies to environmental change. Here, we use archaeological radiocarbon records to evaluate a hypothesis drawn from resilience thinking that may explain the stability of human populations: Faced with long-term increases in population density, greater variability in the production of food leads to less stable populations, while lower variability leads to more stable populations. However, increased population stability may come with the cost of larger collapses in response to rare, large-scale environmental perturbations. Our results partially support this hypothesis. Agricultural societies that relied on extensive landscape engineering to intensify production and tightly control variability in the production of food experienced the most stability. Contrary to the hypothesis, these societies also experienced the least severe population declines. We propose that the interrelationship between landscape engineering and increased political-economic complexity reduces the magnitude of population collapses in a region.