Ceramics of the Indigenous Peoples of South America: Studies of Production and Exchange using INAA

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 81st Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (2016)

Indigenous ceramics from the continent of South America range from the common to the artistic with many types characterized by symbolic, religious imagery. In some areas, pottery was mass produced for the general population as well as the elite. Reliance on compositional data from instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) to study production and exchange practices of indigenous ceramics from the continent of South America has grown over the past two decades. In some instances, the data from other analytical methods have been integrated with data from INAA to extend the investigations toward more complex questions. In this symposium, several case studies will be presented facilitating comparisons and contrasts between regions.

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  • Documents (12)

  • Characterization of ceramics of the Lima Culture – The Villa El Salvador site (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mercedes Delgado. Paula Olivera. Eduardo Montoya. Jorge Bravo. Miriam Mejia.

    Ceramic samples from the Villa El Salvador site (Early Intermediate Period, 100 BC – 100 AD), located at the Central Coast of Peru, have been analyzed. The goal is the study of production techniques and interchange patterns. The techniques of neutron activation analysis, energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) and Mössbauer spectroscopy were applied to characterize the ceramic samples. Multielemental composition techniques and multivariable analysis allow us the identification of group...

  • Comparative characterization and sourcing of pottery styles from the Lurin valley, central coast of Peru (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Krzysztof Makowski. James Davenport. Mercedes Delgado. Iván Ghezzi. Michael Glascock.

    Our goal is to reconstruct networks of ceramic production and exchange on the Peruvian central coast through a comparison of compositional datasets on pottery and soil samples from the Lurin valley. While one dataset from Villa El Salvador dates to the late Early Horizon, most of the pottery sample comes from Late Horizon occupations at the Pachacamac, Pueblo Viejo, and Huaycan de Cieneguilla sites. In Tawantinsuyu, the products and networks of exchange connected heterogeneous populations, and...

  • A compositional signature of multi-craft production?: Food vessels from Great Plaza of Huacas de Sican (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Go Matsumoto.

    This paper discusses the results of a recent compositional analysis by INAA of 225 samples of ceramics sherds excavated from the Great Plaza of Huacas de Sicán. The analysis revealed a limited number (3) of compositional groups and a high rate of arsenic and uranium in one group. The author argues that the high rate of arsenic indicates the side-by-side production of arsenical copper and ceramic vessels and that the vessels used at the Great Plaza were produced at the regional ceramic workshop...

  • Cultural implications of neutron activation analysis of ceramics from Palmitopamba, Ecuador (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ronald Lippi. Alejandra Gudino.

    The cloud forest site of Palmitopamba in northwestern Ecuador was occupied for centuries by the Yumbos prior to the arrival of Incas around 1500. Instrumental neutron activation analysis has been performed on ceramics we have excavated there and which represent those two groups, on a third pottery complex widely identified in Ecuador as Cosanga or Panzaleo, and on raw clay samples from the vicinity of Palmitopamba. The results of some 140 analyses are presented. These imply that the Inca pottery...

  • The INAA Analysis of Pottery from Machu Picchu: An Initial Assessment (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lucy Salazar. Richard Burger. Michael Glascock.

    This paper presents the results of INAA analysis of pottery recovered at Machu Picchu by the 1912 Yale Peruvian Scientific Expedition directed by Hiram Bingham III. Samples of ceramics representing the full range of forms and from a diversity of sectors at the site were studied in the Archaeometry Lab at the Universty of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) and compared with coeval Inca pottery from other sites in the Urubamba Valley and from the Cuzco Basin. The study considers whether the Machu...

  • La cerámica de los túmulos funerarios de la costa árida del Desierto de Atacama, Chile. Química, circulación e intercambio entre interior y costa (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Itaci Correa Girrulat. Franscico Gallardo. Mauricio Uribe. Michael Glascock. Matt Boulanger.

    Beginning from 2500 years BP, coastal inhabitants of Antofagasta region began involved in the general Formative process of northern Chile. Despite their subsistence strategies remained based on hunting, fishing and collecting marine resources, some aspects of their material culture show notorious changes, as it happens with the developing of burial mound cemeteries. The offerings recorded at the graves suggest exchange intensification with other social groups. Significantly, between these...

  • Pottery production and consumption in the Andean-Amazonian frontier in southwestern Colombia (2500-500 BP) (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Hernando Giraldo Tenorio. Robert Speakman. Michael Glascock.

    The circulation of goods and knowledge between Amazonian and Andean societies from southwestern Colombia have been understood as pivotal for the development of political hierarchies in the region since 2500 BP. However, such circulation has not been supported by solid empirical evidence. By using neutron activation data we document pottery production, distribution and consumption in a frontier region between Andean and Amazonian groups. Ceramic samples were obtained from a systematic regional...

  • Pottery production, circulation and exchange during the Formative period in Tarapacá, northern Chile (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Estefania Vidal Montero. Mauricio Uribe. Ester Echeñique. Andrew Menzies.

    In the area commonly known as Pampa del Tamarugal, in the middle portion of the Atacama Desert, the valleys of Tarapacá, Guatacondo, and the oasis of Quillagua have been important spaces for characterizing the Formative period in northern Chile. In this paper, we present the results of pottery analyses from this region, comprised by samples obtained from residential and ceremonial contexts, as well as transitory sites along prehispanic routes (Fondecyt Project 1130279). The purpose of these...

  • Provisioning Inka rule in NW Argentina (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Terence Daltroy. Veronica Williams.

    For all its standardization, Inka rule regularly accommodated regional circumstances. This paper uses NAA of 316 sherds to examine how activities carried out under state auspices were provisioned in NW Argentina, and how local societies took advantage of the Inka presence for their own interests. We address how well the organization of administrative and economic spaces coincided, and what role the region’s subject peoples played in determining the character of material assemblages used at...

  • Recruited or Annexed Lineages: A Chemical Analysis of Purén and Lumaco Pottery and Clays (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Leslie Cecil. Tom Dillehay. Michael Glascock.

    The Purén-Lumaco Project conducted an archaeological survey of the Purén and Lumaco Valley in Chile (approximately 30 km) from 1994-2004. During the survey, Dillehay and colleagues noted 300+ prehistoric and historic localities that ranged from agricultural features to multifunctional mounds. Those archaeological features represent an Araucanian polity dating to the Early Prehistoric (AD 500-1550) and early Hispanic (AD 1550-1700) periods. The chiefdom-level polity was strong politically and...

  • Social interaction and communities of practice in Formative period NW Argentina: A multi-analytical study of ceramics (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Marisa Lazzari. Lucas Pereyra Domingorena. Maria Cristina Scattolin. Wesley Stoner. Michael Glascock.

    South-central Andean scholarship has extensively discussed a variety of circulation and exchange practices, with particular emphasis on llama caravan long-distance trade. In NW Argentina, traditional approaches proposed that regional interaction was an increasingly centralized process, based on typological similarities observed in a variety of materials across the region. While material culture styles and traits were undoubtedly shared, the unexamined focus on similarities leaves the mechanisms,...

  • Testing the social aggregation hypothesis for Llolleo communities in Central Chile with NAA of ceramic smoking pipes and drinking jars (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Fernanda Falabella. Silvia Alfaro. María Teresa Planella. Matthew T. Boulanger. Michael D. Glascock.

    La Granja site in central Chile has been considered a social aggregation site for Llolleo communities based on an unusually large smoking pipe assemblage, ritual features and an abundance of drinking jars. The hypothesis states that people from a wide region gathered here for group cohesion purposes mediated by rituals involving the smoking of psychoactive substances and drinking of fermented beverages. Based on the potential of NAA to fingerprint ceramic artifacts’ raw material sources, we...