Lessons from the Tello Obelisk- domestication and plant use at Chavin de Huantar, Peru

Author(s): Daniel Contreras; Matthew Sayre

Year: 2015


The work of Dolores Piperno has significantly advanced our understanding of the rise of agriculture in the tropical Americas. Her work has been fundamental in the development of microbotanical techniques used to understand the use of plants in the past. This paper builds off of Dolores' analysis of plants depicted on the Tello Obelisk, at the site of Chavin de Huantar in Peru, in order to consider the role that plants from distinct ecological zones across the Andes played at the temple site. This analysis is presented in conjunction with a discussion of how the agricultural community at Chavin managed the landscape that surrounds the temple site. New phytolith data will be presented in conjunction with macrobotanical data in order to reach a more nuanced understanding of how the inhabitants of Chavin varied their plant use across the different sectors of the site. Data will be presented from a mito hearth in the West Field, from the Wacheqsa area near the monumental center, and from the La Banda domestic sector.

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Cite this Record

Lessons from the Tello Obelisk- domestication and plant use at Chavin de Huantar, Peru. Matthew Sayre, Daniel Contreras. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394924)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;