Agricultural Landscapes in Northern Argentina

Author(s): María Albeck

Year: 2015


Quebrada de Humahuaca is an important gorge in northwest Argentina, which lies between the altiplano-like puna to the west and the forested lowlands to the east. It has a long and interesting agricultural history spanning nearly three millennia from the settlement of the first farmers to the present. The prehispanic archaeological landscapes are best preserved in the northern part of Quebrada de Humahuaca, due to the strong erosional processes that cut deep into geological sediments. On the lower parts of the west facing slopes, ancient agricultural structures almost completely cover the surface, but belong to different moments of the prehispanic past. Three occupations are considered: the first farmers (pre-11th century), the societies that developed between the 11th and 15th century, and the Inca occupation (15th to 16th century). Different approaches were used to examine the construction, remodelling, and use of ancient agricultural features in order to understand the nature of past agricultural landscapes. The most important include the type and placement of cultivation surfaces, the nature of the stone piles built when clearing the terrain, the irrigation systems, lichenometry, palynology, and others.

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Cite this Record

Agricultural Landscapes in Northern Argentina. María Albeck. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396007)

Spatial Coverage

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