The Formative process as discourses of nature and culture: the case of Tarapacá, Atacama Desert (Northern Chile).


The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a critical review of the concept of Formative (ca. 2800-1000 AP) and its ontological and epistemological assumptions through our studies in Tarapacá, in the Atacama Desert (Chile). Through this case, our purpose is to complicate the notions or radical distinctions between nature and culture, farming and gathering, mobility and sedentism, among other categorizations upon which the Formative as Neolithic Revolution has been defined. The materiality that we have studied so far indicates that such divisions are not efficacious to fully grasp the complexity of this phenomenon, often imposing Western logics to non-Western historicities. As a sociohistorical process, the Formative did not represent an ideal of progress or technological development, often explained through economic transformations that presumed an "efficient" use of resources. We propose, instead, a view that underlines the inherent contradictions between individuals, society and culture, in the hope of contributing to an alternate view of these transformations.

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Cite this Record

The Formative process as discourses of nature and culture: the case of Tarapacá, Atacama Desert (Northern Chile).. Estefania Vidal Montero, Uribe Rodriguez Mauricio. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397073)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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