Chijipata Alta: Tracing A Genealogy of Potting Practice in the Lake Titicaca Basin

Author(s): Andrew Roddick

Year: 2015


Andeanists have produced rich ethnoarchaeological studies of specialized potting villages, yet up until now scholars have ignored contemporary ceramic production in the Southern Lake Titicaca Basin. This poster reports on recent work of the Proyecto Olleros Titicaca Sur (P.O.T.S.), a recently initiated project in the village of Chijipata Alta exploring the relationship of learning, identity and social boundaries using both ethnographic approaches (participant observation, oral history, and videography) and archaeological methods (excavation, petrography, and radiography). This community of specialized "olleros" produce standardized forms and exchange them throughout the altiplano. Three particular material traces associated with the life of these vessels resonate with ongoing archaeological research in the region: (1) The paste recipes, which are excavated from a long utilized and important clay quarry to manufacture the utilitarian pots. (2) The ash mounds that grow over many generations of pottery firings within and across the boundaries of this specialized community. (3) The fragments of Chijipata Alta produced cooking pots that are distributed across the larger South-Central Andes. I argue that the social dynamics behind these three variables provide valuable insights to ongoing archaeological research into issues of identity and social boundaries in the deeper past.

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Cite this Record

Chijipata Alta: Tracing A Genealogy of Potting Practice in the Lake Titicaca Basin. Andrew Roddick. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397389)

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Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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