Elemental Analysis of Chanka Pottery from Wari-era and Post-collapse Settlements using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis
The Chanka were an ethnically distinct population that occupied territory in modern-day Apurimac, Peru. During the Middle Horizon (MH) (600-1000 AD) Chanka sites considered in this study were situated along roads connecting three major administrative centers of the Wari Empire: Huari, Pikillacta, and Jincamocco. After the imperial collapse during the Late Intermediate Period (LIP) (1000-1476 AD), evidence of increased violence suggests a shift in regional social organization. This study utilized Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis to explore elemental composition of 100 pottery samples from five Chanka sites to assess if disruptions also occurred in resource extraction, pottery production, and distribution. Results indicated two clusters in the data that are chronologically structured and likely reflect local production. Evidence of copper smelting was also revealed. Given early smelting took place in kilns, chemical signals would be expected in pottery. Relatively high levels of As, Fe, Mn, and Si associated with ore from the Andahuaylas-Yauri belt, and found in copper slag were observed in samples primarily from the Sonhuayo and Turpo sites spanning the MH through LIP. The Wari may have introduced copper smelting to the Chanka, and future research aims to elucidate the location of copper processing and the regional distribution network.
Cite this Record
Elemental Analysis of Chanka Pottery from Wari-era and Post-collapse Settlements using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis. Christine Pink, Danielle Kurin, Matthew Boulanger. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403042)
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min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;