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Fragments of the Past: Applying Microarchcaeological Techniques to House Floors at Tumilaca, Moquegua, Peru

Author(s): Bradley Parker

Year: 2016

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Summary

For decades archaeologists have been trying to develop methodologies that will help them determine what activities took place in and around domestic structures. Since people tend to clean activity areas, especially those that are used repeatedly, visible artifacts like pottery, bones and stone tools are rarely discovered in the context where they were originally used. Instead, such artifacts are usually discovered in refuse heaps or other secondary contexts. Microarchaeology, the study of the density and distribution of tiny fragments of pottery, bone, worked stone, and other microartifacts, offers a potential solution to the problem of determining the nature and location of activity areas at archaeological sites. This paper presents the preliminary results of microarchaeological research carried out during the summer of 2015 at the site of Tumilaca in the middle Moquegua valley of southern Peru. In it, I enumerate some of the benefits and limitations of microarchaeological research and make suggestions about how microarchaeological research can be integrated into on-going field projects.


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Fragments of the Past: Applying Microarchcaeological Techniques to House Floors at Tumilaca, Moquegua, Peru. Bradley Parker. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403918)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America