Can we measure the degree of social complexity within Quimi Valley?

Author(s): Josefina Vasquez

Year: 2016


The Upper Amazon has been considered a place of weak socio-political integration, along with poor agricultural production, mostly sustained on fishing and hunter-gathering. However, during the last decade, archaeological research carried out in Quimi Valley (Zamora-Chinchipe) has demonstrated the presence of social complexes of about thousands of inhabitants around the valley. While discussion about the existence of sedentary communities during the Integration Period (700 – 1420 AD) has been already settled, we do find imperative to use certain variables to assess the degree of social complexity within these societies. In this case, we propose to utilize material culture collected during excavation of eight archaeological communities through multivariate analysis of artifact types. Quimi Valley communities comprise household areas and gardens reaching the top of mountains which delineate the Cóndor Cordillera landscape. Ceramic and lithic remains identified as artifacts and ecofacts have been grouped by household, and then by community with the aim of evaluating how they behaved in terms of density, variability, and dispersion within each community. If inside each community these relationships might be interpreted as simple, those relationships between the communities could be measured as complex.

Cite this Record

Can we measure the degree of social complexity within Quimi Valley?. Josefina Vasquez. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404162)


Spatial Coverage

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