Tracing the movement of Quispisisa obsidian during the Middle Horizon, Peru

Author(s): Jessica Kaplan

Year: 2016


This paper explores variability in the consumption and distribution of obsidian within imperial and local Middle Horizon (AD 600-1000) contexts in order to address regional manifestations of imperial control and the role of resource extraction and regulation within the Wari Empire in Peru. During the Middle Horizon, the Wari Empire expanded and maintained control over the Peruvian Andes, often going to great lengths to import and export critical resources obtained from distant regions throughout the empire. This paper addresses the role of obsidian in the Middle Horizon, specifically obsidian from the Quispisisa obsidian quarry located in the Department of Ayacucho, roughly 100km from the Wari capital. As part of ongoing dissertation research, portable x-ray fluorescence was used to examine and source obsidian assemblages from Middle Horizon contexts and sites throughout Peru and to relate patterns of obsidian consumption and distribution to political, economic and social historiographies.

Cite this Record

Tracing the movement of Quispisisa obsidian during the Middle Horizon, Peru. Jessica Kaplan. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404931)

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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 ;