Productivity in a human context: creating and applying proxies relevant to Chicama Valley archaeology.


El Niño-related changes in marine and terrestrial productivity impacted Chicama residents in several ways, including altering available marine species, soil productivity, and by extension, the technological and economic innovations necessary to adapt. The combination of marine and terrestrial resources were central to the economy of people living in the Chicama Valley throughout the Holocene. Estimates of El Niño’s effects on past marine productivity typically rely on open ocean proxies distant to where people may have lived and fished, and may not accurately reflect the day-to-day reality of people living in a particular area. Similarly, El Niño-related flooding affected terrestrial productivity through both erosion and deposition. Therefore archaeological research would benefit from new proxies focused on the times and places relevant to human economies. Such proxies are now being developed and applied to a limited extent, and will be discussed as relevant to the Chicama Valley, with particular focus on productivity changes that may or may not have impacted people over time. For example, it is unlikely marine productivity near the Chicama Valley ever diminished to the point where a lack of resources was a meaningful threat until the advent of modern industrial fishing.

Cite this Record

Productivity in a human context: creating and applying proxies relevant to Chicama Valley archaeology.. C. Fred Andrus, Alice R. Kelley, Daniel H. Sandweiss. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429275)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14690