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​The decoupling of environment ​and political change in the prehistoric southern Titicaca Basin

Author(s): D. Marie Weide ; Maria C. Bruno ; Christine A. Hastorf ; Sherilyn Fritz

Year: 2017

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As the greater project of this symposium attests, we want to become more aware of the constraints of our historical training and try to not separate culture from nature, or politics from the environment in our study of the past. Towards that end, the authors have been working on understanding water and lake level regimes of the southern Titicaca Basin, to better understand the history of this shallow lake and the people that lived around it from the Formative through the Late Horizon. Throughout this prehistoric sequence a large polity, Tiwanaku, developed in this region, clearly engaging with the landscape and waterscape of their valley. Many scholars have linked Tiwanaku’s political and economic rise to a rising lake and its fall to a desiccation and lack of lake water. The new lake data presented here clearly demonstrate how the political trajectory of the prehistoric sequence does not parallel the lake’s history, thus allowing us to better understand the impact prehistoric societies had on their environments and vice versa.

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​The decoupling of environment ​and political change in the prehistoric southern Titicaca Basin. D. Marie Weide, Maria C. Bruno, Christine A. Hastorf, Sherilyn Fritz. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429869)


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): 14485

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