Aeolian Geoforming at a Preceramic Mound in Coastal Peru

Author(s): Ani St. Amand; Daniel Sandweiss; Alice Kelley

Year: 2017


Los Morteros is a preceramic mound located on the North Coast of Peru composed of anthropogenic structures interlayered with aeolian deposits. A study combing multidisciplinary approaches and methodologies was used to evaluate the hypothesis of mound construction through intentional aeolian sand deposition via manipulation of strong winds across the desert environment. Wind velocities were measured across the site and in the surrounding valley. A complex wind model was created utilizing these data, as well as recent large-scale digital elevation models (DEMs), Landsat 8 satellite imagery, and a high-resolution GPS-derived DEM. Previous ground penetrating radar (GPR) data were used to distinguish structures, such as walls and flagstone floors, and individual sand units. This research explores the relationship among periods of construction, occupation, and sand inundation at Los Morteros, and examines the probability of human management of wind-driven sand accumulation patterns to intentionally bury preexisting structures and thus increase mound size. Satellite images and ground exploration were also used to examine the relationship between wind and other constructed features across the valley. This approach enables a semi-automated land classification process capable of identifying sites similar to Los Morteros that may lie hidden beneath the large coastal dunes of the region.

Cite this Record

Aeolian Geoforming at a Preceramic Mound in Coastal Peru. Ani St. Amand, Daniel Sandweiss, Alice Kelley. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429965)

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Aeolian Geoforming Peru

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): 17134