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Where are the camelids? Mobility models and caravanning during the Late Intermediate Period (ca. 1000-1400 A.D.) in the northernmost Chile, South Central Andes

Author(s): Daniela Valenzuela ; Bárbara Cases ; Persis B. Clarkson ; José M. Capriles ; Victoria Castro

Year: 2017

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Summary

Llamas were one of the most valued animals in the Andes. Their importance has transcended the subsistence sphere as they were not only used as a source of food but also served for medicinal and ritual purposes; their fiber was fundamental for manufacturing textiles, and they were a source of symbolism and "food" for thought and ideologies. Nevertheless, their use as pack animals in exchange caravans has been prominent, stimulating intense mobility and long distance traffic between diverse ecological regions as well as mediating political alliances and social interaction. In this paper we analyze the archaeological evidence of caravan movements available in the lowlands (coast and valleys) of northern Chile and discuss the role played by local populations in the systems of interregional traffic. Until recently, it has been assumed that lowland populations relied on a mixed agro-maritime economy and that caravan transport was a specialization carried out by pastoralists of the Andean highlands. We discuss alternative models of mobility (with and without caravans) for explaining the regional flow of goods and social interaction by emphasizing the diversity of participation strategies that lowland populations exercised.


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Where are the camelids? Mobility models and caravanning during the Late Intermediate Period (ca. 1000-1400 A.D.) in the northernmost Chile, South Central Andes. Daniela Valenzuela, Bárbara Cases, Persis B. Clarkson, José M. Capriles, Victoria Castro. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430358)


Keywords

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): 15506

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