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Accelerating History and Bayesian Models: The Rapid Emergence of Agropastoralism and the Tiwanaku State in the Lake Titicaca Basin, South America

Author(s): Erik Marsh

Year: 2017

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Summary

Long-term cultural change can be non-linear and punctuated by brief episodes of accelerating history. Such episodes, or emergent phenomena, have been described by a diverse set of theoretical approaches such as complexity theory, complex adaptive systems, panarchy, resilience theory, "eventful" sociology and archaeology, and the Annales School of History. These episodes can result in profound, lasting changes for large groups of people, but can happen too fast to be clearly documented without Bayesian models. This paper presents Bayesian models of two episodes of rapid change in the Lake Titicaca Basin in highland South America, based on more than 250 radiocarbon dates. First, after millennia of foraging, agropastoralism emerged ~1590–1170 cal BC and remains the dominant economic adaptation today. Second, the Tiwanaku state emerged cal AD ~430–590, a primary state that grew to project a dominant hegemony in the central Andes for five centuries. In contrast to evolutionary expectations, the longue durée in the Lake Titicaca Basin was punctuated by brief episodes of rapid change. Bayesian models are the first step toward characterizing these episodes, detangling the synergistic interactions that generated them, and making comparisons to similar episodes in other parts of the world.


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Accelerating History and Bayesian Models: The Rapid Emergence of Agropastoralism and the Tiwanaku State in the Lake Titicaca Basin, South America. Erik Marsh. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430507)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15134

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