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Chacras in the Clouds: Documenting High-Altitude Agricultural Landscapes in the Tambillo Valley of Chachapoyas, Peru

Author(s): Joseph Cronin ; Anna Guengerich ; Parker VanValkenburgh

Year: 2017

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Here we present preliminary results from targeted prospection and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flight over the relic agricultural landscapes of the Tambillo Valley in northeastern Peru.

This work was carried out as part of the first phase of Proyecto Arqueológico Tambillo (PATA), a project investigating the organization of political landscapes in the montane forest region of Chachapoyas. Specifically, PATA aims to determine whether the densely-clustered Late Intermediate Period settlements at the confluence of the Atuén and Tambillo rivers were politically autonomous, independent settlements or a single socially integrated—if geographically fragmented—urban system. The first stages of prospection during the 2016 season documented at least four relic agricultural landscapes featuring several different modes of landscape modification. We discuss the diversity of these landscape modifications as well as their distribution throughout the Tambillo area relative to Late Intermediate Period settlement. As the spatial organization and technical requirements of these field systems can inform reconstructions of social organization in the Tambillo plain, we present a 3D model and high-resolution orthoimage of terraced sink-holes at La Boveda. This partial model of La Boveda demonstrates the promise of UAV work for studying well-preserved, high-altitude agricultural landscapes in the region.

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Chacras in the Clouds: Documenting High-Altitude Agricultural Landscapes in the Tambillo Valley of Chachapoyas, Peru. Joseph Cronin, Anna Guengerich, Parker VanValkenburgh. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430701)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16803

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