Three Case Studies of Andean Metalworking

Author(s): Sebastian Warmlander

Year: 2018


The history of South American metalworking still presents a number of unresolved questions, despite decades of archaeological and historical research. This is especially true for the Andean region, where in prehistoric times alloys of copper as well as precious metals were crafted into intricate objects. Here, analytical metallographic techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and infra-red (IR) spectroscopy are used to investigate different aspects of Andean metalworking in three case studies. The first study investigates the technology used to produce gold wire in the pre-Columbian Quimbaya culture (Colombia). The second study concerns Inka period copper and silver production in the Tarapacá valley in northern Chile. The third study characterizes the composition, manufacture, and deterioration of metal embroidery from Chilean and Peruvian church objects dating to the colonial period. The broad geographic and temporal range of these case studies illustrates the diversity of the outstanding research questions of South American archaeometallurgy.

Cite this Record

Three Case Studies of Andean Metalworking. Sebastian Warmlander. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442915)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22005