Travelling across the Atacama Desert: New Evidence for Human Mobility in Northern Chile Based on Oxygen and Strontium Isotopes
The study of human mobility is key to understanding the social and cultural dynamics of the pre-Columbian groups that inhabited northern Chile’s Atacama Desert. Material culture suggests that during the Late Intermediate Period (AD 900-1450) individuals frequently crossed the desert from the coast to the Andes and vice versa. Fish remains have been found in the interior valleys, and inland textiles and crops at the coast. This paper explores mobility in northern Chile through the application of strontium and oxygen isotope analyses on human teeth from several archaeological sites. First we present a local bioavailable strontium baseline for the study area, based on plant and animal remains, which helps to alleviate the scarcity of bio-available strontium isotope data for northern Chile. Results show that non-local individuals of both sexes were buried in the dispersed cemeteries of Pica 8, Quitor 6 and Los Verdes 1. These results support the idea that varied groups of individuals moved across the landscape, complementing and augmenting the larger discussion on mobility patterns in the Atacama Desert.
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Travelling across the Atacama Desert: New Evidence for Human Mobility in Northern Chile Based on Oxygen and Strontium Isotopes. Francisca Santana Sagredo, Petrus le Roux, Rick Schulting, Julia Lee-Thorp, Mauricio Uribe. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444735)
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min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20686