Geology and Governance: Colonial Andean Mercury Mining and the Marroquín Collapse of 1786
Author(s): Douglas Smit
The study of an event may seem in opposition to the investigation of deep time, yet it is difficult to analyze one temporal scale without invoking the other. This paper examines this paradoxical linkage of events and the longue durée through the case study of a catastrophic event in the Spanish colonial mercury mines of Huancavelica in the Central Andean Highlands. The Marroquín collapse of 1786 claimed hundreds of indigenous lives, and symbolized the late 18th century decline of Spanish governance in the Viceroyalty of Peru. While this disaster may appear to be a singular event, this paper argues that understanding the causes and consequences of this collapse requires an investigation of how three different temporal scales (geological, institutional, and quotidian) articulated with one another. By investigating how different forms of temporality become entangled with human action, this case study of colonial Andean mercury mining will highlight the spatial and material aspects of social transformation in the archaeological record.
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Geology and Governance: Colonial Andean Mercury Mining and the Marroquín Collapse of 1786. Douglas Smit. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445293)
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min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20737