Marginality and Opportunity in the Deserts of Chicama, Peru: Perspectives from Integrated Archaeology, Remote Sensing, and Paleoclimatic Analysis
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Broad regions of Peru’s coastal desert are now highly adverse marginal environments, yet archaeological evidence indicate these settings often were used extensively in the past. Using a time-series analysis of Sentinel 1 and 2 remote sensing data, we document surface and groundwater resources that developed in the normally hyperarid desert margins of the Chicama Valley after anomalous rainfall driven by the 2016 – 2017 el Niño. Surveys suggest archaeological sites in these regions principally date to the Formative/Cupisnique and Late Intermediate periods, and reveal various strategies for capitalizing on these water resources. We relate these patterns to high-resolution paleoclimatic proxies from Laguna Pumacocha and Nevado Quelccaya, both of which suggest that the utilization of Chicama’s desert margins coincides with subperiods of increased pluvial and/or ENSO activity. Rather than being entirely marginal, Chicama’s desert edges may have provided buffers against the short- to intermediate-term effects of el Niño disasters, mitigating catastrophic losses. They further appear to have been productive regions during periods of sustained moisture increases. These data are input into Agent-based decision-making simulations, to evaluate the effects the use of Chicama’s desert margins may have had on community structure, group action, and cultural transformations.
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Marginality and Opportunity in the Deserts of Chicama, Peru: Perspectives from Integrated Archaeology, Remote Sensing, and Paleoclimatic Analysis. Benjamin Vining, Seth Price. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449326)
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min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23873