Preliminary Investigations of Archaeological Vicuña Drives on the Andean Altiplano


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Archaeological game drives are well documented in many parts of the world but are virtually unknown in the Andes Mountains despite millennia of large-game hunting. Using satellite imagery, we identify nearly 200 V-shaped, stone-wall structures that exhibit qualitative and quantitative properties of game drives. Furthermore the features coincide with the habitat of vicuña—a species of wild camelid that lives at high altitudes. Ground observations were made at ten of these remotely identified structures and excavations at two of them. Combined with ethnoarchaeological observations of modern Aymara vicuña drives, the archaeological results suggest that prehistoric communities of 30-100 individuals used the structures to capture up to 50 vicuña in a single event. We conclude with a discussion of the implications for Andean economics and the evolution of human cooperation.

Cite this Record

Preliminary Investigations of Archaeological Vicuña Drives on the Andean Altiplano. Randy Haas, Luis Flores, Bryna Hull, Nathaniel Kitchel, Patricia McNeill. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449460)

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): 23249