To Wear or to Trade: Analyzing Bone Pendant Artifacts from the Peruvian Montaña

Author(s): Brian McCray

Year: 2019


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

In the montaña, the forested eastern slopes and adjacent upper Amazon, inhabitants were involved in regional and interregional trade networks connecting the Andes and Amazon. Given that material correlates for often ephemeral lowland goods are difficult to recover archaeologically worked bone artifacts are an important piece of data indexing lowland connections. Border intermediaries in the Ecuadorian montaña used strings of shell beads, sometimes called carato, to facilitate exchange, and bone adornments are used as part of lowland garb in modern rituals invoking relations between these regions. This paper reports worked bone artifacts from the lower montaña archaeological site of Wimba, in Amazonas province, Peru, occupied during the Late Intermediate Period and Late Horizon (ca AD 1000-1530). These materials are conceived both as worked bone adornments, and as circulated objects within exchange networks. Understanding the diversity in shape, size and material of these artifacts and those found at neighboring sites has implications for the prehistory of the montaña and the nature of cultural exchange at this ecological interface. This research interrogates how bone artifacts reflect a conversation between local and nonlocal value systems and contextualizes them within new understandings of alterity as structuring social interaction in the Andes and Amazon.

Cite this Record

To Wear or to Trade: Analyzing Bone Pendant Artifacts from the Peruvian Montaña. Brian McCray. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449644)

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): 26105