Fabrics of the South American Desert Coast: The Study of the Marine Hunter-Gatherer's Plant Fiber Technology in the Atacama Desert
Author(s): Camila Alday
This is an abstract from the "Textile Tools and Technologies as Evidence for the Fiber Arts in Precolumbian Societies" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
This research aims to study the earliest fabric artifacts made by marine hunter-gatherers who inhabited the Peru-Chile desert coast. Thanks to the aridity of this area, I use a remarkable amount of well-preserved plant-fiber materials, most belonging to the world’s oldest Chinchorro mummies buried more than 7,000 years ago. Fibers in these pre-ceramic materials are often identified based on mostly macroscopic methods, which often fail to accurately identify the plants used. To address this significant gap in knowledge, this study investigates the microscopic characteristics of fibers in order to reveal the range of plants employed in this technology. A high-resolution portable microscope is also used to observe artifacts’ technical aspects related to epidermis extraction (cortication), splicing or spinning techniques, and other techno-textile attributes. Through the understanding of the manufacture of nets, ropes, and other plant-fiber items, I will interpret the social organisation of the coastal population around this technology. I hypothesize that such processes and all related activities gave shape to a techno-social choreography on the coast. By this, I mean that the artisans’ movements were guided by the rhythm of technical tasks and the seasonality of taskscape.
Cite this Record
Fabrics of the South American Desert Coast: The Study of the Marine Hunter-Gatherer's Plant Fiber Technology in the Atacama Desert. Camila Alday. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451884)
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min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23902