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vol.37 issue2THE NATURE OF VILLAGE EXPANSION DURING THE LATE FORMATIVE PERIOD IN THE ATACAMA BASINCARAVANS, ROCK ART AND RITUALISM IN THE QUEBRADA SUCA (NORTHERN CHILE) author indexsubject indexarticles search
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Chungará (Arica)

On-line version ISSN 0717-7356

Abstract

BRIONES, Luis; NUNEZ, Lautaro  and  STANDEN, Vivien G.. GEOGLYPHS AND PREHISPANIC LLAMA CARAVAN TRAFFIC IN THE ATACAMA DESERT (NORTHERN CHILE). Chungará (Arica) [online]. 2005, vol.37, n.2, pp.195-223. ISSN 0717-7356.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-73562005000200007.

This study brings new empirical evidence, resulting from the excavation of four transitory camp sites and two human burials associated with geoglyphs, and found along a prehispanic caravan path of 150 km long, connecting the Pica oasis with the Pacific coastal ocean in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. Since the majority of these sites are found in resourceless desertic areas and are associated to contexts such as llama coprolites and corn leaves, we argue that these sites were direct components of caravan trafficking. This route was linked to an intensive long distance macro-regional traffic associated with the circulations of economic and sumptuary goods from diverse origins, including the selva, altiplano, oasis, pampa and coast. Radiocarbon dates obtained at the excavations indicate that even though most of the geoglyphs were created during the Desarrollo Regional period (900-1,450 yrs. A.D.) some transdesertic routes were already used, from at least the Late Archaic Period (1,300 B.C.) by hunters, fishers and gatherers

Keywords : Geoghlyphs; llama caravans; prehistoric traffic; transitory campsites; geoglyph dating.

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