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Chungará (Arica)

On-line version ISSN 0717-7356

Abstract

LLAGOSTERA, Agustín. CONTEXTUALIZATION AND ICONOGRAPHY OF TIWANAKU PSYCOTROPIC TABLETS FROM SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA. Chungará (Arica) [online]. 2006, vol.38, n.1, pp.83-111. ISSN 0717-7356.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-73562006000100008.

This article presents an exhaustive, individualized description, and classification (textual and graphic) of 39 Tiwanaku tablets excavated from funerary contexts in San Pedro de Atacama. A textual context analysis is conducted from sites in which tablets have been recovered; iconographic components are compared between specimens by category and by sites. The chronology is examined and a sequence for these artifacts is defined. The iconography is contrasted wit the care Tiwanaku iconography and mechanisms are discussed as to how the tablets could have come to San Pedro de Atacama. The results indicate that a low percentage (17.5%) of the tablets is affiliated with Tiwanaku demonstrating that the majority of the tablets, contemporary with Tiwanaku (82.5%), were not connected to the altiplano polity. However, the diversity of the attributes in their representations, such as secondary elements, make each one of the Tiwanaku tablets practically unique examples, and the distribution between the archaeological sites turn out to be random. No pattern can be observed that reflects coherence in the spatial management of the artifacts. From this heterogeneity, anarchy, and poor representative nature it can be deduced that the Tiwanaku tablets, besides being foreign imports, do not originate from one single place of origin. These artifacts are brought into local contexts and a significant number of their bearers also exhibit artifacts of status (axes, mallets or metal objects) because these persons display a certain status in the community

Keywords : Archaeology of San Pedro de Atacama; Tiwanaku; snuffs complex; precolombian iconography.

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