Obsidian provenance during the transition to food production in Antofagasta de la Sierra. Salomon Hocsman

published: 27 Oct 2015  |  
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  • SESSION 13 - Obsidian - methodological issues of obsidian provenance studies and a new perspective of archaeological obsidian
    Obsidian provenance during the transition to food production in Antofagasta de la Sierra. (Southern Argentinean Puna, south-central Andes), 4500-1100BP

    This study attempts to produce a close understanding of obsidian procurement and distribution during the transition from hunter-gatherer to agro-pastoralist societies (ca.4500-1100 BP) in Southern Argentinean Puna. Obsidian regional circulation in a high elevation desert environment, emphasizing differential distribution and use of this raw material, is discussed. Additionally, this obsidian research supports the occurrence of exchange networks based on use of different extra-regional obsidian sources located in Northern Argentinean Puna.
    The Argentinean Puna is a natural continuation of the Peruvian–Bolivian high mountain plateau and is part of the Atacama Puna. From an environmental point of view, the Puna is a high desert biome characterized by an arid and cold climate, intense solar radiation due to the altitude, an ample day and night thermal range, poor summer rains, low atmospheric pressure and marked seasonality.  For this study, non-destructive elemental analysis of obsidian artifacts was conducted using two different X-ray fluorescence spectrometers (ED-XRF).

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