Mining and Quarrying in the Ancient Andes: Sociopolitical, Economic, and Symbolic Dimensions

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Nicholas Tripcevich, Kevin J. Vaughn
Springer Science & Business Media, Dec 9, 2012 - Social Science - 354 pages
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Over the millennia, from stone tools among early foragers to clays to prized metals and mineral pigments used by later groups, mineral resources have had a pronounced role in the Andean world. Archaeologists have used a variety of analytical techniques on the materials that ancient peoples procured from the earth. What these materials all have in common is that they originated in a mine or quarry. Despite their importance, comparative analysis between these archaeological sites and features has been exceptionally rare, and even more so for the Andes. Mining and Quarrying in the Ancient Andes focuses on archaeological research at primary deposits of minerals extracted through mining or quarrying in the Andean region. While mining often begins with an economic need, it has important social, political, and ritual dimensions as well. The contributions in this volume place evidence of primary extraction activities within the larger cultural context in which they occurred. This important contribution to the interdisciplinary literature presents research and analysis on the mining and quarrying of various materials throughout the region and through time. Thus, rather than focusing on one material type or one specific site, Mining and Quarrying in the Ancient Andes incorporates a variety of all the aspects of mining, by focusing on the physical, social, and ritual aspects of procuring materials from the earth in the Andean past.

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Part II Pigment Clay Salt and Stone
Part III Metals
Part IV Discussion

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About the author (2012)

Dr. Nicholas Tripcevich is a member of the Archaeological Research Facility at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include Andean prehistory, social complexity, exchange theory, ethnoarchaeology, ancient mining, GIS, and lithic analysis. Dr. Kevin J. Vaughn is an Associate Professor in the department of Anthropology at Purdue University. His research interests include the emergence of social complexity, political economies of middle-range societies, craft production, ancient mining, village and household archaeology, the anthropology of pilgrimage, provenance analysis, archaeometry (INAA, LA-ICPMS, XRD, stable isotopes), ceramic analysis, Andean South America, Nasca.

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