Metal Use and Production among Coastal Societies of the Atacama Desert

  • Figueroa V
  • Salazar D
  • Mille B
 et al. 
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In this paper, we focus on the study of metal objects associated with
populations living on the northern coast of Chile in the Late
Intermediate and Late periods (c. ad 1000-1550). Our contribution is
based on morphometric and physico-chemical (ICP-AES, PIXE and
metallographic sections) analyses of the quintessential coastal metal
object: the fish-hook. This study is part of a broader investigation
that seeks to understand the organization of mining - metallurgical
production systems and their relation with coastal economies and ways of
life. We distinguish at least two different traditions, one associated
with the Western Valleys area and one with the Arid Desert Coast. These
findings expand our understanding of Andean metal making. Furthermore,
the presence of a metallurgical tradition within the highly mobile
hunter-gatherers of the most arid coast of South America is of great
anthropological significance.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Fish-hook
  • Hunter-gatherer-fishers
  • Late Intermediate Period
  • Late Period
  • Metallurgy
  • Northern Chile

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  • V. Figueroa

  • D. Salazar

  • B. Mille

  • G. Manríquez

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