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Mining and Quarrying in the Ancient Andes Mining and Quarrying in the Ancient Andes: Sociopolitical, Economic, and Symbolic Dimensions
  • Nicholas Tripcevich, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
  • Kevin J. Vaughn, Ph.D., Purdue University
From stone for building to metal ores for ceremonial display, extracting mineral resources from the earth played a central role in ancient Andean civilizations. Despite this, the sites that supported these activities have rarely been a source of interest to archaeologists, and comparative analysis between mines and quarries and their features has been exceedingly rare.
Mining and Quarrying in the Ancient Andes focuses on the primary extraction of a variety of materials that, in many cases, were used by cultures like the Inca, Wari and Tiwanaku in well-studied sites. The book delves into the broader mining practices that link diverse materials for a fascinating tour of the social and economic life of the prehispanic period, and of ancient technologies, some of which are still in use. Through the politics of the societies, the practical engineering issues of mineral extraction, and the symbolic nature of the locations, readers are given a broader context of mining and quarrying than is usually seen in the literature. Here, too, is a wide variety of sites, materials, and time periods, including:
- Technological and social aspects of obsidian procurement focusing on the Quispisisa source.
- Variation in Inca building stone quarry operations in Ecuador and Peru.
- Clay and temper mining practices in the Lake Titicaca Basin.
- Pigment extraction from Chile to southern Peru from the early Holocene through the Early Intermediate Period.
- The Huarhua rock salt mine: possible archaeological implications of modern salt extraction practices.
- Later pre-Hispanic (including Inca) mining with consideration of technical, ceremonial and political context.
Chapter 1: Mining and Quarrying in the Andes: Economic, Political, and Symbolic Dimensions. PART I: STONE Chapter 2: Quarrying and Production at the Quispisisa Obsidian Source. Chapter 3: Variation in Inca Building Stone Quarry Operatoins in Ecuador and Peru Chapter 4: Building Taypikala: Changing Patterns of Stone Procurement and the Production of Tiwanaku Monumentality PART II: CLAYS AND MINERALS Chapter 5: Arcillas and Alfareros: Clay and Temper Mining Practices in the Lake Titicaca Basin Chapter 6: The Huarhua Rock Salt Mine: Possible Archaeological Implications of Modern Salt Extraction Practices. Chapter 7: Hunter-Gatherer-Fisher Mining During the Archaic Period in Coastal Northern Chile. Chapter 8: The Structure and Organization of Mining in Nasca from the Early Intermediate Period Through the Middle Horizon: Recent Evidence from Mina Primavera. PART III: METALS Chapter 9: Amalgamation and Small-Scale Gold Mining in the Ancient Andes Chapter 10: Silver Mines of the Northern Lake Titicaca Basin, Peru. Chapter 11: The Organization of Copper Mining During the Late Period in the Loa River, Northern Chile Chapter 12: Mining of Copper and Copper-Bearing Minerals in Ancient Peru: New Evidence from the Upper Ica Valley Chapter 13: Mining Archaeology in the Nasca and Palpa Region, South Coast of Peru PART IV: THE BROADER CONTEXT OF MINING AND QUARRYING IN THE ANDES Chapter 14: Written by Richard Burger Chapter 15: Written by: Izumi Shimada
  • Inca quarry and mining sites,
  • archaeology of mining in the Ancient Andes,
  • geological resources in the Andes. mining practices in the Andes,
  • ritualization of mining,
  • tool production in the Ancient Andes
Publication Date
N. Tripcevich and K. J. Vaughn
Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology
Citation Information
Nicholas Tripcevich and Kevin J. Vaughn. Mining and Quarrying in the Ancient Andes Mining and Quarrying in the Ancient Andes: Sociopolitical, Economic, and Symbolic Dimensions. New YorkVol. XI (2013)
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