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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Landscape Setting As Medium Of Communication At Chavín De Huántar, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras Apr 2015

Landscape Setting As Medium Of Communication At Chavín De Huántar, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

The Central Andean ceremonial centre of Chavín de Huántar is situated in a dramatic, mountainous and dynamic environment high on the eastern slope of the Peruvian Andes, yet the site's landscape setting has remained in the shadow of its monumental architecture, complex lithic art and highly elaborated material culture. Nevertheless, that dynamic landscape setting was an integral part of the site's significance as a ceremonial centre and may be read as evidence of the capacity, worldview and message of the site's builders. First, Chavín's setting is evidence of capacity, demonstrating the considerable degree of labour mobilization ...


Review Of Håkansson And Widgren, Landesque Capital: The Historical Ecology Of Enduring Landscape Modifications, Daniel A. Contreras Dec 2014

Review Of Håkansson And Widgren, Landesque Capital: The Historical Ecology Of Enduring Landscape Modifications, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

No abstract provided.


Summed Radiocarbon Calibrations As A Population Proxy: A Critical Evaluation Using A Realistic Simulation Approach, Daniel A. Contreras, John Meadows Dec 2013

Summed Radiocarbon Calibrations As A Population Proxy: A Critical Evaluation Using A Realistic Simulation Approach, Daniel A. Contreras, John Meadows

Daniel A. Contreras

The logic of using summed radiocarbon (14C) calibrations (cumulative probability density functions for large numbers of calibrated 14C dates) as proxies for past populations rests on the presumption of a proportional relationship between population size and the production, and subsequent preservation, recovery, and analysis, of 14C-datable material. Critiques of this approach have generally focused on the various problems that may undermine the validity of this assumption. Here, instead, we presume a perfect correspondence between population size and the quantity of datable material produced at any given time, and explore the question of how well summed 14C calibrations can track demographic ...


(Re)Constructing The Sacred: Landscape Geoarchaeology At Chavín De Huántar, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras Dec 2013

(Re)Constructing The Sacred: Landscape Geoarchaeology At Chavín De Huántar, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

Chavín de Huántar is a first millennium B.C.E. Central Andean ceremonial center set in a steep mountainous landscape that is at once dynamic and, traditional Andean belief systems would suggest, sacred and animate. Landscape geoarchaeology at the site serves to examine both of these factors, characterizing the site’s dynamic environment while also examining the ways in which Chavín’s inhabitants interacted with their fraught surroundings. Using mapping of geomorphic hazards, the character and chronology of the site’s construction and expansion, and ethnohistoric information on the relationships of indigenous Andean peoples to their environments, I discuss ways ...


(Before And) After The Flood: A Multiproxy Approach To Past Floodplain Usage In The Middle Wadi El-Hasa, Jordan, Daniel A. Contreras, Vincent Robin, Regina Gonda, Rachel Hodara, Marta Dal Corso, Cheryl Makarewicz Dec 2013

(Before And) After The Flood: A Multiproxy Approach To Past Floodplain Usage In The Middle Wadi El-Hasa, Jordan, Daniel A. Contreras, Vincent Robin, Regina Gonda, Rachel Hodara, Marta Dal Corso, Cheryl Makarewicz

Daniel A. Contreras

Floodplains are an important feature of arid landscapes, enabling intensive agricultural activity by providing a locale with a consistent and largely predictable water source that is accessible without costly infrastructural modifications. Floodplain agriculture, although likely an important part of ancient agri- cultural systems in the Near East, is notoriously difficult to detect, as the dynamic environments in which floodplains are situated means that these geomorphic features are rarely preserved. However, recent survey in the Wadi el-Hasa, Jordan has revealed a preserved fragment of floodplain surface indicating past floodplain usage during the 7the8th century cal AD. A multi-proxy analysis that incorporates ...


Archaeological Approaches To Obsidian Quarries: Investigations At The Quispisisa Source, Nicholas Tripcevich, Daniel A. Contreras Dec 2012

Archaeological Approaches To Obsidian Quarries: Investigations At The Quispisisa Source, Nicholas Tripcevich, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

We consider how and why archaeologists have studied the vestiges of mining and quarrying, and to consider a specific Andean context: the extraction of Quispisisa-type obsidian from the Jichja Parco obsidian quarries over a period of 10,000 years of Central Andean prehistory. Preliminary research at the source ( Contreras et al. in press; Tripcevich and Contreras 2011 ) has documented large-scale extraction of obsidian, while regional consumption patterns (Burger and Glascock 2002 ) demonstrate that the material was used and widely distributed not long after humans arrived in the Central Andes. We use the example of ongoing research at the Quispisisa source ...


Begehrtes Gesteinsglas, Jirka Niklas Menke Dec 2012

Begehrtes Gesteinsglas, Jirka Niklas Menke

Daniel A. Contreras

Natürliche Ressourcen sind seit jeher Anlass für Kriege und Land­schafts­zerstörung. Humboldt-Stipendiat Dr. Daniel Contreras erforscht, wie die Menschen in den Anden einst mit solchen Quellen umgingen.


The Economics Of The Looted Archaeological Site Of Bab Edh-Dhra: A View From Google Earth, Neil Brodie, Daniel A. Contreras Dec 2011

The Economics Of The Looted Archaeological Site Of Bab Edh-Dhra: A View From Google Earth, Neil Brodie, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

No abstract provided.


Investigaciones En La Fuente De La Obsidiana Tipo Quispisisa, Huancasancos-Ayacucho, Daniel A. Contreras, Nicholas Tripcevich, Yuri I. Cavero Palomino Dec 2011

Investigaciones En La Fuente De La Obsidiana Tipo Quispisisa, Huancasancos-Ayacucho, Daniel A. Contreras, Nicholas Tripcevich, Yuri I. Cavero Palomino

Daniel A. Contreras

No abstract provided.


Long-Term Human Occupation Of The Upper Río Caracha, Ayacucho, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras, Nicholas Tripcevich Dec 2011

Long-Term Human Occupation Of The Upper Río Caracha, Ayacucho, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras, Nicholas Tripcevich

Daniel A. Contreras

Regional consumption patterns of obsidian in Peru testify to the significance of the Quispisisa source; by 500 BCE this obsidian was reaching sites 1000 km distant. The source area thus provides both an opportunity to investigate quarrying and an case study in the long‐term occupation of a regionally important highland valley. Using satellite imagery and results of preliminary field prospection, we examine the upper Caracha drainage, where Quispisisa‐type obsidian is found. The valley is extensively terraced, and contains several large sites downstream of the source area. Our data on the settlement system and anthropogenic landscape of this regionally ...


The Character And Use Of The Soros Hill Obsidian Source, Antiparos (Greece), Tristan Carter, Daniel A. Contreras Dec 2011

The Character And Use Of The Soros Hill Obsidian Source, Antiparos (Greece), Tristan Carter, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

This article details the geological and elemental character of the obsidian from the Soros Hill source on the Cycladic island of Antiparos, Greece. EDXRF was used to analyse 40 geological geo-referenced samples. The products are clearly chemically discriminated from those of the other Aegean sources, and those from the Carpathians and central Anatolia. While the obsidian is of excellent tool-making quality, the small size of its nodules seems to have made it a less attractive raw material, attested at only a handful of prehistoric sites in the central Cyclades.


La Nueva Mirada, Andrés Bermúdez Liévano Mar 2011

La Nueva Mirada, Andrés Bermúdez Liévano

Daniel A. Contreras

No abstract provided.


La Cronología De Chavín De Huántar Y Sus Implicancias Para El Periodo Formativo, John W. Rick, Christian Mesia, Daniel A. Contreras, Silvia R. Kembel, Rosa M. Rick, Matthew Sayre, John Wolf Dec 2010

La Cronología De Chavín De Huántar Y Sus Implicancias Para El Periodo Formativo, John W. Rick, Christian Mesia, Daniel A. Contreras, Silvia R. Kembel, Rosa M. Rick, Matthew Sayre, John Wolf

Daniel A. Contreras

Chavín de Huantar es uno de los sitios fundamentales para entender el Periodo Formativo en los Andes centrales. Ironicamente, a pesar de muchas decadas de investigaciones realizadas por docenas de investigadores, su cronologia es todavia debatida e insegura. Este articulo presenta una reseña de la evidencia historica para la cronologia de Chavin, enfatizando la contribucion de los fechados radiocarbonicos calibrados y, de manera breve, revisando los que están temporalmente relacionados con otros sitios formativos. Se analizan, tambien, los numerosos fechados de carbono-14 asociados a ceramica y contextos arquitectonicos conocidos en Chavin derivados de estudios recientes. De hecho, muchos fechados de ...


Gis: A Rising Tool In The Geoarchaeologist's Toolbox, Erin Wayman Dec 2010

Gis: A Rising Tool In The Geoarchaeologist's Toolbox, Erin Wayman

Daniel A. Contreras

Researchers use GIS to see ancient landscapes, trace historical water use and preserve archaeological sites.


Quarrying Evidence At The Quispisisa Obsidian Source, Ayacucho, Peru, Nicholas Tripcevich, Daniel A. Contreras Dec 2010

Quarrying Evidence At The Quispisisa Obsidian Source, Ayacucho, Peru, Nicholas Tripcevich, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

Artifacts made from Quispisisa obsidian are widely disseminated in the Peruvian Andes, but the geological source of the Quispisisa geochemical type was only recently located in southern Ayacucho. Following the positive identification of the source in 1999 by Richard Burger and colleagues, we found evidence of broad quarrying activities in unexplored portions of the source area. We describe 34 quarry pits, some as large as 80 m across, together with evidence of early-stage lithic reduction at the source. We encountered high concentrations of reduction debris associated with more extensive knapping in two localities, but our preliminary evaluation of surface evidence ...


Google Earth Shows Clandestine Worlds, Heather Pringle Aug 2010

Google Earth Shows Clandestine Worlds, Heather Pringle

Daniel A. Contreras

No abstract provided.


Shining Light On Looting: Using Google Earth To Quantify Damage And Raise Public Awareness, Daniel A. Contreras, Neil Brodie Apr 2010

Shining Light On Looting: Using Google Earth To Quantify Damage And Raise Public Awareness, Daniel A. Contreras, Neil Brodie

Daniel A. Contreras

No abstract provided.


The Utility Of Publicly-Available Satellite Imagery For Investigating Looting Of Archaeological Sites In Jordan, Daniel A. Contreras, Neil Brodie Feb 2010

The Utility Of Publicly-Available Satellite Imagery For Investigating Looting Of Archaeological Sites In Jordan, Daniel A. Contreras, Neil Brodie

Daniel A. Contreras

International response to the problem of looting of archaeological sites has been hampered by the difficulty of quantifying the damage done. The scarcity of reliable information negatively impacts professional and public policy making, rendering consensus about the scale of the problem and the effectiveness of policy responses difficult to achieve. We report here on the use of publicly-available satellite imagery for quantifying the damage caused by looting of archaeological sites in Jordan. The ease of use and affordability of imagery such as that provided by Google Earth make the identification, quantification, and monitoring of archaeological site looting possible at a ...


Reconstructing An Engineered Environment In The Central Andes: Landscape Geoarchaeology At Chavín De Huántar, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras Dec 2009

Reconstructing An Engineered Environment In The Central Andes: Landscape Geoarchaeology At Chavín De Huántar, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

Chavín de Huántar, a Formative Period ceremonial center in the Peruvian Central Andes, has been a focus of archaeological research for more than 70 years. Nevertheless, I argue, its extent and character remain incompletely understood. This is a result of a highly active geologic environment, which both influenced human–environment interactions in Chavín’s prehistory and created a substantial taphonomic challenge to archaeological interpretation. The integration of archaeological and geologic data in a site GIS has been used to reconstruct a pre-Chavín landscape and to estimate the scale of geomorphic and anthropogenic landscape change at Chavín. That reconstruction is used ...


Huaqueros And Remote Sensing Imagery: Assessing Looting Damage In The Virú Valley, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras Dec 2009

Huaqueros And Remote Sensing Imagery: Assessing Looting Damage In The Virú Valley, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

This article presents a new initiative in combating looting from the air, building on previous work in Iraq and Jordan. Looted sites in the Virú Valley, Peru, are visible as pit clusters on dated versions of Google Earth. Compare these with earlier air photographs and Gordon Willey's famous survey of the 1940s, and we have a dated chronicle of looting events. This makes it possible to demonstrate that modern looting is certainly taking place and linked to an upsurge in the antiquities trade. As well as being a new instrument for managing heritage, the author shows that the looting ...


Landscape And Environment: Insights From The Prehispanic Central Andes, Daniel A. Contreras Dec 2009

Landscape And Environment: Insights From The Prehispanic Central Andes, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

Attention to human–environment relationships in the central Andes has a long history. Although the area is not a neat microcosm of the globe, wholly representative of worldwide trends in the archaeology of human–environment interactions, it has been the site of both seminal investigations in archaeology and a substantial body of recent work that investigates themes of broad archaeological relevance. Specifically, central Andean environments have been variously conceived as structuring, modified, and sacred. These approaches to some extent reflect broad trends in archaeology, while also suggesting directions in which the archaeology of human–environment interactions is moving and highlighting ...


A Mito-Style Structure At Chavín De Huántar: Dating And Implications, Daniel A. Contreras Dec 2009

A Mito-Style Structure At Chavín De Huántar: Dating And Implications, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

Excavations west of the monumental core at Chavín de Huántar, Peru in 2005 revealed a well- preserved plastered structure with a central circular hearth, in the style of the Mito Architectural Tradition. This find challenges standard definitions of both the Mito Tradition and Chavín itself. I discuss the material remains and associated radiocarbon dates from this feature, and use these new data to re- assess Chavín’s involvement in interregional networks and its relationship to earlier ceremonial centers in the Central Andean highlands. Excavaciones al oeste del núcleo monumental de Chavín de Huántar, Perú en 2005 expusieron ...


Buying, Selling, Owning The Past Jan 2009

Buying, Selling, Owning The Past

Daniel A. Contreras

Stanford Report coverage of my work with Neil Brodie on using remote sensing to quantify looting damage to archaeological sites.


Reconstructing Landscape At Chavin De Huantar, Peru : A Gis-Based Approach, Daniel A. Contreras Dec 2008

Reconstructing Landscape At Chavin De Huantar, Peru : A Gis-Based Approach, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

The landscape around the prehistoric Peruvian ceremonial center of Chavin de Huantar has undergone extensive geomorphic and anthropogenic change since the beginning of monumental construction at the site in approximately 1200 BCE. Archaeological and geomorphic stratigraphy from the site and its near periphery provide the data necessary to characterize these changes in detail. This paper reports on the use of GIS-based interpolation tools to approximate a complex prehistoric land surface using unevenly scattered point data. Such an interpolated surface serves as the basis for the reconstruction of the pre- Chavin landscape and assessment of landscape change contemporary with the site.


Implications Of The Fluvial History Of The Wacheqsa River For Hydrologic Engineering And Water Use At Chavín De Huántar, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras, David K. Keefer Dec 2008

Implications Of The Fluvial History Of The Wacheqsa River For Hydrologic Engineering And Water Use At Chavín De Huántar, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras, David K. Keefer

Daniel A. Contreras

Channeling of water through a variety of architectural features represents a significant engineering investment at the first millennium B.C. ceremonial center of Chavín de Huántar in the Peruvian Central Andes. The site contains extensive evidence of the manipulation of water, apparently for diverse purposes. The present configuration of the two local rivers, however, keeps available water approximately 9m below the highest level of water-bearing infrastructure in the site. Geomorphic and archaeological investigation of the fluvial history of the Wacheqsa River has revealed evidence that the Chavín-era configuration of the Wacheqsa River was different. A substantially higher water level, likely ...


Geomorfología Y Paisaje En Chavín De Huántar, Daniel A. Contreras Dec 2007

Geomorfología Y Paisaje En Chavín De Huántar, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

El sitio arqueológico de Chavín de Huántar tiene varias décadas como enfoque de investigaciones arqueológicas, pero a pesar de casi 70 años de trabajo formal en arqueología su extensión y carácter siguen entendidos de forma incompleta. Este se debe al carácter del paisaje del sitio—o sea, su geomorfología. En este capitulo describo la geomorfologia del sitio arqueologico y sus alrededores, y planteo unas ideas preliminares con respeto al su importancia para los habitantes. The archaeological site of Chavín de Huántar has been a focus of archaeological research for several decades, but in spite of almost 70 years of formal ...


Sociopolitical And Geomorphologic Dynamics At Chavín De Huántar, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras Aug 2007

Sociopolitical And Geomorphologic Dynamics At Chavín De Huántar, Peru, Daniel A. Contreras

Daniel A. Contreras

The research presented here links questions of human-environment interaction and emergent sociopolitical complexity in the context of the Central Andean Formative Period, at the early monumental center of Chavín de Huántar. Recent work in the monumental core of Chavín has focused more on architecture than environment, leading to the development of a model of “built authority” at Chavín—a vision of monumental construction and ritual practice at the site as part of a carefully designed elite project of naturalizing social inequality and elite authority. My work links this local approach to sociopolitical dynamics at Chavín with broad-based approaches to Andean ...