GLUZMAN Geraldine Andrea
congresos y reuniones científicas
STUDIES OF PRE-HISPANIC CERAMIC REFRACTORY MATERIALS FROM THE VALLEY OF YOCAVIL, NORTHWEST ARGENTINA
G. A. GLUZMAN; L. R. GONZÁLEZ; F. SIVES
Simposio; 37th International Symposium Archaeometry on Archaeometry; 2008
During the prehispanic times the local societies settled in the territory of Northwest of Argentina had developed a strong metallurgical tradition. The archaeometallurgical studies carried out during the last two decades have brought new insights about the main productive characteristics of this area, specially through the analysis of the artifacts themselves. These studies allow to think that the region was a particular productive sphere inside the Andean context. However, the technical studies of metallurgical ceramics are not so developed and are more recent. This paper presents the results of the laboratory studies on ceramic refractories recovered by archaeological excavations from the site of Rincon Chico 15, located in the south portion of Yocavil valley (province of Catamarca, Argentina) and assigned to the late prehispanic times (X to XVI Centuries). This site was defined as a metallurgical workshop, and one of the main artifacts found there are crucibles and moulds used to prepare and cast metals. One of the main characteristics of these objects is the presence of a white solution that covers the surface, which was analyzed and interpreted as a calcium phosphate solution. In order to know about the technology used by past societies from the Northwestern Argentina, we selected a group of archaeological crucibles and moulds to examine them with different laboratory analysis: thin section analysis to recognize any correlation between the characteristics of the ceramic paste and their function morphologically defined, X-ray diffraction (and EDAX complementary) to find different elements and compositions of the white solution, and Mössbauer spectroscopy to investigate some of the firing procedures (such as temperature, time and atmosphere) involved in the production of the ceramics. From these technical studies we hope to extend our knowledge of the organization of the production, craft specialization, and the links between ceramists and metallurgists. All these studies make us think that the local societies in Northwestern Argentina had different technological solutions to solve problems concerning ceramic pastes in metallurgical work. Over the course of centuries, a tradition of highly-trained metallurgists was formed, artisans capable of manufacturing objects which are among the most voluminous of Andean South America, such as the disks and bells of the later period.