INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE NIVOLOGIA, GLACIOLOGIA Y CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
PETROGRAPHIC CHARACTERIZATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF TEMPER SOURCES IN LOCAL CERAMICS DURING THE INCA DOMINATION AND EARLY SPANISH COLONY (MENDOZA, WEST-CENTRAL ARGENTINA)
BRÍGIDA CASTRO DE MACHUCA; CRISTINA PRIETO OLAVARRÍA
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Año: 2017 vol. 13 p. 351 - 360
This work relies on the potential use of petrography to determine temper provenance and applies it to ceramics of west-central Argentina. Petrography is used to identify the raw materials, production technologies and, for the first time in this region, temper provenance of the Viluco ceramics of mixed Inca type produced by local Mendoza Valley populations during the Inca domination and early Spanish colony (XV-XVII centuries), along the eastern-meridional boundary of both empires. Although the area is geologically complex, being characterized by the Andes Cordillera to the west and the arid plains to the east, isolated outcrops were identified near archaeological sites and comparative petrographic studies of ceramic and geological samples were conducted. The results show that the ceramics were produced with locally available raw materials. The comparative analysis permitted identifying two sources of temper located near the archaeological sites in the Mendoza Valley: the granite stock of Cerro Cacheuta and the volcanic ash (tephra) from El Borbollón. The evidence allows suggesting that the population concentration process that was developed in the short period between the Inca Empire and the early Spanish colony in the Mendoza Valley, required the local production of Viluco ceramics. The use of local tephra inclusions, confirms that this particular tradition related to the Inca expansion and infused with symbolic significance in the marginal southern borders, was developed locally by potters as part of their membership to the Inca Empire.