INSTITUTO DE LAS CULTURAS
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
The contribution of Northwestern Argentina to the metallurgical Andean tradition
CORTÉS, LETICIA INÉS; SCATTOLIN, MARÍA CRISTINA
Congreso; Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting; 2017
Society for American Archaeology
The most ancient metallurgy of precolumbian America originated and evolved in the Andes, reaching great levels of technical sophistication. However,as a few interesting cases of these first moments of experimentation with metals come from Perú, with them comes the popular idea that any technicaladvance took place in the Peruvian Andes. Because complex societies later emerged in what is now Central Andes, there is a tendency to think that alltechnological innovations did as well. This could be the cause of the low visibility of metallurgical evidence from Northwestern Argentina. Moreover, early proofs of copper metalworking in the Central Andean region are scant. By contrast, some crucial evidences are emerging in the meridional region of theAndes. Several archaeological finds point to the Southern Andes as an innovative area that made important contributions to the metallurgical traditionsof the broader region. Based on the finding of a anthropomorphic copper mask in a funerary context dated to 3,000 years before present, we argue thatthe Cajón and nearby valleys have been an important focus of copper metallurgy supporting a very early tradition of metalworking in NorthwesternArgentina, thus suggesting more than one center for the origin of this technology.