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      THE STYLE, TECHNOLOGY AND ORGANIZATION OF SICÁN MINING AND METALLURGY, NORTHERN PERU: INSIGHTS FROM HOLISTIC STUDY Translated title: EL ESTILO, TECNOLOGÍA Y ORGANIZACIÓN DE LA MINERÍA Y METALURGIA SICÁN, NORTE DEL PERÚ: VISIONES DESDE UN ESTUDIO HOLÍSTICO

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          Abstract

          This paper explains what Shimada has termed a holistic approach to craft production and illustrates its value by discussing insights gained into the style, technology, and organization of Middle and Late Sicán (ca. AD 900-1,375) mining and copper-arsenic metallurgy. After a brief characterization of the geographical and cultural settings of pertinent research by the Sicán Archaeological Project (1978-present) and the holistic approach, we discuss specific methods and strategies for locating and dating pre-Hispanic mines. Based on our examination of eight mines in the study area that supplied copper oxides and/or arsenic-bearing ores, we offer a general characterization of Sicán mining, emphasizing the integral character of local mining and autochthonous copper-arsenic alloy (also called arsenical bronze) production at nearby smelting sites (six excavated to date). Our analyses of primary context samples of ore and smelting products and by-products recovered at smelting sites show that copper-arsenic was deliberately and locally smelted and that arsenic was derived from scorodite (oxide form of arsenopyrite) and/or weathered sulfide ores available near the surface of local mines. Additionally, we discuss insights gained into careful and sustainable charcoal fuel management and the "modular organization" of metallurgical and other productive activities.

          Translated abstract

          Este documento explica lo que Shimada ha denominado enfoque holístico del estudio de la producción artesanal antigua y ejemplifica su valor discutiendo perspicacias adquiridas acerca del estilo, tecnología y organización de la minería y metalurgia Sicán Medio y Tardío (ca. 900-1.375 d.C.). Luego de una caracterización de los marcos geográfico y cultural del Proyecto Arqueológico Sicán (1978-presente) y del enfoque holístico, discutimos métodos y estrategias específicas para ubicar y datar las minas prehispánicas. Basados en nuestra evaluación de ocho minas en el área de estudio que proveían de óxidos de cobre y/o minerales conteniendo arsénico, ofrecemos una caracterización general de la minería Sicán, enfatizando el carácter integral de la minería local y producción autóctona de cobre arsenical en sitios cercanos de fundición. Nuestros análisis de muestras de minerales y productos y subproductos de fundición muestran cómo las aleaciones de cobre arsenical fueron deliberadas y fundidas localmente, y que el arsénico fue derivado de la escorodita (óxido de arsenopirita) y/o minerales sulfuros erosionados disponible cerca la superficie de las minas locales. Adicionalmente, discutimos visiones adquiridas acerca del manejo cuidadoso y sostenible del combustible de carbón vegetal y de la "organización modular" de la metalurgia y otras actividades productivas.

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          Most cited references 99

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          Andean Value Systems and the Development of Prehistoric Metallurgy

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            Pottery Function: A Use-alteration Perspective

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              Native Copper, Silver, and Gold Accessible to Early Metallurgists

              The weathered zones of ore deposits, which no longer exist, are reconstructed by inference to provide estimates of relative abundances of usable nuggets of native copper, silver, and gold in ancient times. New analyses and selected data from the literature summarize metallic impurities in native copper, silver, gold, and lead and in the oxidized copper minerals, oxide, silicate, carbonate, chloride, and sulfate, together with impurities in lead carbonate and silver halide minerals. The influence that these occurrences and compositions exerted upon the origin and development of metallurgy in Mesoamerica and South America is discussed in relation to new analyses of artifacts and selected data from the literature. Topics emphasized are: the discovery of smelting and melting by the Moche; the inability of New World metallurgists to smelt copper from sulfide ores or silver from lead ores; and the lack of influence by transoceanic contacts. This paper is contribution number 1702 of the Division of Geological Sciences, C.I.T.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Journal
                chungara
                Chungará (Arica)
                Chungará (Arica)
                Universidad de Tarapacá<br>Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas<br> (Arica )
                0717-7356
                March 2013
                : 45
                : 1
                : 03-31
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Southern Illinois University USA
                Article
                S0717-73562013000100001
                10.4067/S0717-73562013000100001

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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                ANTHROPOLOGY

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