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1.

The second field campaign of the project


Per Cornell, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
Susana Sjdin, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
1.1 Introduction........................................................................................................................ 1
1.2 Why centre?........................................................................................................................ 1
Per Cornell, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
References ................................................................................................................................ 4
2. Orgenes de la ocupacin del espacio en el sitio STucTav 5
(El Pichao)
Marta R A Tartusi, instituto de arqueloga, Universidad Nacional de Tucumn
Victor A Nez Regueiro, instituto de arqueloga, Universidad Nacional de Tucumn
2.1 Introduccin ....................................................................................................................... 5
2.2 La periodizacin del noroeste argentino.............................................................................. 5
2.3 Problemas para la identificacin de sitios Formativos y de Integracin regional .................. 6
2.4 Ocupacin del espacio en El Pichao.................................................................................... 8
2.4.1 El perodo Formativo en El Pichao ..................................................................... 8
2.4.2 El perodo de Integracin regional en El Pichao ................................................. 9
2.5 El significado de la ocupacin del espacio para el anlisis de la problemtica
Aguada..................................................................................................................................... 9
Obras citadas .......................................................................................................................... 11
3. Unit 1 as a household and the 1990 excavations in structure
3
Per Cornell, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
3.1 Unit 1 ............................................................................................................................... 13
3.2 What is a household?........................................................................................................ 13
3.2.1 The household as a general concept .................................................................. 13
3.2.2 Household variation.......................................................................................... 15
3.2.3 The spatial frame of the household ................................................................... 16
3.2.4 Remains of home work.................................................................................. 17
3.3 Primeval use, changing patterns of use and abandonment ................................................. 18
3.3.1 Deposits of labour processes through time ........................................................ 18
3.3.2 Unit 1............................................................................................................... 19
3.4 Some concluding remarks................................................................................................. 24
References .............................................................................................................................. 24
4. Sector VIII
Susana Sjdin, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
4.1 Description of a part of sector VIII.................................................................................... 27
4.1.1 The terraces 1 - 8.............................................................................................. 28
4.1.2 The slope above the terrace levels and the smaller terraces ............................... 30
4.1.3 The terrace complex as a whole ........................................................................ 30
4.2 Mapping the constructions and terraces of part of sector VIII............................................ 30
5. Excavacin de la unidad 6 del sectr I del sitio STucTav 5
(El Pichao)
Marta R A Tartusi, instituto de arqueloga, Universidad Nacional de Tucumn
Victor A Nez Regueiro, instituto de arqueloga, Universidad Nacional de Tucumn
5.1 Introduccin ..................................................................................................................... 33
5.2 Descripcin general del sector I ........................................................................................ 34
5.3 Unidad 6........................................................................................................................... 35
5.3.1 Excavacin....................................................................................................... 35
5.3.2 Descripcin de la estructura.............................................................................. 35
5.3.3 Descripcin del entierro.................................................................................... 36
5.3.4 Petroglifos ........................................................................................................ 37
5.3.5 Anlisis del material cermico.......................................................................... 37
5.5 Interpretacin de los hallazgos.......................................................................................... 38
5.5 Las estructuras ceremoniales en el noroeste argentino....................................................... 39
Obras citadas .......................................................................................................................... 41
6. The excavation of the gravematerial
Nils Johansson, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
6.1 Trenches 5-10................................................................................................................... 43
6.2 Trenches 11-15................................................................................................................. 46
6.3 Specific studies of artefact categories within the tombs ..................................................... 49
6.3.1 Ceramics .......................................................................................................... 49
6.3.2 Bone material ................................................................................................... 50
6.3.3 Textiles ............................................................................................................ 51
6.3.4 Metal................................................................................................................ 51
6.3.5 Macrofossil....................................................................................................... 51
6.4 Discussion ........................................................................................................................ 52
6.4.1 Location ........................................................................................................... 52
6.4.2 Dating.............................................................................................................. 52
6.4.3 Construction..................................................................................................... 52
6.4.4 Collective tombs ............................................................................................... 53
6.4.5 Earlier grave field............................................................................................. 53
6.4.6 Not chronologically closed units ....................................................................... 53
6.4.7 A rich artefact material..................................................................................... 54
6.4.8 Specially produced pottery for a grave context .................................................. 54
6.4.9 The Spanish contact period............................................................................... 55
6.4.10 Graves encountered in other sectors. ............................................................... 56
References .............................................................................................................................. 57
7. Human skeletal remains from El Pichao 1990 - (Preliminary
report) ................................................................................................ 58
Noemi Acreche, Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Museo de
Antropologa de Salta.
Mara Gloria Colaneri, Instituto de arqueologa, Universidad nacional de Tucumn
Mara Virginia Albeza, Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Salta
References .............................................................................................................................. 61
8. Textiles en tumbas. Resultados de trabajos de campo ................... 63
Martha Ortiz Malmierca, Department of archaeology, University of Stockholm
Obras citadas .......................................................................................................................... 68
9. Geographic description of sector IX
Eduardo Ribotta, instituto de arqueloga, Universidad Nacional de Tucumn. Translated by
Sven Ahlgren and Nils Johansson
9.1 Location ........................................................................................................................... 69
9.2 Geology and geomorphology............................................................................................. 70
9.2.1 Erosion............................................................................................................. 70
9.2.2 Soils ................................................................................................................. 71
9.2.3 Phytogeography and zoogeograophy................................................................. 71
10. New approaches to the study of ceramics, El Pichao 1990
Susana Sjdin, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
10.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................... 73
10.1.1 Ceramic research............................................................................................ 74
10.2 Method ........................................................................................................................... 76
10.3 The sample of El Pichao1990.......................................................................................... 78
Table 10.1 Number of sherds analysed, El Pichao 1990............................................ 78
10.3.1 Groups in the material .................................................................................... 78
References .............................................................................................................................. 85
11. Report of thin section analysis of six ceramic fragments
from El Pichao
Ole Stilborg, Department of archaeology, University of Copenhagen
11.1 Thin section analysis....................................................................................................... 87
11.2 The material ................................................................................................................... 87
11.3 Results............................................................................................................................ 88
11.3.1 Clay................................................................................................................ 88
11.3.2 Temper........................................................................................................... 89
11.3.3 Ware groups ................................................................................................... 89
11.4 Conclusions .................................................................................................................... 90
Table 11.1 Results of thin section analysis ................................................................... 91
12. The pottery of El Pichao - the process of production and
the labour processes
Susana Sjdin, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
12.1 The context of the process of production ......................................................................... 93
12.2 Method ........................................................................................................................... 94
12.3 The manufacture of pottery - ethnoarchaelogical evidence............................................... 95
12.4 Conclusions concerning the process of production - archaeological evidence................... 96
12.4.1 Locally made pottery ...................................................................................... 96
12.4.2 Differentiated manufacture of ceramics........................................................... 97
12.4.3 Further differentiation of the manufacturing process of ceramics .................... 98
12.4.4 Changes of the manufacture of ceramics at the time of the Spanish
intrusion.................................................................................................................. 100
12.5 Ethnoarchaeological approaches ................................................................................... 101
12.6 Summary...................................................................................................................... 103
References ............................................................................................................................ 103
13. Approaches to room structure interpretation at El Pichao.
Two perspectives applied comparing sectors III, IV, and VIII.
Per Stenborg, Department of archaeology, Unversity of Gothenburg
13.1 Introduction.................................................................................................................. 105
13.2 Purpose........................................................................................................................ 105
13.3 Background .................................................................................................................. 106
13.4 Two main perspectives.................................................................................................. 107
13.5 A presentation of the field-data and of the methods of data-collection ........................... 108
13.5.1 The complex of structures in the northwestern part of sector III
(complex A). ........................................................................................................... 108
13.5.2 The complex of structures in sector VIII (complex B). .................................. 108
13.5.3 Unit 12. ........................................................................................................ 109
13.5.4 Unit 1. .......................................................................................................... 109
13.5.5 The problem of comparability....................................................................... 109
13.5.6 The problem of representativety.................................................................... 109
13.5.7 The question of contemporaneity .................................................................. 110
13.6 Approaching the El Pichao material in accordance with the two perspectives................ 110
13.6.1 The functionalistic/materialistic approach.................................................... 110
13.6.2 The social/symbolical approach ................................................................... 111
13.7 A description of the material, based on field-data......................................................... 112
13.7.1 The complex of structures in the northwestern part of sector III .................... 112
13.7.2 The complex of structures in sector VIII ...................................................... 115
13.7.3 Unit 12........................................................................................................ 117
13.7.4 Unit 1.......................................................................................................... 118
13.8 Analyses of the field-data............................................................................................. 118
13.8.1 The functionalistic/materialistic perspective ................................................. 118
13.8.1.1 Complex A................................................................................... 118
13.8.1.2 Complex B.................................................................................. 119
13.8.1.3 Units 1 and 12............................................................................. 119
13.8.1.4 A functionalistic/materialistic comparison between
complexes and units................................................................................... 120
13.8.2 The social, symbolical perspective ............................................................... 120
13.8.2.1 A comparison between the three groups of structures................... 120
13.8.2.2 A comparison between different parts of complex A.................... 121
13.9 Discussion and conclusions.......................................................................................... 122
13.9.1 Discussion................................................................................................... 122
13.9.2 Conclusions according to the two approaches ............................................... 123
13.9.2.1 The functionalistic/materialistic approach .................................... 123
13.9.2.2 The social/symbolical approach................................................... 124
13.9.2.3 Comments................................................................................... 124
13.10 Summary ................................................................................................................... 125
References ............................................................................................................................ 125
14. The village of El Pichao today.....................................................127
Martha Ortiz de Malmierca, Department of archaeology, University of Stockholm
References ............................................................................................................................ 129
Figures
1.1 Map of The Calchaqu Valleys
1.2 Colalao del Valle and El Pichao with the sector limitations
2.1 Distribucin de sitios Aguada
3.1 Units 1 and 2 , sector III
3.2 Structure 3, unit 1, sector III
4.1 Part of sector VIII, terrace levels 1-8, with constructions
4.2 Southeast-northwest profile of terrace levels 1-8, sector VIII
5.1 Unidad 6, sector I
5.2 Unidad 6, sector I, secciones verticales
5.3 Urna santamariana encontrada en unidad 6
6.1 Sector XI - Cemetery Amancay
6.2 Vertical section of trench 6, 6A, sector XI, Cemetery Amancay
6.3 Trenches 11-15, sector XI, Cemetery Amancay
6.4 Trench 12, sector XI, Cemetery Amancay
6.5 Trench 13, sector XI, Cemetery Amancay
El Pichao 1990
Second report from the project
Emergence and growth of centres. A case study in the
Santa Mara Valley.
Edited by
Per Cornell & Susana Sjdin
preliminary version
Department of archaeology
University of Gothenburg
September 1991
1
1. The second field campaign of the project
Per Cornell, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
Susana Sjdin, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
1.1 Introduction
This is a preliminary version of the second report of the project Emergence and
growth of centres in the valley of Santa Mara, NW Argentina. The project is run in
collaboration between the universities of Gotenburgh and Stockholm, Sweden, and the
National university of Tucumn, Argentina.
The project was intiated in 1989 by a pilot investigation at the site of El Pichao. The
project was made possible by the support and close collaboration with the Institute of
Archaeology, the National University of Tucumn, and its director, professor Victor
Nez Regueiro. The Swedish part of the project is in turn part of a large Argentinian
project, Estudio de la incidencia de la dinmica de interaccin entre las poblaciones
que habitaron las tierras altas y las tierras bajas . San Miguel de Tucumn 1988.
(Study of the events in the dynamic interaction between the populations that inhabited
the high lands and the low lands).
The second field season comprised excavations in different types of structures,
mappings and prospections, both of the site and its natural environments. The work was
carried out in close collaboration between Swedish and Argentinian archaeologists, and
we had also students from the Institute of Archaeology working with us. Several
specialists of different disciplines visited us during field work and made their
contributions, enriching the final results.
However, our work had not been made possible without the support and kindness we
received from the people living at the present village of El Pichao.
Rapportens innehll - bde teoreti och praktik. De argentinska deltagarna och de
svenska.
Vad som r en fortsttning av 1989 och vad som r nytt.
C-uppstaser - Per S och Cecilia
1.2 Why centre?
Per Cornell, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
Why call El Pichao a centre? In the Introduction to the El Pichao 1990 report a
general definition of centre was proposed, but no specific discussion on the El Pichao
2
site was presented. I shall try to outline how I have reasoned in the specific case of El
Pichao.
First, I must say that I do not find words in themselves too important. As the
structuralists say, a signifier might be used to signify various things. the important point
is the relation between the signifiers, the structural system of - in this case - the
terminology.
However, some words attain a very special significance in cultural contexts or, as in
this case, in a scientific discourse. The word centre is a difficult one, used in many
different contexts, also within such a limited vocabulary as the archaeologists'. And it is
not just a problem of various agents' use of the word. The individual archaeologists use
the word centre in many different ways. At the same time, though, the word has become
value-laden.
What concern us here, is the use of the word centre to signify some archaeological
sites so as to show that they differ from other archaeological sites, especially
contemporaneous sites in given regions.
I have outlined some of the debate in which the word centre has been used in my Lic
treatise, and I refer the reader to this short study. Suffice it to say here that I wish to
avoid all connotations to central-place concepts and the debate of centre-periphery. This
is not to say that I find these concepts void of value. But I find it necessary to have a
good general idea of individual archaeological sites before entering such discussions.
And, in the NW Argentinian case, our knowledge of individual sites is still rather limited.
Of course, it might be argued that a general idea of greater contexts is necessary for
the understanding of the individual units. And, generally speaking, this is true. To study
individual sites we must know very much about the contexts in which they existed. But it
is equally true that we must know the individual sites in order to understand the larger
contexts. Thus, we end up in a vicious circle. To enter this circle we must choose a way
in. Lack of economic resources and the limitations of the working capacities of
individual archaeologists forces us to choose between a general survey and a more
concentrated work on a specific site.
Earlier approaches to centres have often chosen to work with general surveys. I find
that this approach has met several difficult obstacles. In the case of the Calchaqu river
system and adjoining areas, we have some general data from field surveys, even if our
knowledge is biased to some parts of the region, while others remain almost completely
unknown.
1
A present large project of the Institute of archaeology in Tucumn focuses
on the prehistoric relations between peoples living in different natural environments in
NW Argentina. In connection with this project the little known zones are studied, so
somewhat the situation will improve. Within this larger project the project Emergence
and growth of centres.... will focus on the Santa Mara Valley and especially the site of
El Pichao.
I must take a lot of things for granted. This is unavoidable, and a natural ingredient in
all scientific research. I must, above all, presuppose a certain degree of autonomity of the
individual sites.

1
Cf. for data on general surveys MYRIAM N TARRAG & PIO PABLO DAZ, Sitios arqueolgicos del
Valle Calchaqu 1-3. Estudios de arqueologa (Cachi) 1: pp 49-61 (1972); 2: pp 61-71 (1977); 3: pp
93-104 (1983), RODOLFO A RAFFINO & LIDIA N BALDINI, Sitios arqueolgicos del Valle
Calchaqu Medio. Estudios de arqueologa (Cachi) 3: pp 27-35 (1983). Specifically for the Santa
Mara valley cfInvestigaciones Arqueolgicas en el Valle de Santa Mara. Universidad Nacional del
Litoral, Facultad de Filosofa y Letras, Instituto de Antropologa, publicacin no. 4. Rosario,
Argentina 1960. Cf. also GUILLERMO MADRAZO & MARTA OTTONELLO DE GARCIA REINOSO,
Tipos de instalacin prehispanica en la region de la puna y su borde. Monografas, 1 (1966).
3
Now, we may turn to the core of the problem. I have outlined a general definition of
centre, and this definition focuses on three factors, namely size in relation to density,
existence of permanent habitations of a high relative number for the period and region,
and, finally the existence of institutional arrangements.
When discussing size/density the issue of delimitation is a difficult one. I have
proposed a somewhat unorthodox approach in the El Pichao 1989 report. This
delimitation, based on the common water source, has been used as a base for the
discussion here.
It is relatively easy to show that El Pichao matches the two first prerequisites. It is a
large site in terms of size/density in a Santa Mara valley perspective, but above all in a
larger regional perspective. According to the surveys of Raffino and Baldini in the
middle part of the Calchaqu river proper, the largest sites with extensive terracing reach
150 ha.
2
El Pichao, in a low estimate, reaches 500 ha. Even if counted by number of
habitations in relation to extension El Pichao seems to be a very large site, though at
present I cannot present data on this issue.
So, if we depart only from the first two criteria, El Pichao may be judged a centre.
But how about the third criterion?
I have consciously chosen the somewhat vague word institutional element. I wish to
avoid all direct connotations to political systems. An institutional element is not
necessarily a political element. An institutional element means, in socio-economic terms,
some sort of co-operative effort that goes beyond a few days work. It also implies a
work which cannot be done without co-operative efforts, and that requires much co-
ordination skill. The technical level may be quite similar to the work carried out by
smaller groups, but the size or character of the work gives it a new dimension.
Archaeologically, such institutional elements may be recognized as complex and, for
the period and region, large, stable, fixed constructions.
At El Pichao we have found four such types of complex arrangements. One of these
is terrace constructions including large boulders with, among other things, a cairn with
an associated large stone with petroglyfs, found in sector I. This area has been
interpreted as a ritual/religious arrangement. A second type of complex arrangement is
the large wall going through large parts of the site, running approx. E-W. A third type is
the large and complex system of terraces, probably connected to agriculture. These
cover a very large area, and if they can be shown to have been constructed in large parts
during a relatively short time span, and used contemporaneously, the scale of this system
allows us to call it a result of some institutionalised element. Both the construction and
the use, especially the irrigation, of this system must have involved dimensions far
beyond those of technically similar but smaller systems found in some other parts of the
Santa Mara Valley. It is probable that only Quilmes and Tolombn had larger areas of
terraced fields. The fourth type of institutionalised element is the disposition of different
types of habitations. If these habitations turn out contemporaneous, as is our impression
today, the clear patterning, clustering of different types implies some sort of co-
ordination.
My centre definition is not congruent with the traditional definitions. That is true. But
this is intentional.
I changed the position of the signifier, and I hope to find a new pattern. My definition
is broader than the traditional ones, and more closely linked to organizational features of
work.
The reason for the emergence of large conglomerated sites in the Santa Mara Valley
from about 1000 A.D. may be partly found in the possibilities for terracing in this area.

2
Cf. RODOLFO A RAFFINO & LIDIA N BALDINI, op cit.
4
And the cone at El Pichao may have been especially suited for such a thing. But even if
this might be a reason for the emergence of large conglomerated sites, it must have had
deep consequences, also of social character. And these socio-economic consequences of
dense conglomerated sites with complex arrangements of institutionalised character are
the main topic in the project Emergence and growth of centres - a case study in the
Santa Mara valley, NW Argentine.
In the Santa Mara valley prior to the colonial period no supra-political level is
evidently recognized among the archaeological sites. The Punta de Balasto site may have
been used as an Inca administrative centre, but it does not create the sort of sharp
contrast found in for example Huanuco in present day Peru. The Huanuco Pampa Inca
administrative site sharply contrasts against the earlier and contemporaneous sites in the
region. This same contrast between local and state levels has been found in many parts
of the world, for example at Sigirya in Sri Lanka, where local and state irrigation
systems contrasts each other (but also relate to each other).
Why this apparent weakness of possible state systems in the Santa Mara valley? The
answer may have to do with our criteria for state systems. Myrim Tarrag tries to
reconstruct the Inca road network in parts of the valley and according to her it had
impressive dimensions.
3
Rodolfo Raffino has showed, using what exists of field survey
data on the valley, that the sites show many similarities. Raffino tries to link this to the
existence of a state or chiefdom level in the area.
4

Raffino has also published, with some colleagues, data on three interesting sites SW
to the Santa Mara Valley, in the province of Catamarca. These sites all share some
architectonical traits, notably a sort of enclosed open place. The largest of these enclosed
open spaces measures about 150 x 90 m. These sites are generally interpreted as Incaic.
5

Recent studies on another similar site, Potrero Chaquiago, also located in Catamarca,
showed that the overwhelming part of the ceramic material was of local manufacture.
6

Thus, the character and meaning of these sites remains obscure.
The absence, as far as I know, of this type of sites in the Santa Mara valley shows
the differences between subregions in NW Argentine. If this absence does imply a weak
central authority or not is difficult to say. However, the weak character of the central
administrative level in the Santa Mara valley, even during the Inca period, may be a fact.
Ana Mara Lorandi has showed the difficulties the Spaniards had in trying to conquer the
valley, and Lorandi explains this partly by the absence of a central authority. The
situation may have been similar during the Inca period.
The persistence of the Santa Mara Valley sites during more than 100 years of
Spanish presence in NW Argentine is an impressive fact. During this period the sites
existed and were in some way related to Spanish cities east of the mountain range, but
they were never included in any sort of hierarchical system of sites related to the Spanish
cities.
There exist many good reasons to focus archaeological work on individual sites in the
Santa Mara Valley. I hope that the present studies at El Pichao shall allow us to make
some conclusions on the inner organization of this centre site.

3
MYRIM N TARRAG, personal communication 1990.
4
RODOLFO A RAFFINO, X. Buenos Aires 1990.
5
RODOLFO A RAFFINO, RICARDO S ALVIS, LIDIA N BALDINI, DANIEL E OLIVERA, MARIA
GABRIELLA RAVIA, Hualfin - El Shincal - Watungasta, tres casos de urbanizacin Inka en el NO
Argentino. Cuadernos del Instituto Nacional de antropologia, 10 (1983-1985, pp. 425-458.
6
ANA MARA LORANDI, MARI BEATRIZ CREMONTE & VERNICA WILLIAMS, Identificacin
etnica de los Mitmakuna instalados en el establemiento Incaico Potrero - Chaquiago. Presentado al
XI Congreso nacional de arqueologia Chilena, Santiago, 1989.
5
References
Investigaciones Arqueolgicas en el Valle de Santa Mara. Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Facultad
de Filosofa y Letras, Instituto de Antropologa, publicacin no. 4. Rosario, Argentina 1960.
LORANDI, ANA MARA, MARI BEATRIZ CREMONTE & VERNICA WILLIAMS, Identificacin
etnica de los Mitmakuna instalados en el establemiento Incaico Potrero - Chaquiago. Presentado al
XI Congreso nacional de arqueologa chilena, Santiago, 1989.
MADRAZO, GUILLERMO & MARTA OTTONELLO DE GARCIA REINOSO, Tipos de instalacin
prehispnica en la region de la puna y su borde. Monografas, 1 (1966).
RAFFINO, RODOLFO A, X. Buenos Aires 1990.
RAFFINO, RODOLFO A & LIDIA N BALDINI, Sitios arqueolgicos del Valle Calchaqu Medio.
Estudios de arqueologa (Cachi) 3: pp 27-35 (1983).
RAFFINO, RODOLFO A, RICARDO S ALVIS, LIDIA N BALDINI, DANIEL E OLIVERA, MARIA
GABRIELLA RAVIA, Hualfin - El Shincal - Watungasta, tres casos de urbanizacin Inka en el NO
Argentino. Cuadernos del Instituto Nacional de antropologia, 10 (1983-1985, pp. 425-458.
TARRAG, MYRIAM N & PIO PABLO DAZ, Sitios arqueolgicos del Valle Calchaqu 1-3. Estudios
de arqueologa (Cachi) 1: pp 49-61 (1972); 2: pp 61-71 (1977); 3: pp 93-104 (1983).
7
2. Orgenes de la ocupacin del espacio en el sitio
STucTav 5 (El Pichao)
Victor A Nez Regueiro, instituto de arqueloga, Universidad Nacional de Tucumn
Marta R A Tartusi, instituto de arqueloga, Universidad Nacional de Tucumn
2.1 Introduccin
Los trabajos de prospeccin y excavacin realizados en El Pichao durante las
campaas de 1989 y 1990 han puesto en evidencia que la mayor parte de las estructuras
observadas corresponden al lapso temporal que transcurre desde el perodo de
Desarrollos Regionales (que comienza hacia el 1000 d C) hasta el momento de la caida
de Quilmes (1665). Sin embargo se han hallado elementos que permiten afirmar que los
comienzos de la ocupacin del espacio en ese lugar arrancan desde el perodo
Formativo, posiblemente entre el 200 al 450 d C.
En este trabajo efectuaremos una aproximacin preliminar al significado de la
presencia de esos elementos en el sitio, y a la problemtica general que se deriva de las
observaciones efectuadas hasta el momento.
2.2 La periodizacin del noroeste argentino
En trabajos anteriores uno de nosotros propuso una periodizacin del noroeste
argentino
7
sobre la cual se ha basado la terminologa utilizada en el informe sobre los
trabajos de excavacin en El Pichao de 1989.
8
En ese esquema, el perodo Formativo era
dividido en inferior, medio y superior, el segunda de los cuales estaba caracterizado por
la cultura Aguada.
Actualmente hemos introducido una modificacin conceptual y terminolgica, que
emplearemos en este trabajo, porque expresa sintticamente los principales cambios que
se registran en el desarollo de la regin Valliserrana.
Al trmino Formativo lo reservamos para el perodo que habiamos denominado
Formativo inferior, y utilizamos el de Integracin regional para los que antes llambamos

7
VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO, Conceptos instrumentales y marco terico en relacin al anlisis del
desarollo cultural del noroeste argentino. Revista del instituto de antropologa 5, Crdoba 1974, pp
169-170; VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO, Considerations on the periodization of Northwest
Argentina. Advances in Andean archaeology (ed D L Browman). The Hague 1978, pp 451-484.
8
SUSANA SJDIN, The traditional periodization and ceramic classification. El Pichao 1989. The first
report from the project Emergence and growth of centres. A case study in the Santa Mara Valley in
the Andes (prel version). (eds P Cornell & S Sjdin, Gothenburg University, Department of
archaeology, unpubl, Gteborg 1990), pp 11-13.
8
Formativo medio.
9
Sintticamante podemos decir que la razn de este cambio es que
consideramos que Aguada es el resultado de la conjuncin de dos sistemas provenientes
del Formativo. (...) uno de origen andino-altiplnico, basado en la domesticacin de
camlidos y el cultivo de la papa; otro, de origen en las tierras bajas y el piedemonte
oriental, basado en la agricultura del maz (...), y representa lo que podemos considerar
como un momento de integracin regional.
10
Esto ltimo ya habia sido planteado por
Lumbreras, quien al referirse al perodo que nos ocupa, dice: Parece ser un perodo de
integracin regional (...).
11

2.3 Problemas para la identificacin de sitios Formativos y de Integracin
regional
En muchos sitios arqueolgicos, la existencia de una cultura se ha inducido
bsicamente sobre la presencia de cermica y secundariamente, otros elementos, hallados
en superficie o en excavaciones, sin que se registren construcciones habitacionales. Las
excavaciones a las que hacemos referencia se han solido circunscribir a pruebas
estratigrficas y a tumbas. Un buen ejemplo para el noroeste Argentino lo constituye la
cultura Condorhuasi. Condorhuasi slo tiene contexto propio en tumbas, de ah que no
se pueda asociarlo a ningn tipo de patrn de instalacin ni a una determinada
economa.
12

Los sitios del Campo del Pucar (Dpto Andalgal, Provincia de Catamarca) slo son
reconocibles por la existencia de una serie de montculos que forman un anillo, a veces a
penas sobreelevado respecto al terreno circundante. En ocasiones los montculos,
adems de ser reconocibles por su forma, lo son por la existencia de algunas piedras que
afloran en superficie, indicando la presencia de las columnas de piedra que integran las
paredes de barro.
13

En los sitios de Campo del Pucar, que han sido descriptos como de Alamito o
Alumbrera por hallarse cerca de esas localidades, son caractersticas dos plataformas
rectangulares, de paredes de piedra, que afloran sobre el terreno, facilitando su
localizacin. Pero hay en esa zona, como excepcin, en el sector correspondiente a los
1900 msnm, sitios que carecen de esta modalidad, por hallarse las plataformas

9
La fundamentacin de este cambio se halla expuesta en VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO Y MARTA R A
TARTUSI, El rea Pedemontana y su significacin para el desarollo del noroeste argentino, en el
contexto sudamericano. Ponencia presentada en el 46
o
Congreso internacional de americanistas,
Amsterdam 1988; y en VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO Y MARTA R A TARTUSI, Aproximacin al
estudio del rea pedemontana de sudamrica. Cuadernos del instituto nacional de antropologa, 12.
Buenos Aires 1990.
10
VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO Y MARTA R A TARTUSI, op cit, 1988.
11
LUIS GUILLERMO LUMBRERAS, Arqueologa de la America Andina. Lima 1981, p 99.
12
MARTA M OTTONELLO Y ANA MARIA LORANDI, Introduccin a la arqueologa y etnologa. Diez
mil aos de historia argentina. Buenos Aires 1987.
13
VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO, The Alamito culture of Northwestern Argentina. American Antiquity,
35 (1970), pp 135-140; VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO, La cultura Alamito de la subrea Valliserrana
del noroeste argentino. Journal de la Socit des Amricanistes, 60 (1971), pp 7-64.
9
completamente cubiertas por sedimentos. Esto se repite en sitios existentes en la parte
meridional del Campo en las proximidades de Agua de las Palomas.
14

En el valle de Ambato resulta clara la existencia de una continuidad histrica y
cultural con el Campo del Pucar,
15
tanto a nivel ceramolgico (p ej la perduracin e
incremento de Alumbrera tricolor) como constructivo, donde perdura la tcnica de
paredes de barro con columnas de piedra. Es decir, subsiste en el perodo de Integracin
regional, manifestado en Ambato, el problema de la dificultad de reconocimiento de
muchas estructuras.
La dificultad, e incluso, la imposibilidad de reconocimiento de construcciones de los
perodos Formativo y de Integracin regional vara considerablemente segn las zonas,
de acuerdo a la forma en que han operado a lo largo del tiempo los factores naturales, en
especial la sedimentacin, la erosin y la cubierta vegetal.
A los procesos naturales mencionados deben sumarse los factores antrpicos. Las
poblaciones instaladas en las zonas donde existen sitios arqueolgicos, como es el caso
de El Pichao, frecuentemente destruyen recintos prehispnicos con el objeto de utilizar el
material de las pircas o paredes de piedra, para edificar viviendas, cercos y corrales.
Otras construcciones, como los antiguos andenes, son reutilizadas y adaptadas a las
necesidades que tienen actualmente los habitantes de la zona.
Este proceso de destruccin parcial o total de las ruinas arqueolgicas, o de
modificacin impuesta por la necesidad de adaptacin a nuevos usos, no se halla
restringido a la actualidad.
En los sitios arqueolgicos que han sido ocupados durante largos perodos, es normal
que la construccin de nuevas estructuras, o la modificacin o reparacin de estructuras
en uso, hayan ido alterando las construcciones antiguas. Incluso, la necesidad de
readaptar el espacio a las nuevas necesidades sociales, y la conveniencia que implica el
ahorro de energa, pueden hacer desaparecer por completo las obras anteriormente
realizadas. La reutilizacin de la piedra de construcciones en desuso para le edificacin
de nuevas obras, significa un importante ahorro de tiempo y esfuerzo, mximo cuando la
materia prima ha sido escogida o preparada especialmente, como ocurre con las piedras
canteadas. Esto hace que, tal como sucede con las glaciaciones, sea ms fcil estudiar un
fenmeno caunto ms reciente es, debido a que cada nuevo acontecimiento borra,
aunque sea parcialmente, los rastros dejados por el anterior. Cuanto ms nos alejamos en
el tiempo, ms dificil resulta hallar evidencias que nos permitan reconstruir el pasado.
El espacio que ocupaban los sitios del Campo del Pucar, una vez abandonado, no ha
vuelto a ser utilizado por poblaciones prehispnicas posteriores. Lo mismo ocurre en el
valle de Ambato con los sitios del perodo de Integracin regional. En un yacimiento
como el de El Pichao, que manifiesta una continuidad temporal desde el Formativo hasta
el perodo Hispano-Indgena, a los factores de perturbacin naturales se le han sumado
los procesos antrpicos producidos por una intensa y temporalmente larga ocupacin del
espacio.
Todo esto hace que, hasta el momento, sean los artefactos (de piedra y de cermica)
los nicos indicios que disponemos para detectar la presencia de entidades

14
ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ & VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO, Apuntes preliminares sobre la
arqueologa del Campo del Pucar y alrededores (Dpto Andalgal, Pcia Catamarca). Anales de
Arqueologa y Etnologa, 14-15, (Mendoza 1960), pp 115-162.
15
VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO, El problema de la periodificacin en arqueologa. Actualidad
antropolgica, 16 (Olavarra 1975), pp 1-20; JOS A PEREZ & OSVALDO R HEREDIA,
Investigaciones arqueolgicas en el Departamento Ambato, provincia de Catamarca. Relaciones de
la sociedad argentina de antropologa, 9 (Buenos Aires 1975), pp 59-68; VICTOR NEZ
REGUEIRO & MARTA R A TARTUSI, Aproximacin al estudio del arte Predemontana de
Sudamrica. Cuadernos del instituto nacional de antropologa, 12 (Buenos Aires 1990).
10
socioculturales anteriores al perodo de Desarollos regionales en El Pichao. Decimos
hasta el momento, porque se han constatado superposicin de estructuras en algunas
trincheras y pozos de exploracin, que abren nuevas perspectivas en este sentido, a nivel
de excavacin.
2.4 Ocupacin del espacio en El Pichao
2.4.1El perodo Formativo en El Pichao
La posibilidad de hallar en El Pichao vestigios de la ocupacin del espacio desde el
Formativo habia sido prevista sobre la base del anlisis bibliogrfico. Quiroga describe
un (...) dolo 298, de piedra, de Colalao del Valle, que es un almirez [mortero] en su
forma, teniendo en la parte de sujetarlo para moler, la cara de un animal extrao.
16
A
este objeto, que por la descripcin debe corresponder al Formativo, lo compara con
otros, similares segn el, provenientes de otros lugares de la provincia de Tucumn
(Amaicha, Taf) y de las provincias de Catamarca y Salta.
La prueba de la presencia de entidades formativas en la zona de El Pichao la
constituyen: un recipiente de andesita, hallado a aproximadamente a un kilmetro al
oeste de la localidad de Colalao del Valle por un poblador de la zona; y dos fragmentos
de recipientes similares, tambin encontrados en superficie por habitantes del lugar. A
uno de ellos se lo localiz en el Sector II de El Pichao, en las proximidades de la actual
cancha de ftbol construda en pleno yacimiento; al otro. cerca del puente Dr Arturo
Illia, emplazado sobre la ruta que une al El Pichao con Colalao del Valle.
La tcnica de percusin sin pulimentacin utilizada para construir los recipientes, la
forma, el tamao, y en el caso del ejemplar hallado completo, la decoracin, no dejan
dudas acerca de su filiacin cultural.
En sitios de Campo del Pucar, pertenecientes a la cultura Alamito-Condorhuasi, se
han ahllado ejemplares en un todo parecidos a los que aqu mencionamos, tanto en sitios
correspondientes a la Fase I de esa cultura (200-350 d C) como a la Fase II (350-450 d
C).
17
Los ejemplares del Campo del Pucar se hallaron en asociacin con reas
ceremoniales y de trabajo (cobertizos), nunca dentro de habitaciones; en un caso,
como ajuar fnebre en un entierro directo de adulto correspondiente a la Fase II.
18

Adems de esos recipientes, se han hallado en El Pichao algunos fragmentos de
cermica gris pulida, sin decoracin, o decorada con lneas incisas finas y paralelas que
forman a veces parte de elementos decorativos con sombreado zonal (zoned hachure),
que corresponden a tipos caractersticos del Formativo. Por su factura y decoracin
podran ubicarse dentro del conjunto de tipos cermicos que tradicionalmente han sido
reconocidos como Cinaga.

16
ADN QUIROGA, Antigedades Calchaques. La coleccin de Zavaleta. Boletn del Instituto
Geogrfico Argentino, 17 (Buenos Aires 1896), p 27.
17
VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO, La cultura Alamito de la subrea Valliserrana del noroeste argentino.
Journal de la Socit des Amricanistes, 60 (1971), pp 7-64.
18
Este recipiente figura como mortero en VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO, Excavaciones arqueolgicas en
la unidad D-1 de los yacimientos de Alumbrera (1964) (Zona de El Alamito), Dpto Andalgal, Pcia
de Catamarca, Repblica Argentina. Anales de Arqueloga y Etnologa 24-25 (Mendoza 1971), pp
33-76.
11
Los fragmentos mencionados han sido obtenidos en recolecciones de superficie,
especialmente en el sector I, y en excavaciones, como las realizadas en la unidad 6 de
dicho sector (ver informe en esta obra). Su frecuencia es muy reducida; en la unidad 6 y
en las recolecciones de superficie adyacentes a la misma, el porcentaje de los fragmentos
gris pulido sobre el total de la muestra vara entre 0.97 y 2.74; y el de los incisos entre
0.30 y 0.93.
En las excavaciones de la unidad 4 del sector I fue hallado un fragmento de tubo de
pipa de cermica gris pulida.
No se han ubicado estructuras que puedan adscribirse al perodo que estamos
tratando.
2.4.2 El perodo de Integracin regional en El Pichao
En recolecciones de superficie efectuadas en El Pichao especialmente en el sector I,
han aparecido fragmentos de cermica Aguada, tanto pintados como grabados, aunque
en muy bajas proporciones. Estilsticamente comparten rasgos caractersticos de la
cermica Aguada que Gonzlez ha denominado del Sector Septentrional
19
o Aguada
sensu stricto.
20
Al igual que en el caso del Formativo, no se han hallado aqu estructuras
que puedan identificarse con el perodo que nos ocupa.
Debemos tener en cuenta las observaciones que hemos apuntado anteriormente,
respecto a las dificultades que entraa la localizacin de sitios correspondientes tanto al
perodo Formativo como al de Integracin regional.
La presencia de cermica Aguada en El Pichao hace que debamos incluir a este sitio
dentro de la problemtica general que Aguada representa para la arqueologa del
noroeste Argentino.
A este respecto cabe sealar que al hablar de Aguada, no hemos utilizado el trmino
cultura por cuanto consideramos que (...) Aguada no es una cultura que se implanta
sobre una rea extensa, sino la manifestacin de una integracin regional resultando de la
interaccin de culturas del Formativo (...) de distinto origen, que alcanza a tener un
denominador comn a nivel de superestructura.
21

2.5 El significado de la ocupacin del espacio para el anlisis de la
problemtica Aguada
La distribucin de Aguada, tomando como base la bibliografa disponible, los
materiales existentes en el Instituto de arqueloga de la UNT, y las prospecciones que
hemos realizado, abarca en Argentina desde el Departamento Cachi (Pcia de Salta) al

19
ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ, Arte Precolombino de Argentina. Introduccin a su historia cultural.
Buenos Aires 1977.
20
ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ, Las poblaciones autctonas de Argentina. Races Argentinas 3-4.
Crdoba 1982.
21
VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO Y MARTA R A TARTUSI, El area Pedemontana y su significacin para
el desarollo del noroeste argentino, en el contexto sudamericano. Ponencia presentada en el 46
o
Congreso internacional de americanistas, Amsterdam 1988.
12
norte, hasta el norte de la Provincia de San Juan, por el sur (ver mapa de la Figura
2:1).
22
Berenguer publica la descripcin de un cesto campanuliforme bordado y una
figurilla femina de madera, que atribuye a Aguada, provenientes de Coyo Oriente, en la
zona de San Pedro de Atacama (Norte de Chile) [1].
23
Esto, segn ese autor lo seala,
extendera la presencia de Aguada hasta esa zona, tal como haba sido enunciado por
Gonzlez.
24

En los valles y quebradas ocupados por la tradicin Taf (valles de Taf y la Cinaga,
y Quebrada del Portugus; Pcia de Tucumn)
25
que de acuerdo a las dataciones
radiocarbnicas se desarolla desde el siglo IV a C
26
hasta el siglo IX d C.
27
Resulta clara
la interrelacin de Taf con la tradicin Candelaria a lo largo de toda la secuencia. Sin
embargo, no se ha registrado aqu la presencia de Aguada.
Aguada se halla presente en el sector tucumano del valle de Santa Mara en sitios
que, como El Pichao [15], se ubican en el borde oriental de las sierras del Cajn o de
Quilmes [14 a 16], y se extiende hacia la ladera occidental de las Cumbres Calchaques,
llegando a la zona de Amaicha [17]. Aparentemente no traspone las cumbres hacia los
valles ocupados por Taf, como podra haberlo hecho por las abras del Infiernillo y de las
Animas. El paso utilizado para llegar a la zona de San Pedro de Colalao [13] debi ser
un poco ms al norte (Figura 2:1).
En la zona del piedemonte oriental y la llanura adyascente que corre desde San Pedro
de Colalao hasta el Departamento Alberdi, no se han registrado sitios Aguada, sino solo
Candelaria. A partir de Alberdi, Aguada contina distribuyndose hacia el sur [25 a 29].

22
Los sitios identificados como Aguada por la presencia de cermica se indican con un crculo relleno;
los identificados por arte rupestre, son una U invertida sobre un crculo relleno; el identificado por
fragmentos cermicos y objetos no cermicos, fuera de Argentina, por un crculo relleno inscripto en
un cuadrado.
En este mapa se corrige la ubicacin de algunos sitios mal registrados en la Foto 2 de RODOLFO
RAFFINO et al, La expansin septentrional de la cultura La Aguada en el N O argentino.
Cuadernos del Instituto Nacional de antropologa, 9 (Buenos Aires 1982), pp 7-35; y el mapa II,
figura 3.4 de RODOLFO RAFFINO, Poblaciones indgenas en Argentina, urbanismo y proceso social
precolombino. Buenos Aires 1988, como el de Molino del Pusto, que se halla situado a 2 km al norte
de Santa Mara (Pcia de Catamarca), EDUARDO MARIO CIGLIANO et al, Molino del Puesto.
Investigaciones arqueolgicas en el valle de Santa Mara. Instituto de antropologa, publicacin 4,
Rosario 1960, pp 11-119; y en los mapas de Raffino se lo ubica al norte de El Pichao (Pcia de
Tucumn). Adems, se han agregado nuevos sitios.
Para faciltiar su ubicacin en el mapa, en el texto, cuando se cita un sitio, se le coloca a continuacin,
entre corchetas [], el nmero que le corresponde en el mapa.
23
JOS BERENGUER R, Hallazgos la Aguada en San Pedro de Atacama, Norte de Chile. Gaceta
Arqueolgica Andina 12 (Lima 1988), pp 12-14.
24
ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ, Las tradiciones alfareras del Perodo Temprano del N O argentino y sus
relaciones con las de las reas aledaas. Anales de la universidad del Norte 2 (Santiago 1963), pp
49-65; La cultura de la Aguada el N O argentino. Revista del instituto de antropologa, 2-3
(Crdoba 1964), pp 205-253; ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ & JOS ANTONIO PREZ, Argentina
indgena, vsperas de la conquista. Buenos Aires 1972.
25
ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ & VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO, Preliminary report on archaeological
research in Taf del Valle, N W Argentina. Akten des 34 Internationalen Amerikanistenkongresses.
Wien 1960, pp 485-496; MARA T BERNASCONI DE GARCA & ANA NLIDA BARAZA DE FONTS,
Estudio arqueolgico del Valle de la Cinaga (departamento de Taf, Provincia de Tucumn).
Anales de arqueologa y etnologa 35-37 (Mendoza 1985), pp 117-138.
26
ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ, Nuevas fechas de la cronologa argentina obtenida por el mtodo del
radiocarbn (V). Revista del instituto de antropologa 2-3 (Crdoba 1965), pp 289-297, pp 290-
292.
27
EDUARDO BERBERIAN et al, Sistemas de asentamientos prehispnicos en el valle de Taf. Crdoba
1988, pp 15-17.
13
Los valles de Taf y de la Cinaga, y la Quebrada del Portugus, la va ms fcil de
acceso a la llanura tucumana desde el valle de Taf, constituyen un hiato geogrfico que
nos est marcando una clara frontera a nivel de interaccin cultural.
El tema de la existencia de fronteras tiene como complemento espacial el de la
territorialidad. Si existen fronteras de interaccin es porque existen territorios o espacios
no compartidos, claramente definidos.
Si nos remitimos al mapa de la Figura 2:1, observamos que hay dos grupos de arte
rupestre identificables como Aguada por los elementos representados. Uno se halla
marcando el extremo norte de la distribucin de Aguada en Argentina; el otro, marcanda
el borde sudoriental de la misma. El primero de los grupos nombrados [2] lo constituyen
petroglifos, an inditos, localizados en el valle Calchaqu, en el sitio SSalCac 69, El
Diablo,
28
que hemos tenido oportunidad de relevar; el otro [46, 47], ya conocido a
travs de la bibliografa, es el de las pictografas de la Sierra de Ancasti.
29

Aparte de su posible significado mgico-religioso, las manifestaciones de arte
rupestre de Aguada podran tener sentido a nivel de territorialidad, como expresin de
una organizacin socio-politica ms compleja y estructurada de lo que habamos
previsto. Gonzlez haba sealado con claridad, refirindose a Aguada, que:
El sistema de simple organizacin tribal, pudo estar superado aqu por el del seoro o reunin de
un cierto nmero de tribus bajo una sola autoridad.
30

Tal vez Aguada haya constituido un verdadero seoro originado por la dinmica de
interaccin entre Alamito-Condorhuasi y Cinaga, que dio como resultado la integracin
de los dos sistemas socioeconmicos y culturales a los que hicimos referencia con
anterioridad. La religin habra actuado como elemento aglutinador a nivel de
superestructura, sobre pueblos de origen distinto, confirindose cierta homogeneidad
reflejada en los aspectos iconogrficos y religiosos. No resulta dificil pensar que en estas
circunstancias, la existencia de fronteras como la que representaba la tradicin Taf con
la conjuncin de Candelaria, hubiera sido un elemento positivo para la consolidacin de
la centralizacin de la autoridad en Aguada.
La ocupacin del espacio por parte de Aguada nos lleva, tomando en cuenta tambin
otros indicadores, a reforzar la idea de la complejidad del perodo de Integracin
regional.
Los sitios Aguada se ubican generalmente en los valles del noroeste, entre los 1000 y
3000 m s n m, y con menor frecuencia en el piedemonte oriental y la llanura prxima.
Estos ltimos [25 a 29, 40 a 48, 90 a 96] forman como una angosta y larga frontera
oriental, ecolgicamente diferenciada en forma clara de las restantes zonas de ocupacin.
La mayor parte del rea ocupada por Aguada se manifiesta como un espacio bastante
continuo, a excepcin de un sitio que queda aislado y en altitud extrema, en la Puna, en
las proximidades del Salar de Antofagasta [101], por encima de los 4000 m s n m. La
distribucin de sitios Aguada ocupando lugares tan distintos, est indicando la existencia
de asentamientos ubicados en diferentes ambientes ecolgicos, en funcin de la explota-

28
PIO PABLO DIAZ, Arte rupestre en Valle Arriba. Estudios de arqueologa 3-4 (Salta 1983), pp 9-25.
29
NICOLS DE LA FUENTE & ADN ROBERTO DIAZ MORENO, Algunos motivos del arte rupestre de
la zona de Ancasti (provincia de Catamarca). Miscelnea de arte rupestre de la Repblica Argentina
(ed Lidia C Alfaro de Lanzone et al). Monografas de arte rupestre, arte americano 1. Barcelona
1979, pp 37-59; NICOLS DE LA FUENTEet al, Nuevos motivos de arte rupestre en la sierra de
Ancasti, provincia de Catamarca. Dos objetos de metal prehispnicos del valle de Catamarca..
Universidad nacional de Catamarca, Departamento de educacin. Catamarca 1982, pp 13-45.
30
ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ, Arte precolombina de la Argentina, introduccin a su historia cultural.
Buenos Aires 1977, p 179.
14
cin de recursos especficos. Pensamos que el intercambio y los principios fundamentales
de la organizacin socio-econmica de las sociedades andinas (...) la reciprocidad, la
redistribucin y el control vertical de la ecologa
31
, son mecanismos cuyo estudio
debe profundizarse para poder comprender en forma integral la problemtica Aguada.
Estos mecanismos deben haber funcionado, en Aguada, sobre la base de una red mucho
ms compleja que la que oper en el perodo anterior, desempeando un papel de gran
importancia el trfico caravanero, cuyo desarollo debe buscarse desde el Formativo, y
cuya importancia para las sociedades prehispnicas han sido sealadas con claridad por
arquelogos chilenos.
Obras citadas
ALBERTI, GIORGIO & ENRIQUE MAYER, Reciprocidad andina: ayer y hoy. Reciprocidad e
intercambio en los Andes peruanos (eds G Alberti & E Mayer). Instituto de estudios peruanos. Lima
1974, pp 13-33.
BERBERIAN, EDUARDO et al, Sistemas de asentamientos prehispnicos en el valle de Taf. Crdoba
1988, pp 15-17.
BERENGUER R, JOS, Hallazgos la Aguada en San Pedro de Atacama, Norte de Chile. Gaceta
Arqueolgica Andina, 12 (Lima 1988), pp 12-14.
BERNASCONI DE GARCA, MARA T & ANA NLIDA BARAZA DE FONTS, Estudio arqueolgico del
Valle de la Cinaga (Departamento de Taf, Provincia de Tucumn). Anales de arqueologa y
etnologa 36-37, (Mendoza 1985), pp 117-138.
CIGLIANO, EDUARDO MARIO et al, Molino del Puesto. Investigaciones arqueolgicas en el valle de
Santa Mara. Instituto de antropologa, publicacin 4, (Rosario 1960), pp 111-119.
DE LA FUENTE, NICOLS & ADN ROBERTO DIAZ MORENO, Algunos motivos del arte rupestre de
la zona de Ancasti (Provincia de Catamarca). Miscelnea de arte rupestre de la Repblica
Argentina (eds L C Alfaro de Lanzone et al). Monografas de arte rupestre, arte americano 1.
Barcelona 1979, pp 37-59.
DE LA FUENTE, NICOLS et al, Nuevos motivos de arte rupestre en la sierra de Ancasti, provincia de
Catamarca. Dos objetos de metal prehispnicos del valle de Catamarca.. Universidad nacional de
Catamarca, Departamento de educacin. Catamarca 1982, pp 13-45.
DIAZ, PIO PABLO, Arte rupestre en Valle Arriba. Estudios de arqueologa, 3-4 (Salta 1983), pp 9-25.
GONZLEZ, ALBERTO REX, Las tradiciones alfareras del Perodo Temprano del N O argentino y sus
relaciones con las de las reas aledaas. Anales de la universidad del Norte, 2 (Santiago 1963), pp
49-65.
GONZLEZ, ALBERTO REX, La cultura de la Aguada el N O argentino. Revista del instituto de
antropologa, 2-3 (Crdoba 1964), pp 205-253.
GONZLEZ, ALBERTO REX, Nuevas fechas de la cronologa argentina obtenida por el mtodo del
radiocarbn (V). Revista del instituto de antropologa, 2-3 (Crdoba 1965), pp 289-297.
GONZLEZ, ALBERTO REX, Arte Precolombina de Argentina. Introduccin a su historia cultural.
Buenos Aires 1977.
GONZLEZ, ALBERTO REX, Las poblaciones autctonas de Argentina. Races Argentinas, 3-4.
Crdoba 1982.
GONZLEZ, ALBERTO REX & VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO, Apuntes preliminares sobre la
arqueologa del Campo del Pucar y alrededores (Dpto Andalgal, Pcia Catamarca). Anales de
Arqueologa y Etnologa, 14-15, (Mendoza 1960), pp 115-162.
GONZLEZ, ALBERTO REX & VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO, Preliminary report on archaeological
research in Taf del Valle, N W Argentina. Akten des 34 Internationalen Amerikanistenkongresses.
Wien 1960, pp 485-496.

31
GIORGIO ALBERTI & ENRIQUE MAYER, Reciprocidad andina: ayer y hoy. Reciprocidad e
intercambio en los Andes peruanos (eds Giorgio Alberti & Enrique Mayer). Instituto de estudios
peruanos. Lima 1974, pp 13-33, p 15.
15
GONZLEZ, ALBERTO REX & JOS ANTONIO PREZ, Argentina indgena, vsperas de la conquista.
Buenos Aires 1972.
LUMBRERAS, LUIS GUILLERMO, Arqueologa de la America Andina. Lima 1981.
NEZ REGUEIRO, VICTOR, The Alamito culture of Northwestern Argentina. American Antiquity,
35 (1970), pp 135-140.
NEZ REGUEIRO, VICTOR, La cultura Alamito de la subrea Valliserrana del noroeste argentino.
Journal de la Socit des Amricanistes, 60 (Paris 1971), pp 7-64.
NEZ REGUEIRO, VICTOR, Excavaciones arqueolgicas en la unidad D-1 de los yacimientos de
Alumbrera (1964) (Zona de El Alamito), Dpto Andalgal, Pcia de Catamarca, Repblica
Argentina. Anales de Arqueloga y Etnologa 24-25, (Mendoza 1971), pp 33-76.
NEZ REGUEIRO, VICTOR, Conceptos instrumentales y marco terico en relacin al anlisis del
desarollo cultural del Noroeste argentino. Revista del instituto de antropologia , 5, (Crdoba 1974),
pp 169-170.
NEZ REGUEIRO, VICTOR, El problema de la periodificacin en arqueologa. Actualidad
antropolgica, 16 (Olavarra 1975), pp 1-20.
NEZ REGUEIRO, VICTOR, Considerations on the periodization of Northwest Argentina. Advances
in Andean archaeology (ed D L Browman). The Hague 1978, pp 451-484.
NEZ REGUEIRO, VICTOR & MARTA R A TARTUSI, El rea Pedemontana y su significacin para el
desarollo del Noroeste argentino, en el contexto sudamericano. Ponencia presentada en el 46
o
Congreso internacional de americanistas, Amsterdam 1988.
NEZ REGUEIRO, VICTOR & MARTA R A TARTUSI, Aproximacin al estudio del rea
Pedemontana de Sudamrica. Cuadernos del Instituto nacional de antropologa, 12 (Buenos Aires
1990).
OTTONELLO, MARTA M & ANA MARIA LORANDI, Introduccin a la arqueologa y etnologa. Diez
mil aos de historia argentina. Buenos Aires 1987.
PEREZ, JOS A & OSVALDO R HEREDIA, Investigaciones arqueolgicas en el Departamento Ambato,
provincia de Catamarca. Relaciones de la Sociedad argentina de antropologa, 9 (Buenos Aires
1975), pp 59-68.
QUIROGA, ADN, Antigedades Calchaques. La coleccin de Zavaleta. Boletn del Instituto
Geogrfico Argentino 17 (Buenos Aires 1896).
RAFFINO, RODOLFO A, Poblaciones indgenas en Argentina, urbanismo y proceso social
precolombino. Buenos Aires 1988.
RAFFINO, RODOLFO A et al, La expansin septentrional de la cultura La Aguada en el N O
argentino. Cuadernos del Instituto Nacional de antropologa, 9 (Buenos Aires 1982), pp 7-35.
SJDIN, SUSANA, The traditional periodization and ceramic classification. El Pichao 1989. The first
report from the project Emergence and growth of centres. A case study in the Santa Mara Valley in
the Andes (eds P Cornell & S Sjdin, University of Gothenburg, Gteborg 1990, prel version), pp
11-13.
17
3. Unit 1 as a household and the 1990 excavations in
structure 3
Per Cornell, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
3.1 Unit 1
Unit 1 is situated in sector III. The unit consists of a large structure measuring
approx. 28 x 21 m, and some smaller structures linked to the large one. The ceramic
material may, on stylistic grounds, and related to the traditional Argentinian ceramic
chronology, date the structure to somewhere between 1300 and 1550 A.D.
The relative age of the different structures cannot be estimated at present. I will,
however, presuppose that, at least during some phase, all the structures has had some
contemporaneous use. In the following I will try to describe the different structures and
try to trace the occupational history of each individual structure.
I will consider Unit 1 as a household. Before entering the description of the
archaeological material, I must therefore make a short discussion on the concept of
household.
3.2 What is a household?
3.2.1 The household as a general concept
At a closer look household is a quite complex term. As a general concept in
economic theory household is a unit within which a set of individuals is housed and fed,
and in which elders and children as well as the so-called active population is
integrated. Household activity is then contrasted to gainful activity, e. g. activities
aiming at a money income. Thus defined households have existed in many societies in
many different periods.
32

This thus should be a world of pure subsistence, and corresponding activities should
be production of food, production of necessary utensils, cooking, cleaning, and caring of
children and the sick. But even if many types of households may be said to have certain
basic subsistence functions that simply define the concept, they articulate in different
ways, and the existence of household with few elements of non-subsistence function
must be taken into consideration.

32
This is the definition used in many traditional textbooks on political economy of the type of Adam
Smith.
18
The quoted general definition of household was, however, used by Marshall Sahlins
in his work Stone age economics, in the discussion on the Domestic mode of production
(DMP). According to Sahlins, households is the original type of social organisation.
These units were autonomous and produced themselves the main part of the products
necessary for survival. Further, Sahlins described these units in the words of Chayanov, a
Russian neo-classical (formalist) economist: each household strives to minimize the work
for each member. If the working power of a household is enlarged, this enlargement is
used to lower the amount of work of each member, not to intensify production. And
such units avoid socio-political organisation, they flee. Thus Sahlins tries to find
exclusively political factors as provoking structural change.
33

Claude Meillasoux has a similar approach. He uses a term similar to that of Sahlins,
and describes the household as a unit of reproduction. By this he means that the
household strives to feed and care for its active members, the elders and the children,
and that this is the function of the household. According to Meillasoux, working with
West African examples, the political development thus took place outside the
households.
34
Like Emmanuel Terray,
35
Meillasoux sees the state apparatus as an
external phenomenon, based mainly on slavery. The slave has the advantage, from the
slave-owner's point of view, not to be integrated in a household, thus only one active
person must be fed, instead of a whole household unit.
36

These definitions of the household are basically similar to the concept of an asiatic
mode of production, as envisaged by Ferenc Tkey. Ferenc Tkey, an Hungarian
sinologist, departed from Karl Marx' old Asiatic mode of production thesis. He states
that the Asiatic societies have a stagnant character. The character of these societies is
such that autonomous peasant villages co-exist with a state that is purely political in
character, a state that does not engage itself in production. The villages are autonomous
and self-sufficient in their internal organisation, only subject to taxation by the state
according to Tkey. The stagnation is due to the lack of interest of the state in direct
production, coupled with the small interest peasants show in expanding their production,
knowing that all their surplus will be taxed away, writes Tkey.
37

The concept of the redistributive state as envisaged by Karl Polanyi partly followed
the same lines, but it stressed the state involvement at the level of distribution.
38
In the
evolutionary sequence of Richard Thurnwald, which was a point of departure for
Polanyi, the all-embracing redistributive state is seen as the last phase in a sequence
initiated by nomadic tribes that established a state and ruled over agricultural groups.
39
I
doubt that this ideal state has ever existed, and if so only in some few isolated cases.
Redistributive feasts obviously have been important,
40
and in some situations food has
been redistributed in connection with catastrophies. However, the extent of this last

33
MARSHALL SAHLINS, Stone age economics. New York 1972.
34
CLAUDE MEILLASOUX, Maidens, meal and money (1975). Cambridge 1988.
35
Cf. EMMANUELTERRAY, La captivit dans le royaume abron du Gyaman. L'esclavage en Afrique
prcoloniale (Claude Meillasoux, ed.). Paris 1975, pp. 384-453 and EMMANUEL TERRAY Gold
production, slave labor, and state intervention in precolonial Akan societies: a reply to Raymond
Dummett. Research in economic anthropology, vol. 5, Greenwich, Conn., 1983, pp. 95-129.
36
CLAUDE MEILLASOUX, Anthropologie de l'esclavage. Le ventre de fer et d'argent. Paris 1986.
37
FERENC TKEY, Essays on the asiatic mode of production (1960). Budapest 1979.
38
KARL POLANYI, The great transformation, New York 1944.
39
RICHARD THURNWALD, Die menscliche Gesellschaft, 3: Werden, Wandel und gestaltung der
wirtschaft. Berlin 1932.
40
Craig Morriss has stressed this point in relation to Inca economy at Hunuco Pampa, cf CRAIG
MORRIS, The infrastructure of Inka control in the Peruvian central highlands. The Inca and Aztec
states 1400-1800, New York 1982, pp. 153-171.
19
phenomenon is not clear. It is interesting that Bronislaw Malinowski in the Argonauts of
the western pacific wrote that food was plenty at the Trobriands and that part of it was
let to rot, while he later in Coral Gardens and their magic writes that hunger
catastrophies were far from rare and that the headmen and their relatives survived better
than others in such connection, since they had more food stored.
41

A more interesting approach in the study of the early state, especially the Andean, is
that of John V Murra.
42
Murra considers the conscription of members of households, or
whole households, to have been the backbone of the Inca empire. He has also discussed
the use of, and occupations in, different natural zones, and its relation to conscript
labour. Still our knowledge is very partial and subject to intensive debate. However, If
we provisionally accept the thesis of Murra as a fiction or model of the early Andean
state, at least as a highland model, we may approach the problem of the household in a
fresh manner. The household was conscribed in relation to its specific characteristics.
Then, perhaps, we may begin to understand the dialectics of this relationship.
The outlined theoretical perspectives, however, all lack a more detailed attempt at
studying the dialectics between household units and political systems, for example the
state. Instead, state and household are considered to be autonomous, or the state is
considered an all-embracing phenomenon. I will follow another line, and try to
distinguish between different types of households, their specific character, and their
interrelations. This is a necessary pre-requisite for understanding the relation of
households to the emerging states.
3.2.2 Household variation
I cannot make any substantial theoretical discussion on the household in this report.
However, I will make some basic statements that will be used as a basis for future work.
A. A household may consist of a nuclear family, but some sort of extended family is
as common as the nuclear family group. However, I think it is useful to make a dividing
line between societies in which the household level is only one of several groupings, and
societies in which the household is the basic institution. Then both modern industrial
society and societies like that of the hunting-gathering-harvesting Paviotso fall into the
first category.
43
Most peasant societies seem to belong to the latter more limited
category. Of course, all societies have a multitude of groupings in which the individuals
are integrated, but in many peasant societies the household is not only the frame for most
domestic work, but the locus for various fields of production and trade. Thus, we
immediately go beyond the traditional and general definition of household. I propose
the classical sequence from a communal organization toward a more strictly organized

41
BRONISLAW MALINOWSKI, Argonauts in the western pacific. London 1922, p. 173, BRONISLAW
MALINOWSKI, Coral Gardens and their magic, 1: The description of gardening. London 1935, pp.
160-164.
42
JOHN V MURRA, The economic organization of the Inka state. (1955) Greenwich, Conn. 1980, JOHN
V MURRA, The Mit'a obligations of ethnic groups to the Inca state. The Inca and Aztec states
1400-1800, New York 1982, pp. 237-262, J V MURRA, La guerre et les rbellions dans l'expansion
de l'tat Inka, Annales 33 (1978), pp.927-935, JOHN V MURRA, Formaciones econmicas y
politicas del mundo andino. Lima 1975.
43
See JULIAN STEWARD,The Owens Valley Paiute. University of California publications in American
archaeology and ethnology,33:3, Berkeley 1932-34.
20
household. The well-known cases of the Iroqois and the Huron may then constitute
examples of transition from the first type to the second.
44

B. All types of households of the latter category manifestly have some basic tasks in
common. This is a major analytical problem. In Sahlins DMP the subsistence activities
(production of food) is included as well as a series of home duties beyond subsistence,
such as cooking, cleaning, child caring and so on. I propose to separate these latter tasks
as an analytical unit. This is of course an etic conceptualization, as called by US-
American anthropologists. It is not probable that the households we discuss made such a
division themselves. However, I think that this is a useful concept, especially in
archaeology, as I demonstrate below. Thus, I contend that we may define a work of the
home aspect of the household as separated from the other aspects.
Archaeologically it might turn out difficult to see the difference of home work
remains from a household and from other types of living quarters, such as barracks for
slaves or other types of forced work, such as the aqqlakuna in the Inka empire, or
barracks for warriors or simply temporary dwellings.
45
Interpretations must in such cases
rely largely on context, especially the scale and form of architecture.
C. For households of the latter of the two categories mentioned above under A, I
tentatively discern four distinct basic forms according to economic function.
a. The typical household. An automous unit, characterized as a DMP in the
writings of Sahlins and Meillasoux.
b. Households similar to type a, which are completely dependent by force on state,
landowners or comparable groups, and that organize their production according to this
dependency.
c. Households similar to type a in which there exists a secondary activity that goes
beyond the scope of a typical DMP.
d. Specialized households, in which the whole range of household activities has been
restricted by a specialized activity with a relatively advanced means of production.
Typical examples are hunterers with large scale trap systems or with guns. These
households necessarily relate to other groups and cannot survive in isolation. The
Newfoundland population, as discussed by the anthropologist Gerald Sider, may be an
example of this type of households.
46

D. Households may also be differentiated according to their social status. Social
status is archaeologically identified as the relative possession of certain objects which
give or demonstrate status of the possessor.
E. The remaining part of this chapter will be dedicated to the identification of
household units in the archaeological material and to the home-work part of the

44
On the Iroqois cf the well-known study, LEWIS H MORGAN, The league of the Ho de nau s. On the
Huron cf. BRUCE G TRIGGER, The children of Ataentsic. A history of the Huron people to 1660.
Toronto 1976. ADAM KUPER, The invention of primitive society, London 1988, completely rejects
the works of Morgan. While Morgan certainly has been superseded on most points, his description of
the Iroqois is still a valid contribution. Even if Morgan exaggerated and forced many societies into
the Iroqois mold, the Iroqois socio-economic organization still constitutes an interesting case. Kuper
contributes nothing new beyond the critique on Morgan of ROBERT H LOWIE, History of
ethnological theory. New York 1937. For a re-appraisal of the work of Morgan's on the Iroqois cf.
ELISABETH TOOKER, The league of the Iroqois, its history, politics and ritual. Handbook of Noth
American indians: Northeast (B G Trigger ed.), Washington 1978, pp. 418-441.
45
Cf. on aqqlakuna Craig Morris, L'tude archologique de lchange dans les Andes. Annales 33
(1978), pp. 936-947. For examples of slave barracks (Roman empire), cf. ANDREA CARANDINI &
SALVATORE SETTIS, Schiavi e padroni nell'Etruria romana: la villa de Settefinestre dallo scavo
alla mostra. Bari 1979, and for mentioning of warrior barracks (Zulu from Southern Africa) see
MAX GLUCKMAN , Custom and conflict in Africa (1956). Oxford 1973 p. 148.
46
GERALD SIDER, Culture and class, A Newfoundland illustration. New York 1986.
21
household activity, and the archaeological criteria for such activity. It must be stressed
that I will not be able to discuss the households activities beyond the spatial frame of the
housecomplex.
3.2.3 The spatial frame of the household
It is almost impossible to identify and separate household activities in the
archaeological material beyond the spatial frame of the household house group. Thus,
we will never be able to trace and follow all the household activities. What we may do is
to use the household housegroup as sample of household activities. However, this
sample will always be biased. It is probable that some important activities will never be
identified. To some extent we may get a better understanding through some sort of
reasoning based on the wider archaeological record from the period of the given
household house groups.
The spatial core of the household, the household house group, may be identified in
the archaeological record, in the El Pichao case, as recurrent patterns of small
assemblages of room structures. Each individual example of such recurrent pattern of
structure combination will be called a unit. As will appear from other contributions to
this report the El Pichao site is very complex, and contains several types of units.
47
And,
the picture gets even more complex through variations of unit combinations. In the
northeastern part of sector II and the northwestern part of sector III, the structures are
so densely packed that it is difficult to delineate units.
48

The unit discussed in this article has been called unit 1. It is situated in sector III, SE
of the area in which the structures are densely conglomerated. It is not difficult to
identify and separate this unit from its surroundings, even if it is evidently linked through
different wall systems to other units. Unit 1 was drawn in 1989 by Lisbet Bengtsson and
the drawing was revised by Susana Sjdin in 1990 (see Figure 3. 1).
The largest structure, called structure 1 is more or less rectangular in shape, and
about 28 x 21 m large. The walls are between 2 and 4 m wide, and of shell-wall type.
Structure 1 is directly connected to some smaller structures. Inside structure 1, a set of
constructional details may be noted. Raised stones are placed in rows three m from the
each of the parallel walls running from East to West. The entrance to structure 1 is
located on the SW longside, an opening one meter wide.
Structure 2, about 9 x 7 m large, is situated NW of structure 1. It is rectangular in
shape, with a slightly rounded corner to SW. The wall to the north is substantially wider
than the rest of the walls of this structure. The rest of the walls of this structure (as well
as the walls of structure 3 and the walls in Unit 2) are thin, often less than half a meter
wide. The entrance from structure 1 to structure 2 was easy to identify. It is situated in
SE. This seems to be the only entrance to structure 2.
In the NE corner of structure 1, structure 3 is situated. It is about 7 x 5 m large, and
is basically rectangular in shape, but slightly rounded in the corners and quite irregular.
The entrance to structure 3 seems to have been from structure 1, but the entrance is not
easy to identify.

47
I outlined four basic types in the El Pichao 1989 report.
48
Cf. the contribution of Per Stenborg, this volume. This densely packed area has been called Complex
A.
22
SE of structure 1 there is another set of three or four smaller structures, evidently
linked to structure 1 through the disposition of the walls (see Figure 3.1). These
structures were called Unit 2, though they, in my opinion, do belong to Unit 1. The
structures of Unit 2 creates a sort of enclosed space outside structure 1. In this enclosed
space some mortars in large rocks were encountered.
3.2.4 Remains of home work
If we wish to identify home work as defined above, which are the criteria for this in
the archaeological material? In NW Argentine Myriam Tarrag has adressed this issue,
but still no detailed treatment exist.
49
I will use paralell cases from other zones.
Stanley Stanish used several traits as criteria for household in his studies in the Atora
valley, Peru. Apart of the architectural units themselves he mentions several artefact
types: storage bins, hearths, mortars, fine and coarse ceramics, camelid bones, marine
shells, guinea pig bone and remains of vegetables.
50
One of these features as such cannot
be said to indicate household, it is their co-occurrence that allow interpretation. Apart of
the criteria mentioned by Stanish some more might be added. Refuse pits, for example,
might be an important indication.
I include mortars as a part of cooking, though it might be seen as a part of the actual
production of food. Criteria such as storage facilities and hearths are somewhat more
difficult. Interpretation of storage facilities is often quite tricky, and to discern kitchen
storage from other types of storage is not easy, we must rely heavily on scale. Hearths
may seem to be a quite straight-forward criteria, and has been reported from some sites
in NW Argentine.
51
However, hearths may be of several types, and their identification in
archaeological materials are by no means always straight-forward.
52

Unit 1
Unit 1 may, according to the above mentioned criteria, be said to be a household unit.
Apart of mortars in the superfice camelid bones, remains of vegetables, and coarse and
fine ceramics have been found in the trenches. Minor hearths, visible as slightly darker
portions of the earth were also identified in trench 15, in the small aggregated
semicircular structure 3. Further, in the same trench we found a hearth or refuse bin
consisting of ashes, charcoal, soot, burned stones bones and vegetable remains (a burnt
maize cob). According to the criteria used commonly in archaeology, Unit 1 might then
be called a household unit. I propose tentatively that the large open space was a general

49
MYRIAM NOEM TARRAG, Arqueologa del perodo de desarollos regionales en la regin
valliserrana central: Valle de Santa Mara. Segundo taller de arqueologia de la Universidad
Nacional de Catamarca, Catamarca (Catam.)1988, and personal communication.
50
STANLEY STANISH, op cit.
51
Cf. MYRIM NOEMI TARRAGO, Los asentaminetos aldeanos tempranos en el sctor septentrional
del Valle Calchaqu, Provincia de Salta, y el desarollo agricola posterior. Estudios arqueologicos, 5
(Chile) 1980, pp. 29-52.
52
Cf. for an interesting discussion on archaeological interpretation of hearths DANILE LAVALLE &
MICHLE JULIEN, Asto: curacazgo prehispnico de los Andes centrales (1973). Lima 1983, Cf also
K ANNE PYBURN, Maya cuisine: hearths and lowland economy. Prehistoric Maya economies of
Belize, Greenwich (Conn.) 1989, pp. 325-344, which describes and discusses diffulties in finding
hearths in the Maya area, Belize.
23
working area, and the smaller aggregated structures, at least structure 3, the actual
dwelling space.
3.3 Primeval use, changing patterns of use and abandonment
3.3.1 Deposits of labour processes through time
Here we will discuss the whole of the labour process of a household and its
depositions. Thus, the cultural formation processes as discussed by Michael Schiffer
53

will here be considered as labour processes. Primary deposition or secondary deposition
as well as de facto refuse are effects of labour processes, that must be understood. These
cannot be considered to be universal. The specific case of the site of El Pichao must be
studied. I will start with the interpretation of walls, floors, hearths and evident trash
dumps. I will try to categorize the layers according to the Harriss matrix principles.
54

From these basic data combined with dated items, TL-dated ceramics and possibly clay
on one hand, and carbon-14 dated carbon and bone on the other, I shall try to interpret
the archaeological material in the layers. When writing this I still have no laboratory
results at hand, so my discussion will be highly tentative.
3.3.2 Unit 1
Structure 3: habitation area
The interpretation of cultural layers in the light earth of El Pichao is difficult. The
differences in colour between the layers is small. When making the excavation in unit 1,
structure 3 we had little experience of this type of excavation in the area, and were under
stress, with little time at our disposal. Because of this, the excavation was made with
artifial layers, each layer more or less 10 cm thick. When we encountered some feature
the excavation was stopped for documentation, and the artefacts were collected and
registred with different subnumbers for the artificial layers. Thus, I have a registration
that more or less may be made to correspond to the cultural layers. However, the bottom
of floors were difficult to identify, and to some extent material immediately above the
surface of floors were collected jointly with the material from the actual floor surface.
However, I will use my somewhat approximated data.
The stratigraphy in structure 3, unit 1 may thus, as reconstructed, shortly be
described as follows. The excavated area was denominated trench 15 (see Figure 3.1).
55

Totally about 20 squares were excavated inside the structure, and some seven outside

53
MICHAEL B SCHIFFER, Formation processes in archaeology. New York 1987.
54
E C HARRISS, Principles of archaeological stratigraphy. London 1979. Cf. also F G FEDELE,
Towards an analytical stratigraphy: stratigraphic reasoning and excavation. Stratigraphica
archaeologica, 2, 1987, pp. 7-15.
55
The excavation was led by Per Cornell, Cecilia Ericson, Susana Sjdin and Per Stenborg. I am
indebted to to all participants for important advices and suggestions.
24
(see plan, Figure 3.2). The cultural layers were generally between 80 cm and 1 m deep.
The soil in the cultural layers was sandy silt with gravel and stones. The sterile level
below between 80 cm to 1 m had gravel and stones with sand.
25
Between the present surface and about 30 cm depth the material is supposed to have
been disturbed and partly accumulated by natural forces, above all running water.
56
Thus
this level will not be treated further here. At about 32-35 cm depth from today's surface
we found a possible floor, a more densely packed layer of earth. The thickness of the
floor was hard to establish. It was estimated at between 5 and 8 cm. Some relatively
large ceramic fragments in horisontal position were found on this packed layer. At the
surface of the thick layer some dark concentrations were found, probably small hearths
(squares X,X). At about 54-57 cm depth another probable floor was found, a more
densely packed layer of earth. A trash dump or possibly some sort of deep hearth, found
in square 9 and 9b, had been excavated into the sterile earth down to about 1, 30 m. This
dump contained ashes, soot, charcoal, burned stones and some bones.

56
Cf. the work of Sven Ahlgren.
26
Thus I may calculate with six cultural layers and totally 13 layers and interface for
squares 9 and 9b, trench 15. It may be schematically represented as follows.
1 1. Present day surface
2. Mixed layer
2 3. Hearths at floor level I
4. Surface of floor level I
4 3 5. Floor level I
6. Cultural layer below floor
5 level I
7. Pitfill
6 8. Pit
9. Hearths at floor level II
10 9 7 10. Surface of floor level II
11. Floor level II
11 8 12. Cultural layer down to
sterile bottom.
12 13. Sterile bottom

13

Remains of homework auxiliary facilities
1. Hearths. As noted above, some hearths were found within structure 3. They were
identified as concentrations of charcoal, soot, and ashes, spread unevenly in certain areas
of the floor, always found on and in the floor levels.
2. Pit with ashes, soot, charcoal, burned stones, bones and earth. In square 9 and 9b a
pit was found dug down into the sterile layer. The pit consisted of ashes and earth. In
this fill a burnt maize cob was encountered. This pit may have been a hearth for cooking,
but it may also have functioned as a refuse pit.
3. Kitchen stone (?). In square 19, some 10 cm above floor II, a large stone appeared
with its base going down into sterile earth. It was encountered as a flat surface, 1 x 0,5
m. The opposite side of the stone was irregular. The flat surface may have been a
kitchen stone, used for baking etc.
4. Stone semicircle, half a meter in diameter, located in the southeastern corner of
structure 3. This semicircle was visible through some few stones above present-day
surface and reached down to below floor level I. The function of this semicircle remains
obscure.
Spatial patterns of the ceramic material from structure 3
The vertical spread of the ceramic material show no evident patterning. The ceramic
material was classified according to three type-groups, Coarse, Santa Maria/Quilmes
(Beln) and Others (table X).
57
These seem to exist in equal proportions in the different

57
Coarse ceramics, with high amounts of antiplastics, lack slip and generally any sort of decoration.
Santa Maria/Quilmes (Beln) is a brick red ware with white or red slip generally with decorations. It
may have low or high amounts of antiplastic inclusions. Note that these three groups do not
correspond to the categories developed by Susana Sjdin, cf. her contribution to this report. The
classification used here is based on traditional Argentine classification. For a more detailed analysis
of the ceramic material cf. Susana Sjdins article, this volume.
27
levels. The uncommon types, if differentiated in the Other group show some, if weak,
patterning in the vertical dimension. The so-called Famabalasto type has a high
percentage in the levels 6, 11 and 12.
58
However, this type is represented in such low
frequency that it hardly can be used to indicate a chronological tendency, if the pattern
cannot show itself repeated in future excavations. The Famabalasto type is considered
more or less contemporary with the late Santa Mara types in traditional Argentine
classification.
If this reasoning may be substantiated, the structure seem not to have been in use
over a very long time-span. However, the existence of at least two floor levels, show
that the space has been used and re-used. Thus, this may indicate that floors were re-
established relatively frequently. The use of the structure, as reflected in the ceramic
material, seem not to have been substantially altered through time.
The horisontal spread of the ceramic material shows some, if not a conclusive,
indication of differentiation in the use of space within the structure. The ceramic material
has been counted per square, ignoring the levels, and thus pre-supposing a certain
continuity in the use of space. The material from each level/square is too small to allow
detailed analysis. As seen in table X, coarse ware seems to exist in high relative
frequencies in the middle of the structure, while existing in smaller proportions close to
the walls of the structure. An exception is square 16, located close to the supposed
opening into structure 1, which shows a high relative frequency of coarse ware ceramics.
There exist a possible functional difference between the coarse ware and the other types.
Coarse ware is suitable for cooking, while the other ceramic types found in structure 3
may have been containers, e. g. for water.
59

Lithics
The lithic material from structure 3 is not a very large sample. Some few fragments
of large stone implements, possibly large hammers or mortar pestles were found. Apart
from this, quartz and obsidian dominated. The quartz material is difficult to cope with.
No evident points were found. Rather, the quartz was used for cutting and similar uses.
Obsidian does not occur in the geology of the El Pichao area, thus it must have been
imported. About 120 fragments of obsidan were found in trench 15. Most were
unfinished or discarded material. 20 objects were small points.
60

Bones
Several small animal bones were found in trench 15. Llama bones were common in
the small sample of identificable bones.
Skeltetons of small rodents were identified. The rodents had been digging small holes
after the abandonment of the structure. Even two small nests of rodents were found.
Eggshell, identified as avestruts (andu) shell, was found.
One human rib bone of was found in trench 15, square10, below floor level II.
Structure 2
Trench 3 in structure 2 showed that the cultural material was concentrated at about 1
m. below present day surface. The present day surface of structure 2 is substabtially

58
Black/grey polished ware, often with incisions.
59
For this interpretation I am indebted to Susana Sjdin.
60
The lithic material will be studied by Staffan Anberg. Cf. his preliminary discussion in El Pichao
1989.
28
higher than that of structure 1. Thus, it seems that structure 2 has been filled by earth at
a late stage of the occupation of unit 1, or that it has been filled in connection with post-
abandonment use of the unit. A rodents nest was also found in trench 3.
61

A small metal object of copper was found in structure 2, and some lithic material. The
ceramic material from trench 3 shows the same groups as in structure 3. Tosca has a
relatively low frequency. Famabalasto occur in low frequency.
Structure 1: general use area
Structure 1, the large rectangular open space is hard to interpret. Its shere dimensions
make it hard to understand it as a habitation area.
The space now occupied by Structure 1 has a complicated and long constructional
history. In trench 2 (see plan Figure 3.1) we found an older wall below the structure 1
wall.
62

In trench 1, in structure 1, the raised stones visible at surface were found to be placed
superficially, only 10-25 cm below present day surface. This makes us believe that these
raised stones belong to the last phase of occupation of Unit 1, and that their existence
indicates some sort of functional change.
At about 20 cm below surface a layer with much stone material was found. This layer
may be interpreted as debris from the wall to structure 1. At about 20 cm below surface
a llama jaw was found, square 1.
A floor level was found at some 15 to 30 cm below the present day surface. This
floor was identified as a compressed layer of soil, with a high frequency of artefacts.
63

In this floor level, the macrofossil analysis of an earth sample showed some
carbonized beans.
64

The ceramic material from trench 1 shows the same groups as in structure 2 and 3.
Santa Mara/Quilmes and Tosca dominates. Famabalasto is very rare. Tosca has a
relatively low frequency (though it is the most common group in square 7).
Unit 2
Unit 2 may be interpreted as a working space, and especially the mortars give such an
impression. Trench 2 reached into Unit 2. In the open space immediately outside the wall
of Unit 1, a reconstructable pot and some beans were found (cf. below, section on the
abandonment).
The small stone circle, about 3 m. in diameter, the so called structure 3 of unit 2,
contained large stones in the upper layers, probably material from the collapsed wall.
Below these several camelid bones were found, notably a rib bone found in vertical
position. This structure may first have functioned as a storage room, and later used as a
refuse pit.
65

In the ceramic material from structure 3, Unit 2, the Santa Mara/Quilmes group
dominates.

61
For the observations and interpretations on trench 3, I am indebted to Victor Nez Reguiero, Marta
Tartusi and Jorgelina Azcrate.
62
For the observations and interpretations on trench 2, I am indebted to Staffan Anberg. Cf. his
discussion on trench 2, El Pichao 1989.
63
For the observations and interpretations on trench 1, I am indebted to Lisbet Bengtsson. Cf. her
contribution on trench 1, El Pichao 1989.
64
All analysis of macrofossil was made by Sven Ahlgren.
65
Cf. Staffan Anbergs discussion on trench 2, El Pichao 1989.
29
Secondary refuse in the walls
The wall fill of unit 1 at El Pichao is evidently secondary refuse. However, in the wall
fill section of trench 2, square 8-9, level 1, nine fragments constituting a half small
spherical bowl (a puco) were found. If the wall top itself has not been an activity area or
storage area, and the bowl thus may be considered as de facto refuse, this means that
almost whole vessels were discarded .
Moment of abandonment
In Unit 1 only few reconstructable items were found, evident cases of de facto refuse
(indicating the abandonment stage) in Schiffers terminology. Interestingly enough, a
reconstructable pot with decoration was found in the so-called Unit 2, in trench 2,
square 3, thus outside structure 1 of Unit 1. This observation may turn out interesting, if
it may be shown to be a repeated pattern. Associated to this pot we found carbonized
beans in the macrofossil sample.
Large fragments of coarse ware ceramics, part of a large pot, were found in the wall
between structure 1 and structure 3.
When a very special type of temper has been used, this may indicate that fragments of
similar types may stem from a certain individual vessel. In the large rectangular structure
1 of unit 1, in trench 2, square 10, four pieces of ceramics were found that probably stem
from the same vessel. All were coarse tempered with biotite, and the common quartz and
feldspar. In trench 2, square 4-5, ten fine textured fragments tempered with graphite
were found, probably belonging to two vessels. Nine fragments were found in level 2 (at
about 20 cm below surface) and one in level 4 (at about 40 cm below surface).
3.4 Some concluding remarks
This small article must be considered as a part of a larger study, in which various
household units at El Pichao will be compared. Only when such comparisons have
carried out may I say something about the charcter of the household in Unit 1. The
discussion in this article has mainly referred to what I have chosen to call the home-
work part of the household. Such an analysis, incorporating a discussion on chronology
and possible changes in use of various structures is a necessary pre-requisite for a wider
analysis of the meaning of households.
66
The short presentation and discussion in this
article has also raised some important topics for further discussion, such as the meaning
and pattern of accumulation of refuse (for example, was a human rib bone refuse, or has
it been conciously deposited, or deposited by mistake?).
I will probably never be able to link the specific household group to remnants of its
activities beyond the house group itself. Through some sort of reasoning I may
reconstruct the general character of the wider household activities, but the analytical
problem remains when I will attempt at comparing household units.

66
At present, few such studies are available on NW Argentinian material. Some interesting studies are
unpublished, cf. for example LIDIA N BALDINI, La occupacin arqueolgica en el sitio Molinos I,
Dpto Molinos, Salta, y la transicin a los Desarollos regionales. La Plata 1988-89, unpublished
manuscript. I would like to thank Lidia Baldini for allowing us to take part of this study.
30
Even if I may infer, from general experience (people die and their corpses are hard to
get rid off), and from indirect evidence (maize cobs and beans may indicate cultivation),
that each household buried its dead and cultivated the soil, we will only on special
occasions be able to link a specific tomb to a specific household, still less a specific
agricultural terrace to a specific household. Thus, the interpretation and the meaning of
the household housecomplex in itself becomes an important problem, that must be
further discussed.
References
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AHLGREN, SVEN, El Pichao 1989
ANBERG, STAFFAN, El Pichao 1989.
BALDINI, LIDIA N, La occupacin arqueolgica en el sitio Molinos I, Dpto Molinos, Salta, y la
transicin a los Desarollos regionales. La Plata 1988-89, unpublished manuscript.
BENGTSSON, LISBET, El Pichao 1989
CARANDINI, ANDREA & SALVATORE SETTIS, Schiavi e padroni nell'Etruria romana: la villa de
Settefinestre dallo scavo alla mostra. Bari 1979.
CORNELL, PER, El Pichao 1989.
FEDELE, F G, Towards an analytical stratigraphy: stratigraphic reasoning and excavation.
Stratigraphica archaeologica, 2, 1987, pp. 7-15.
GLUCKMAN, MAX, Custom and conflict in Africa (1956). Oxford 1973.
HARRISS, E C, Principles of archaeological stratigraphy. London 1979.
LAVALLE, DANILE & MICHLE JULIEN, Asto: curacazgo prehispnico de los Andes centrales
(1973). Lima 1983.
LOWIE, ROBERT H, History of ethnological theory. New York 1937.
MALINOWSKI, BRONISLAW, Argonauts in the western pacific. London 1922.
MALINOWSKI, BRONISLAW, Coral Gardens and their magic, 1: The description of gardening. London
1935.
MEILLASOUX, CLAUDE , Anthropologie de l'esclavage. Le ventre de fer et d'argent. Paris 1986.
MEILLASOUX, CLAUDE, Maidens, meal and money (1975). Cambridge 1988.
MORGAN, LEWIS H, The league of the Ho de nau s.
MORRIS, CRAIG, L'tude archologique de lchange dans les Andes. Annales 33 (1978), pp. 936-947.
MORRIS, CRAIG, The infrastructure of Inka control in the Peruvian central highlands. The Inca and
Aztec states 1400-1800, New York 1982, pp. 153-171.
MURRA, JOHN V, La guerre et les rbellions dans l'expansion de l'tat Inka, Annales 33 (1978),
pp.927-935.
MURRA, JOHN V, The Mit'a obligations of ethnic groups to the Inca state. The Inca and Aztec states
1400-1800, New York 1982, pp. 237-262.
MURRA, JOHN V, Formaciones econmicas y politicas del mundo andino. Lima 1975.
MURRA, JOHN V, The economic organization of the Inka state. (1955) Greenwich, Conn. 1980.
NEZ REGUIERO, VICTOR & MARTA TARTUSI, El Pichao 1990.
POLANYI, KARL, The great transformation. New York 1944.
PYBURN, K ANNE, Maya cuisine: hearths and lowland economy. Prehistoric Maya economies of
Belize, Greenwich (Conn.) 1989, pp. 325-344.
SAHLINS, MARSHALL, Stone age economics. New York 1972.
SCHIFFER, MICHAEL B, Formation processes in archaeology. New York 1987.
SIDER, GERALD, Culture and class, A Newfoundland illustration. New York 1986.
SJDIN, SUSANA, El Pichao 1990
STENBORG, PER, El Pichao 1990
STEWARD, JULIAN, The Owens Valley Paiute. University of California publications in American
archaeology and ethnology,33:3, Berkeley 1932-34.
31
TARRAG, MYRIAM NOEM, Arqueologa del perodo de desarollos regionales en la regin
valliserrana central: Valle de Santa Mara. Segundo taller de arqueologia de la Universidad
Nacional de Catamarca, Catamarca (Catam.)1988.
TARRAGO, MYRIM NOEMI, Los asentamientos aldeanos tempranos en el sector septentrional del
Valle Calchaqu, Provincia de Salta, y el desarollo agrcola posterior. Estudios arqueolgicos, 5
(Chile 1980), pp. 29-52.
TERRAY, EMMANUEL, Gold production, slave labor, and state intervention in precolonial Akan
societies: a reply to Raymond Dummett. Research in economic anthropology, vol. 5, Greenwich,
Conn., 1983, pp. 95-129.
TERRAY, EMMANUEL, La captivit dans le royaume abron du Gyaman. L'esclavage en Afrique
prcoloniale (Claude Meillasoux, ed.). Paris 1975, pp. 384-453.
THURNWALD, RICHARD, Die menscliche Gesellschaft, 3: Werden, Wandel und gestaltung der
wirtschaft. Berlin 1932.
TOOKER, ELISABETH, The league of the Iroqois, its history, politics and ritual. Handbook of Noth
American indians: Northeast (B G Trigger ed.), Washington 1978, pp. 418-441.
TRIGGER, BRUCE G, The children of Ataentsic. A history of the Huron people to 1660. Toronto 1976.
TKEY, FERENC, Essays on the asiatic mode of production (1960). Budapest 1979.
33
4. Sector VIII
Susana Sjdin, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
4.1 Description of a part of sector VIII
The following description concerns a terraced part of sector VIII lying in close
connection to a gully running in Northwest-Southeast direction. The observations are
based on the remains visible at the surface in 1990. The terraces are built on the lower
part of the mountain slope just above the alluvial cone and is bordered by sector III at
the lowest east point (Figure 4.1). The upper western part is very much eroded, as well
as the constructions bordering to the gully to the north and the mountain side to the
south. Sediments, due to erosion, has covered several constructions, making the
interpretation difficult in many cases.
The terraced area consists of eight levels with constructions. The terraces climb up
the mountain slope, with a difference of altitude of about 35 m from the first terrace just
above sector III to the last terrace (Figure 4.2). The terraces are getting shorter and
narrower the higher up they are situated, due to the topography, the remains of the first
terrace main wall being at least 37 metres long and the last 10 metres. The walls are built
as shell-walls, many of them heavily eroded. Between the terraces are minor slopes, with
highly eroded, but in some places still visible, smaller terraces. There can be up to four
or five of these smaller terraces between two terrace levels. Mortars, i e grinding holes in
boulders or bedrock, and milling stones are observed at terraces two, four and six, and
above terrace eight. There are ceramic fragments scattered all over the area, Santa Mara
black painted on white or cream and red coarse ware being the commonest wares.
Fragments of black and grey polished ware with incisions and red polished ware are also
found, but in smaller quantitites. Flakes of quartz are also observed as well as some
wrought obsidian. On the second terrace level a round small disc of clay, ca 3 cm
diameter, was collected, with incised geometric decoration on the border. This object is
quite peculiar, with a hollow in the middle of the exterior surface not going through the
piece, and of unknown function.
On the slope rising up from the plain of sector III to the first terrace level are built
two walls, partially heavily eroded and difficult to distinguish (Figure 4.1). The lowest
lying wall, about 3 meters altitude above the plain of sector III, has a length of 38-40
metres. It is rather thick, being about 0,9 metres wide. It follows the slight S-curve of
the slope. About 4 metres altitude above is the second wall, which forms part of the
construction of the first terrace level.
The terrace levels have semicircular and rectangular structures with openings in the
walls, connecting the different rooms.
34
4.1.1 The terraces 1 - 8
Terrace 1
The limiting wall of the first terrace level is eroded and not well preserved at its both
ends, and it begins about seven metres above the plain of sector III. To the south, and
boarding the mountain side, is a highly eroded semicircular construction surrounding a
possible passage or entrance. The passage construction consists further of a four metres
long wall connected with the longitudinaly going terrace wall and forming an angle with
it. A similar construction can be distinguished on the second terrace, also lying close to
the southern mountain side. The limits of the rectangular constructions of the first
terrace are hard to discern, due to the erosion. There is, however, a perpendicular wall,
making the first rectangular construction ca 26 metres long and five metres wide. Inside
this room is a T-formed wall, perhaps originally dividing this room into three smaller
parts, one of them being just ca 2.5 m x 2.5 m. The remains of the second rectangular
construction on this level consists of a 16 m long and 7 m wide area, narrowing to the
northern part due to the topography and the limiting terrace wall.
Terrace 2
The second terrace level is better preserved at its middle and northern parts than the
first terrace level. At least four different constructions can be observed. To the south is a
semicircular wall, perhaps being part of a similar passage-construction as the above
described on terrace one. There is an additional parallel going wall, about 5 metres long,
between the terrace wall, and the angular wall of the southernly construction, the
remains of the latter just being an angular corner formed by walls with the inner
dimensions of ca 3-4 metres. The big rectangular room, lying in the middle of the
terrace, is ca 17-18 metres long and rather wide, ca 10 metres. There is one more
passage to this construction in the middle of the terrace wall, about 7.5 metres from the
formerly described passage, being 0.8 m wide. A small, nearly quadrangular room, ca
3.75 x 3.75 m inner dimensions, with one wall forming part of the terrace wall, has no
entrance from the surrounding rooms on the terrace. A bigger rectangular room lying at
the northermost part, ca 16 x 6 m, has an entrance construction facing the gully. The
wall of the entrance makes a square angle continuing into the room, making an
additional, almost quadrangular, room just at the border of the gully, ca 3 x 3 m inner
dimensions. There is also a wall following the border of the gully. It is heavily eroded
and very difficult to interpret, but it might be a part of a construction preventing
landslides.
On this terrace stone slabs are raised.
Between terrace levels two and three the slope is divided into three discernable
smaller terraces, not marked on the plan, figure xx. The slope rises about 4 metres in
altitude to the next terraced level.
Terrace 3
The third terrace level is not well preserved. Originally raised stone slabs have been
observed on this level, one is still standing. There is a pit made of looters, or huaqueros,
beside the still raised stone slab. An angular formed entrance is lying near the mountain
slope. The terrace wall follows the terrain, and bends ca 7.7 metres after the
perpendicular going wall which limits the terrace at the mountain side. The bend forms a
35
corner, in which there is a mortar stone. The wall bends once more, and the new
direction of the wall is parallel to the main terrace walls of the surrounding terraces.
Two passages are discernible in this wall, one leading into a big rectangular structure,
and one leading into the smaller room boarding the gully. The main terrace wall here
makes another angular bend, due to the terrain. There is also a passage between these
rooms. Between terraces three and four the smaller terraces of the slope are destroyed.
Terrace 4
The next terrace level, terrace level four, is about two metres in altitude above level
three. The remains of the main terrace wall is ca 18 metres long, and there is just one
rectangular construction seen today. This construction has got a wall going
perpendicular to the main terrace wall following the side of the mountain. As this wall
has a passage, one might suppose that there has been a room lying close to the mountain
side, actually hidden under sediments. Towards the gully is a high eroded wall with one
passage leading out from the rectangular structure facing the north. Further, there are
two stone slabs, one of them still standing. On the slope between levels four and five,
which is not well preserved and with intermediate terraces hard to discern, there is a
mortar on a boulder lying close to the fifth terrace level.
Terrace 5
Terrace level five has better preserved walls than the former terrace four. There are
two rectangular structures, the biggest lying to the north and being at least 6 m x 11.25
m. A series of raised stones divide this room into two parts (fig XXX - detaljplan t 5).
In the NW corner is a pit made by looters or huaqueros. The slope leading up to level six
is much eroded.
Terrace 6
The next terrace level tapers to the mountain side, where its main wall meets the main
wall of the level above. This terrace is divided into three rather small parts, being 15
metres long altogether. The biggest room, lying in the southern part, is 10 metres long
and 1.5 m to 3.75 m wide (inner dimensions). At 10 metres there is a 1.5 metres long
perpendicular going wall, ending at a mortar boulder. The two smaller structures at the
north, following the steep slope boardering the gully, have very eroded walls. These two
smaller structures are divided by a curving wall, ca 2.5 metres long. Also the slope above
this level is hard eroded.
Terrace 7
The main terrace wall of level 7 begins on the mountain side just above the former
level and follows the topography of the mountain, making a bend after 7.5 metres. There
are two structures, the biggest being 9 m x 4 m (inner dimensions), and the smaller 4 m x
4.5 m (inner dimensions). There might have been one more room close to the southern
mountain side. The biggest room has got a perpendicular going wall in the south,
bending at 3.75 m, giving the room a polygonal form. In the nortwest corner there is a
big boulder on the terrace floor, and a pit dug by huaqueros. The slope up to the next
level is small and much eroded.
Terrace 8
36
The last terrace level, level eight, has just got a minor part of the original wall
preserved. However, there is division into three small rooms, with one discernable
passage between two of them. Above the terrace the slope might have been terraced, at
least there are traces of a wall limiting the terrace level from the above lying slope and
making the terraced plain 1.75 metres to 3.75 metres wide (inner dimensions). About 5
metres above this terrace is a mortar on a boulder lying near the border of the gully.
4.1.2 The slope above the terrace levels and the smaller terraces
The rest of the slope is eroded. It becomes more and more steep climbing up above
terrace level eight, and with higher amounts of eroded material.
50 m above terrace eight on the west side, were found fragments of coarse ware with
high amounts of muscovite (so called Caspinchango-ware) and red and black painted red
polished ware (painted Famabalasto?).
About 100 m above terrace eight is a wall constructed on the slope. It is about 2 m
2

and possibly being a protective contrivance against earth- and mountain-slides. Similar
constructions are found on even higher levels, some of them quite well preserved due to
lesser slide-masses having fallen down on these levels. Some small room-constructions
were observed and a larger one with a distinct entrance. Raised flat stones are noticed in
connection with the constructions. Two kinds of ceramics were found in these higher
regions, Santa Mara bi- and tricoloured and the connected common coarse wares.
The terraced slopes
The terraced slopes in between the terraces, could have been used for smaller
horticultural activity if they did not just formed part of the construction of the terraces
making access easier between the different levels or to prevent erosion. These three
functions might also have been combined.
4.1.3 The terrace complex as a whole
A striking feature is the regularity of the terrace complex seen as a whole. A three-
partite division is repeated, consisting of one big rectangular structure flanked by two
smaller. This pattern is varied, in some cases with further divisions, discernible as walls
dividing some of the rooms into smaller ones. The sizes of the terraces vary due to the
topography. There are often passages or entrances to the smaller structures near the
mountain slope at the southern part of the terrace levels. Mortars made in boulders and
unmovable, i e on terraces two, four and six, are situated inside the biggest of the
rectangular structures. The mortar situated above terrace eight is near the gully.
The eight terrace-levels may be considered as one complex unit, built in connection to
each other, and probably intended to be household units. The similarity between the
levels might indicate a planned function of the complex as a whole.
37
4.2 Mapping the constructions and terraces of part of sector VIII
Measurements with theodolite were made of part of sector VIII. 36 points were laid out
and marked at corners and openings of the constructions. To manage to measure all the
points with the theodolite, we were forced to use two different instrument points, one at
the southern mountain side looking above terrace 6, and one from terrace 8. The
measure points were measured twice, reverting the instrument the second time, in order
to have an average value. These points were afterwards complemented in the field with
further measurements departing from the points measured with theodolite, this time
utilising measuring-tape and compass. In this way we managed to get a rather schematic
but accurate mapping of the area chosen.
The mapping of the area was further supplied with measurements for contour lines.
We marked out 41 points in the topography around the terraced area, climbing up the
mountain slopes on the three surrounding sides. We departed from a reference point, a
big boulder, in sector III giving it a value of 1000 m a s l, and taking some points
formerly measured with theodolite as comparisons. The points for the contour lines were
also measured with theodolite, using two different instrument points, one at sector II just
below terrace 1, and one at terrace 8 formerly employed for mapping the constructions.
The points were measured twice, reverting the instrument to get an average value.
To construct the contour lines, all the points measured with theodolite were utilized.
The whole metres were calculated using interpolation operations.
39
5. Excavacin de la unidad 6 del sectr I del sitio
STucTav 5 (El Pichao)
Marta R A Tartusi, instituto de arqueloga, Universidad Nacional de Tucumn
Victor A Nez Regueiro, instituto de arqueloga, Universidad Nacional de Tucumn
5.1 Introduccin
A fines del siglo pasado y comienzos del presente ya exista, entre algunos
investigadores dedicados al estudio del pasado, inquietud por el tema de la funcin y el
significado religioso o ceremonial de algunos restos arqueolgicos.
67
En otros trabajos
de la misma poca encontramos descripciones de estructuras cuya funcionalidad no
resultaba evidente, a las cuales, sin embargo, debemos tomar en cuenta si queremos
instroducirnos al estudio sistemtico de las manifestaciones superestructurales de las
sociedades prehispnicas.
68

Hasta el momento, el problema de la identificacin de estructuras relacionadas con el
culto del perodo de Desarollos regionales, ha sido ms dificil de abordar que para los
perodos anteriores.
La arqueologa del perodo Tardo [perodo de Desarollos regionales, segn nuestro
esquema] no ha llegado a identificar ninguna estructura arquitectnia que se distinga
netamente del resto de los asentamientos y que por sus rasgos pueda clasificarse somo
templo. Es posible que excavaciones cuidadosas futuras logren identificar estos
mochaderos o templos incipientes. Aqu queda estblecida la necesidad de su bsqueda
arqueolgica. Problema que en la prctica nos lo hemos planteado desde hace muchos
aos. Su identificacin en el perodo Tardo resulta difcil, porque al parecer, la
diferenciacin arquitectnica no era muy notable. Cosa muy diferente a la identificacin
de los centros ceremoniales de los perodos Temprano y Medio [Formativo e Integracin
regional, segn nuestro esquema. El subrayado es nuestro].
69

En este trabajo damos a conocer los resultados preliminares que ha arrojado la
excavacin de un montculo en el sitio STucTav5 (El Pichao) durante la campaa de
1990. Los testimonios recuperados nos permiten inferir que se trata de una estructura
ceremonial o templo Santamariano, posiblemente correspondiente al perodo Imperial o

67
ADN QUIROGA, Antgedades calchaques. La coleccin Zavaleta. Boletn del instituto geogrfico
argentino, 17 (Buenos Aires 1896), pp 177-213; ERIC BOMAN, Antiquits de la rgion andine de la
Rpublique Argentine et du dsert d'Atacama. Paris 1908.
68
JUAN B AMBROSETTI, La antigua ciudad de Quilmes (Valle Calchaqu). Boletn del instituto
geogrfico argentino, 18. (Buenos Aires 1897), pp 33-70; CARLOS BRUCH, Descripcin de
algunos sepulcros calchaques. Resultados de las excavaciones efectuadas en Hualfn (pcia de
Catamarca). Revista del museo de La Plata, 11. (La Plata 1904), pp 11-27.
69
ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ, Nota sobre religion y culto en el Noroeste argentino prehispnico. A
propsito de unas figuras antropomorfas del museo de Berlin. Bssler Archiv, Neue Folge, 31.
(Berlin 1983), pp 219-282.
40
Incaico. Nuestro objetivo es, adems, el de comparar a travs de la bibliografa, y con las
referencias etnohistricas disponibles, tema este ltimo que ya ha sido encarado
intensivamente en el referido trabajo de Gonzlez.
5.2 Descripcin general del sector I
El sector I se halla situado frente al pueblo El Pichao, separado de ste por el cauce
del ro homnimo. Hacia el NE la barranca de la margen derecha del ro est
prcticamente unida a la ladera del cerro Condor Huasi, que rodea al sector por el O y
que constituye el sector VI. El E se halla delimitado por la barranca mencionada, y el sur
por una lnea imaginaria que parte de la Quebrada del Zorro (torrente temporal de
pronunciada y extensa pendiente), y muere en el lecho del ro, a la altura en que ste
comienza a abrirse en dos cauces.
70

El sector presenta una pendiente mayor en sentido O-E, o sea desde la ladera del
cerro hacia el ro, y otra pendiente menor de NE a SE, paralela al curso de agua. La
barranca es ms alta al comienzo del sector, con aproximadamente 4 m de altura; luego,
debido a que la erosin del ro disminuye en las proximidades del tramo final del canal
colector, desciende a menos de 1 m, para ascender levemente en las cercanas del lmite
con el sector II.
La zona presenta mucha erosin, tanto la producida por el ro despus de cada
creciente, como la que resulta de las lluvias que ocasionan mucha arroyada en surco,
formando numerosas torrenteras. Estas arrastran clastos aguzados de tamao mediano a
pequeo, y arcilla, cubriendo las estructuras cercanas al cerro, y originando crcavas que
aumentan de tamao despus de cada precipitacin.
Las rocas ms grandes que afloran en el sector son gneis bandeados y esquistos
micceos con ms de dos metros de dimetro, que se encuentran en las proximidades de
la barranca.
71

Las estructuras habitacionales recin comienzan a ser claramente visibles en las
proximidades del sector II, donde la pendiente disminuye, y se extienden hacia la parte
austral del sector VI.
72
Antes de llegar a ellas encontramos lneas de muros de
contencin, a veces tangenciales a la pendiente mayor, y otras paralelas al ro,
delimitando superficies aterrazadas, largas y angostas, especialmente de grandes rocas y
el aprovechamiento de bloques rocosos naturalmente depositados, para conformar los
muros, que aparecen as slidamente construdos, pero carentes de lienzo parejo.
Algunas de las rocas prximas al ro tienen morteros, a veces mltiples.
Desde un punto de vista funcional da la impresin que todo el sector, desde su
comienzo hasta llegar a la zona de estructuras habitacionales, ha sido acondicionado
para controlar los procesos erosivos que producen las lluvias sobre la pendiente, y las
aguas recibidas por el canal de desage del ro sobre la margen derecha del mismo.
73
Si

70
SUSANA SJDIN, El Pichao 1989. The first report from the project Emergence and growth of
centres. A case study in the Santa Mara Valley in the Andes (prel version). (Gteborg 1990), Map 2.
71
EDUARDO RIBOTTA, m.s.
72
Es posible que hallen estructuras habitacionales ocultas actualmente por clastos y arcillas,
especialmente en las proximidades de la ladera del cerro, donde la acumulacin de material es
mayor.
73
Excavaciones realizadas en una zona prxima a los comienzos del sector (Unidad 6, excavada bajo la
supervisin de Jorgelina Garca Azcrate), donde se perfilaban hileras de piedras paradas que podan
41
bien en esta zona pudieron haberse efectuado tareas agrcolas, stas deben haberse
realizado predominantemente en las partes ms bajas del sitio, a partir de los sectores II
y III, donde comienza a formarse el cono aluvial sobre el cual divaga al ro.
Entre las rocas con morteros que se encuentran en el sector, sobresale un gran bloque
situado en la parte media del mismo, en las proximidades de la barranca. Se halla
ubicado en un lugar donde se hace mucho ms complejo el sistema de muros de
contencin aterrazados, y posee dimensiones mayores que el resto de las grandes rocas
que se hallan en la zona.
Justo antes que comiencen las construcciones habitacionales se localiz un montculo
de piedras, de forma aproximadamente circular, que se una a una gran roca con
petroglifos y hoyuelos de escasa profundidad y dimetro variable. Meda
aproximadamente 4.50 m de dimetro mximo (E-O), 3.50 m, de dimetro mnimo
(tomado desde la roca hacia el N), y 0.50 m de altura. En algunos sectores se podan
identificarse partes de muros curvos, no muy bien definidos.
Del rea de los recintos se depriende una lnea de piedras que llegaba hasta el sector
donde se hallaba el montculo, formando a veces un muro doble relleno. Con dificultad
se podan observar tambin otras lneas de piedras, por lo general paralelas, y menos
frecuentemente perpendiculares a la pendiente mayor del terreno, algunas de las cuales
llegaban hasta la zona donde se levantaba el montculo.
5.3 Unidad 6
5.3.1 Excavacin
El rea donde se encontraban el montculo y la piedra con petroglifos fue denominada
unidad 6, y excavada en dos mitades, separadas por una lnea N-S que pasaba por la
parte ms alta del montculo. De esta forma quedaron enmaracadas dos cuadrculas de 7
x 3.50 m, identificadas como 13 la occidental y 14 la oriental.
La excavacin fue realizada aplicando tcnicas de decapado, llevndose el registro
sobre la base de niveles artificiales, por no haberse podido identificar, en nign
momento, lneas de estratificacin.
74

La estructura se hallaba alterada por la erosin, y la accin de dos montenegros
(Bulnesia schickendantzii Hieron, ex Griseb) que hundan profunda y extensamente sus
races, dificultando las tareas.
Los trabajos efectuados pusieron al descubierto una estructura que por sus
caractersticas consideramos puede ser considerada ceremonial. (Figuras 5.1 y 5.2).

haber formado parte de tumbas o de construcciones habitacionales, dieron resultado negativo. Los
sondeos practicados en estructuras circulares aisladas (Unidad 4), que en nmero de tres se hallan en
el sector, corroboraron las informaciones que nos proporcion un obrero, en el sentido de que eran
viejos corrales de cabra, abandonados hace dcadas.
74
En los trabajos de excavacin colaboraron Horacio Bustos Thames, Mara Gloria Colaneri, Gabriel
Ramn y Mara Marta Sampietro Vattuone, alumnos de tercer ao de la carrera de arqueologa de la
UNT.
42
5.3.2 Descripcin de la estructura
La excavacin puso al descubierto cuatro elementos estructurales principales: dos
grandes bloques cuyas bases estaban hundidas en los sedimentos, y dos crculos
imperfectos de paredes de piedra, rellenados de tierra.
Los dos bloques fueron tomados como base para erigr la estructura. Uno de ellos,
situado hacia el S, serva como asiento para que arrancase la pared del crculo mayor,
describiendo un arco hacia el N. Sobresala claramente del conjunto debido a que su
altura era mayor que la del montculo. El otro bloque, ubicado hacia el N, y separado del
anterior por 0.50 a 1.00 m, era ms bajo, y se hallaba cubierto casi en su totalidad por las
piedras y sedimentos del montculo.
El crculo mayor estaba construdo con piedras, a veces ligeramente canteadas,
calzadas con otras de menor tamao, para conformar un lienzo exteriormente bien
acabado. La mitad del parmetro del muro se asentaba sobre el bloque del N, formando
con l una unidad estructural, en la que la parte externa del muro era una continuacin
de la pared del bloque sobre la cual se asentaba. Todo el espacio interno del crculo
haba sido rellenado con tierra y piedras de pequeo tamao, hasta constituir una
plataforma circular de superficie levemente convexa. La tierra utilizada para la
construccin debi ser extrada de los alrededores, a juzgar por lo que se desprende del
anlisis de los fragmentos cermicos incluidos en el relleno, y de su comparacin con las
recolecciones de superficie hechas en el terreno circundante (ver Anlisis del material
cermico).
Las piedras ms grandes utilizadas para la construccin del muro eran de color gris, a
excepcin de cuatro, ubicadas exacatamente al N, que eran de color blanco. Una de ellas
se hallaba todava ocupando su lugar original, y las otras desplazadas por derrumbe.
75

Formando parte de l, a 1 m al NO de este lugar se hall una piedra de granito rosado,
de 48 cm de largo, de secciones ovaladas, cuya superficie se hallaba perfectamente
pulida en una de sus caras.
El crculo menor tena 1.50 m de dimetro, y se asentaba en su totalidad sobre el
bloque y la plataforma que constituan el crculo mayor. Estaba hecho con piedras de
mediano tamao, calzadas con otras ms pequeas, y se hallaba completamente
destrudo hacia el E, donde asomaba en partes la superficie del bloque. Al SO del muro,
bajo una de las piedras ms superficiales del mismo, se hall un adorno de metal (cobre?)
realizado mediante el enrollamiento de un alambre de seccin cuadrada, de 1 mm de
espesor, que forma dos volutas de 8 mm de dimetro, unidas sin solucin de continuidad
mediante una curva.
El interior del crculo se hallaba relleno de la misma manera en que fuera rellenado en
crculo mayor, formando un segundo piso de plataforma general que ambos integraban.
76

Una piedra de 50 cm de largo yaca, inclinada, desde el crculo menor hasta tocar la
superficie del mayor (Figura 5.2, corte G-H). Es probable que originalmente estuviese
parada, integrando parte de la estructura del sector N del crculo menor.
Al extraer el relleno de la plataforma, aparecieron sobre el bloque dos hoyos de
mortero de 20 cm de dimetro y 10 cm de profundidad, uno de ellos con una mano
cilndrica de piedra, y dos morteros u hoyuelos menores (Figura 5.1).

75
En la figura 5.1 la piedra blanca se ha diferenciado de las restantes mediante un rayado de lneas
paraleleas.
76
El crculo menor parece haber tenido, encima de l, otro de menor tamao; esto no pudo determinarse
con seguridad, debido a que las piedras que ocupaban la parte superior de la plataforma se hallaban
muy perturbadas por la erosin.
43
Junto al ngulo SE del bloque del N se hall una urna, a la que le faltaba la parte
superior del cuello, como consecuencia de la erosin y la accin de las races de uno de
los montenegros que se hallaba ubicado en las proximidades de esa zona. La base de la
urna se hallaba calzada con piedras.
Mezclados con el relleno se encontraron, en algunos sectores, huesos de animales,
restos de ramas carbonizadas y espculos de carbn.
5.3.3 Descripcin del entierro
A pesar de hallarse incompleta, la urna a la que hicimos referencia (Figura 5.3) puede
ubicarse dentro del conjunto que ha sido descripto como correspondiente a la fase IV de
la tradicin Santa Mara.
77

En las proximidades del sector correspondiente a la parte superior de lo que se
conserva del cuello de la urna se hallaron restos de huesos de un nio, algunas cuentas
de collar y un fragmento cordiforme de yeso fibroso, que deben haberse desplazado de
su posicin original debido a la accin de los mismos agentes naturales que eliminaron la
parte superior de la urna.
En el interior de la parte conservada de la urna se hallaron: gran parte de los restantes
huesos del nio, ms cuentas de collar, huesos aislados de animales, y algunas semillas y
frutos carbonizados.
El anlisis de los restos humanos ha permitido determinar que la edad del nio
inhumado era de aproximadamente 5 aos.
78

Las cuentas de collar recuperadas incluyen:
11 cuentas discoidales planas de malaquita, de 6 a 9 mm de dimtero y de 2 a 4 mm
de espesor.
1 cuenta discoidal plana de malaquita de 14 mm de dimetro y 7 mm de espesor.
1 cuenta trapezoidal de azurita, de 13 mm de largo, 7 mm de ancho mximo y 4 mm
de espesor mximo.
2 cuentas cilndricas de hueso de 12 mm de largo y 8 mm de dimetro.
1 cuenta discoidal plana de hueso, de 10 mm de dimetro y 4 mm de espesor.
1 cuenta hecha utilizando la mitad de una cuenta discoidal de hueso de 17 mm de
dimetro y 8 mm de espesor.
2 cuentas alargadas, de seccin ovalada, con uno de sus extremos convexo y el otro
aguzado, de ceramica alisada de color rojizo, de 26 mm y 30 mm de largo, y 9 mm de
dimetro.

77
RONALD WEBER, A seriation of the late prehistoric Santa Mara culture of Northwestern
Argentina. Fieldiana Anthropology, 68 (1978); ELENA PERROTA & CLARA PODESTA,
Contribution to the San Jos and Santa Mara cultures, NW Argentina. Advances in Andean
archaeology (ed D L Browman). The Hague 1978, pp 525-551.
78
El estudio de los restos seos fue realizado por Noem Acreche.
44
5.3.4 Petroglifos
Los petroglifos hallados no han sido descriptos, segn se desprende del registro
realizado por Renard de Croquet.
79
Se hallan muy destrudos por la erosin, que debe
haber borrado muchos motivos, algunos de los cuales apenas se alcanzan a percibir.
La mayor parte de los petroglifos se ubican en la pared meridional de la roca, y
consisten en surcos alargados que dibujan lneas curvas que a veces se unen entre s, dos
de las cuales al menos, rematan en hoyuelos circulares, no visibles en la Figura 5.1. La
cara superior de la roca posee tambin un petroglifo abstracto de lneas curvas, cuatro
hoyuelos superficiales de 4 a 8 cm de dimetro, y varios pequeos hoyuelos a veces
apenas marcados, de aproximadamente 2 a 4 cm de dimetro.
5.3.5 Anlisis del material cermico
Se analizaron los fragmentos de cermica recuperados en el relleno de la plataforma,
y la recoleccin de superficie no discriminada realizada en el terreno prximo a la
estructura referida.
Se distinguieron fragmentos no decorados y los decorados, y dentro de stos los que
puedan identificarse como Santamara bicolor y tricolor, y otros tipos del perodo de
Desarollos regionales, y los que pueden ser considerados como Aguada y Formativos.
Aproximadamente el 90 % de la muestra est compuesto por fragmentos no decorados y
Santa Mara bicolor, discriminados de la siguiente forma:

Relleno de plataforma Recoleccin superficial

No decorados 712 70.08 % 145 70.05 %
Santa Mara Bicolor 202 19.88 % 41 19.81 %
Santa Mara Tricolor 3 0,29% - -
Negro sobre rojo o natural 34 3.35 % 11 5.31 %
Famabalasto negro inciso 6 0.59 % - -
Aguada grabado y pintado 3 0.30 % - -
Incisos formativos 7 0.69 % - -
Pintada monocroma roja 6 0.59 % 41.93 %

Pulidos atmsfera reductora 21 2.07 % 2 0.97 %
Pulidos atmsfera oxidante 10 0.98% 3 1.45 %
Varios 12 1.18 % 1 0.48 %
Total 1016 100.00 % 207 100.00 %
No se hallaron fragmentos, u otros elementos, que pudieran ser indicadores del
perodo Hispano-Indgena.


79
SUSANA F RENARD DE CROQUET, Sitios arqueolgicos con arte rupestre de la Repblica
Argentina. Buenos Aires 1988.
45
5.5 Interpretacin de los hallazgos
Para aproximarnos al estudio funcional de la Unidad 6 contamos con dos conjuntos
de restos relacionados entre s. Uno est constitudo por la plataforma de dos (o tres)
crculos de paredes de piedra rellenos con tierra y los dos bloques de piedra con
morteros, hoyuelos y petroglifos, que constituye la estructura arquitectnica. El otro, es
el que integran la urna con los restos de un nio, las cuentas de collar y restos de huesos
y semillas, y que conforma el entierro.
Al estar ambos indudablemente relacionados desde el punto de vista de su asociacin,
no cabe duda que la estructura ha sido construda en funcin del nio enterrado, o el
entierro ha sido realizado en funcin de la estructura. En el primer caso, funcionalmente
la estructura sera una tumba construda en funcin del nio. En el segundo caso, el nio
habra sido inhumado en funcin de una estructura que podemos considerar ha tenido
valor religioso o ceremonial, debido a que su forma y composicin hacen deshechar la
idea de que hubiese servido a fines utilitarios.
El entierro del nio puede interpretarse as como un sacrificio efectuado en funcin
de un rito.
Es muy probable que el entierro, por lo tanto, sea contemporneo con la
construccin, y como dijimos anteriormente, este suceso debe haber ocurrido muy
probablemente durante el perodo Imperial (entre 1480 y 1536), y con seguridad,
pertenece a la tradicin Santamariana. Lo que ignoramos es hasta cuando pudo estar en
uso la estructura ceremonial. Como lo hemos sealado, no hemos encontrado elementos
correspondiente al perodo Hispano-Indgena, pero debemos tener en cuenta que el
material de relleno con que fue construda la plataforma nos est marcando,
cronolgicamente, un terminus ante quem.
Las cuentas de collar que hemos descripto anteriormente, sin duda no representan el
ajuar completo, ya que muchas pueden haber desaparecido de la misma forma en que
desaparecieron la parte superior de la urna y gran parte de los huesos del crneo del
nio. Sin embargo, la gran variedad de cuentas nos est indicando, sin dudas, que el
collar, o ms probablemente los collares, sean indicador de ajuar cuidadosamente
elaborado.
Los nicos restos de semillas hallados en la Unidad 6 se encontraror dentro de la
urna, y deben interpretarse tambin como elementos constitutivos del ajuar, al igual que
los huesos de animales hallados dentro.
80

La utilizacin de piedras de diferente color para construir la plataforma no es casual,
sino que obedece claramente a una intencin que tiene ms significado simblico que
arquitectnico. Las piedras blancas grandes estn marcando claramente el N; la razn de
ello se nos escapa, pero no por ello debemos dejar de sealarlo a nivel de registro.
Los morteros, los hoyuelos y los petroglifos, deben haber desempeado tembien un
papel directamente relacionado con las prcticas ceremoniales realizadas en la
plataforma. La mano dejada en un mortero, y luego tapada con sedimentos para la
construccin del primer piso, pudo haber sido, junto con el nio, parte de un mismo acto
de sacrificatorio.

80
Los restos vegetales y animales hallados en la Unidad 6 estn siendo estudiados para su
identificacin. Por eso, las inferencias que de ellos podemos derivar se hallan limitadas,
especialmente en lo que respecta a los huesos de animales hallados en el relleno de la plataforma; su
identificacin, y su distribucin dentro de la estructura tal vz nos permitan definr si pueden o no
ser interpretados como restos de sacrificios de animales.
46
Los hoyuelos que se localizan en la parte superior de la roca con petroglifos no
pueden haber sido hechos en funcin de una actividad de molienda prctica. Salvo
cuatro de ellos, de no ms de 1 cm de profundidad y de 4 a 8 cm de cimetro (que
podran haber sido utilizados para moler sustancias especiales en funcin ceremonial),
los otros, ms puequeos y abundantes, carecen de posibilidad de interpretacin como
morteros.
Respecto a los petroglifos debemos sealar que no se encuentran aqu elementos
figurativos que pueden ser identificados.
5.5 Las estructuras ceremoniales en el noroeste argentino
En el NO argentino encontramos desde el Formativo estructuras que pueden ser
consideradas ceremoniales, lo que nos permite realizar una rpida sntesis de las
caractersticas principales que podemos observar a lo largo del tiempo.
En la cultura Alamito-Condorhuasi la organizacin del culto est dada a nivel de cada
aldea; el rea ceremonial, en cada sitio, est compuesta por dos plataformas
rectangulares de paredes de piedra y un montculo-basurero-ceremonial.
81
En la cultura
Taf, se localiz y excav un gran montculo en la zona de El Mollar, que debe haber
desempeado funciones ceremoniales; no obstante, el registro de menhires dentro de
crculos de piedra, localizados en varios sitios Taf en los valles de Taf y la Cinaga y en
la Quebrada del Portugus
82
que suman ms de un centenar, apuntan tambin aqu a un
nivel de culto no centralizado.
83

En el perodo de Integracin regional existe una modificacin importante a este
respecto. En el valle de Ambato la organizacin religiosa parece estar centrada en
relacin con dos plataformas, una en la Rinconada y otra en Iglesia de los Indios, lo que
est indicando una modificacin significativa a nivel de la estructura social y religiosa de
Aguada en esa zona. Las plataformas de las que hacemos referencia, estn construdas
por niveles superpuestos en los que se utilizan paredes de piedra y relleno de tierra;
como sucede en Alamito-Condorhuasi, las paredes son rectas.
En otra zonas del NO Argentino, en cambio, tal como sucede en el Valle de
Vinchina, en la provincia de La Rioja, y en La Angostura, en la provincia de Salta, las
estructuras ceremoniales son plataformas circulares sobre las cuales se construyeron
figuras utilizando piedras grises, blancas y rojas.
En La Rioja las figuras son una estrella, inscripta en dos crculos,
84
y en La
Angostura, una especie de cruz asimtrica.
85

Podemos observar que, desde el Formativo, los elementos constitutivos desde el
punto de vista arquitectnico son los montculos y las paredes de piedra rellenas de

81
VICTOR A NEZ REGUEIRO, The Alamito culture of Northwestern Argentina. American
Antiquity, 35 (1970), pp 133-140.
82
Ver VICTOR A NEZ REGUEIRO & MARTA TARTUSI, Orgenes de la ocupacin del espacio.
Captulo 2 en este informe.
83
En el Parque de los Menhires, en El Mollar, se han reunido 114 menhires procedentes del valle de
Taf.
84
NICOLS R DE LA FUENTE, Informe arquelgico sobre el Valle de Vinchina, Prov de La Rioja.
Revista del instituto de antropologa, 4, (Crdoba 1973), pp 95-127.
85
RODOLFO A RAFFINO et al, La expansin septentrional de la cultura La Aguada en el NO
argentino. Cuadernos del instituto nacional de antropologa, 9 (Buenos Aires 1982), pp 7-35, p 11.
47
tierra. Ms tarde, en el perodo de Integracin regional, se incorpora la superposicin de
niveles de distintos tamaos integrando las plataformas. Desde el punto de vista de lo
que podramos considerar un nivel simblico, se da la utilizacin premeditada de piedras
de diferentes colores.
Los sacrificios humanos en asociaciones con el rea ceremonial es bien clara en
Alamito-Condorhuasi. En el Campo del Pucar se han hallado entierros de nios en
asociacin con plataformas. En uno de los sitios de esa zona se registr el entierro del
esqueleto de un adulto al cual le faltaba toda la parte superior del cuerpo a partir de la
tercera vrtebra lumbar; en lo que denominamos montculo-basurero-ceremonial de este
sitio se hallaron los restos correspondientes a la parte superior del cuerpo de dos
adultos. En Aguada la prctica de los sacrificios es bien conocida a travs de la frecuente
representacin de la imagen del sacrificador y crneos-trofeo.
Esta lnea de desarollo a nivel de creencia en la que los montculos, las plataformas y
los sacrificios se hallan relacionados, se va a continuar en el NO argentino hasta
perdurar, a nivel folklrico, hasta nuestro dias.
Las apachetas, o montculos de piedra que se encuentran desde el Peru hasta el NO
argentino indicando caminos, han sido formados por los indgenas a lo largo del tiempo.
En ellas los viajeros depositan nuevas piedras que hacen crecer el montculo, y se hacen
ofrendas de distinto tipo: coca o maz mascado, vino, plantando una estaca de madera
con un trozo de tela roja donde se fijan algunas plumas, o cruces de madera envueltas en
lana roja.
86
Este tipo de ofrendas est relacionada con la Pacha-Mama (Madre Tierra),
y es una supervivencia de sacrificios realizados en pocas prehispnicas.
Otra constumbre vinculada con montculos de piedra es la ceremonia de la marca de
ganado en la Puna argentina y boliviana. En el montculo se realizan ofrendas de chicha,
hoja de coca y adornos de lana roja, en funcin de que los animales se multipliquen.
En el ya citado trabajo de Gonzlez encontramos mencionadas las fuentes
documentales fundamentales para el tratamiento del tema, en relacin con los pueblos
prehispnicos del NO argentino.
Los documentos confirman la existencia de casas de dolos o mochaderos, y (...)
uno de los detalles en que todas las evidencias coinciden, es en la sencillez del culto y la
religin, manifiesta en el uso, tantas veces repetido de las varillas y plumas (...),
87
que
como vimos, perdura de algunamanera hasta nuestros das.
La funcin de los mochaderos o templos, y los elementos con ellos relacionados, es
la de propiciar la fertilidad de las sementeras y de los animales.
Sobre la base de las fuentes que analiza, dice Gonzlez que Otra conclusin
importante es la falta de sacerdocio organizado como grupo o clase social. Las prcticas
religiosas estuvieron, entonces, en manos de shamanes, quienes actuaban como tpicos
intermediarios entre la deidad y el pueblo. Sealamos dos casos de estas intervenciones,
uno en caso de peste colectiva y otra de invocacin de buenas sementeras.
88

Respecto a la forma de los mochaderos se deducira, de una cita de Lozano, que
los(...) incipientes templos tendran forma circular.
89


86
ERIC BOMAN, Antiquits de la rgion andine de la publique Argentine et du dsert d'Atacama.
Paris 1908.
87
ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ, Nota sobre religion y culto en el Noroesta argentino prehispnico. A
propsito de unas figuras antropomorfas del Museo de Berlin. Bssler-Archiv, Neue Folge, 31
(1983), pp 219-282.
88
ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ, op cit, p 243.
89
PEDRO LOZANO, Historia de la Compaa de Jess en la Provincia del Paraguay: escrita por el P.
Pedro Lozano de la misma Compaa, I. Madrid 1754, p 425 citado en ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ,
op cit, p 237.
48
La estructura ceremonial hallada en la Unidad 6 de El Pichao confirma la suposicin
de Gonzlez y la descripcin de Lozano.
En la bibliografa arqueolgica existen referencias de estructuras que no podemos
dejar de mencionar, por su aparente vinculacin funcional con la que hemos descripto
como Unidad 6.
De su viaje en el valle de Hualfn, Bruch relata que antes de cruzar la terraza frente al
Cerro Colorado, hall una sepultura compuesta por (...) tres crculos formados de
piedra de regular tamao. El mayor meda exteriormente 5 m, el segundo 3 m y el
interno 2 m; este ltimo no est del todo separado del segundo.
90
En el crculo exterior
hall tres esqueletos, a uno de los cuales le faltaba el crneo, que apareci fuera del
lugar del entierro, entre el crculo externo y el segundo crculo, acompaado por dos
vasijas, posiblemente del perodo Imperial.
Ambrosetti describe lo que llama morteros pblicos, que son dos crculos de
piedra, uno circular de 2 m de dimetro con un mortero en su centro y otro, de pared
ovalada, de 3.60 x 2.70 m, con cuatro morteros en su interior (...) no es dificil hallan
tenido un objeto especial, un ritual religioso por ejemplo, donde se moliese al maz o la
quinoa para fabricar ciertos panes, ya fuera para los sacerdotes, ya para las ofrendas o
para algunas ceremonias (...). Algo de sto, un resto de atavismo, existe en esos lugares;
por ejemplo, en algunos puntos, las mujeres acostumbran ir a ciertos morteros de esos
que hay cerca de los ros; en las grandes piedras, a moler su maz, y s de buena fuente
que hacen su invocacin a la Pacha-Mama (...).
91

Es indudable que tanto la informacin etnohistrica como folklrica puede servir para
aproximarnos a una mejor comprensin de los perodos ms recientes de la arqueloga
del NO argentino. Sin embargo, las pruebas tienen que sustentarse en un trabajo
arquelgico sistemtico. A este respecto queremos sealar que datos como los que
apuntamos anteriormente, surgidos de trabajos realizados con anterioridad por los
pioneros de la arqueloga pueden an hoy aportar infomaciones vlidas. Incluso algunas
de sus conclusiones, a veces demasiado endebles e intuitivas, pueden ser tomadas en
cuenta, no como verdades comprobadas, sino como hiptesis a contrastar, como la de
Quiroga, que los hoyuelos que se encuentran asociados a varios petroglifos pueden
haber servido (...) para ser llenados de agua, que se evaporar con el sol,
demandndose de este modo, por simpata la lluvia que necesitan los campos o los
andenes.
92

Obras citadas
AMBROSETTI, JUAN B, La antigua ciudad de Quilmes (Valle Calchaqu). Boletn del instituto
geogrfico argentino, 18. (Buenos Aires 1897), pp 33-70.
BOMAN, ERIC, Antiquits de la rgion andine de la Rpublique Argentine et du dsert d'Atacama.
Paris 1908.

90
CARLOS BRUCH, Descripcin de algunos sepulcros Calchaques. Resultados de las excavaciones
efectuadas en Hualfn (Pcia de Catamarca). Revista del Museo de La Plata, 11 (La Plata 1904), pp
11-27, p 25.
91
JUAN B AMBROSETTI, op cit, p 14.
92
ADN QUIROGA, Petrografas y Pictografas de Calchaqu. Universidad nacional de Tucumn.
Buenos Aires 1931.
49
BRUCH, CARLOS, Descripcin de algunos sepulcros Calchaques. Resultados de las excavaciones
efectuadas en Hualfn (Pcia de Catamarca). Revista del Museo de La Plata, 11 (La Plata 1904), pp
11-27.
DE LA FUENTE, NICOLS R, Informe arquelgico sobre el Valle de Vinchina, Prov de La Rioja.
Revista del instituto de antropologa, 4, (Crdoba 1973), pp 95-127.
GONZLEZ, ALBERTO REX, Nota sobre religin y culto en el Noroeste argentino prehispnico. A
propsito de unas figuras antropomorfas del Museo de Berlin. Bssler-Archiv, Neue Folge, 31
(1983), pp 219-282.
LOZANO, PEDRO, Historia de la Compaa de Jess en la Provincia del Paraguay: escrita por el P.
Pedro Lozano de la misma Compaa, I. Madrid 1754.
NEZ REGUEIRO, VICTOR A, The Alamito culture of Northwestern Argentina. American Antiquity,
35 (1970), pp 133-140.
PERROTA, ELENA & CLARA PODESTA, Contribution to the San Jos and Santa Mara cultures, NW
Argentina. Advances in Andean archaeology (ed D L Browman). The Hague 1978, pp 525-551.
QUIROGA, ADN, Antgedades calchaques. La coleccin Zavaleta. Boletn del Instituto geogrfico
argentino, 17 (Buenos Aires 1896), pp 177-213.
QUIROGA, ADN, Petrografas y Pictografas de Calchaqu. Universidad nacional de Tucumn.
Buenos Aires 1931.
RAFFINO, RODOLFO A et al, La expansin septentrional de la cultura La Aguada en el NO argentino.
Cuadernos del Instituto nacional de antropologa, 9 (Buenos Aires 1982), pp 7-35.
RENARD DE CROQUET, SUSANA F, Sitios arqueolgicos con arte rupestre de la Repblica Argentina.
Buenos Aires 1988.
WEBER, RONALD, A seriation of the late prehistoric Santa Mara culture of Northwestern Argentina.
Fieldiana Anthropology, 68 (2),
(1978).
51
6. The excavation of the gravematerial
Nils Johansson, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
The excavations during spring 1990 are to be considered as an extended test
excavation. The aims were primarily to localize more grave structures within sector XI,
but also to map and make a documentation of looted structures in sector IX. For a
description of these sectors, the author refers to descriptions already made in last years
report, El Pichao 1989.
At first a system of test trenches were laid out in different parts of sector XI. These
trenches will be referred to as Tr 5 - 10. The word trench is here used in a very wide
meaning including both ordinary test trenches and grave structures. If a grave structure
was encountered within the test-trench, it was given a new trench number. As an
example the natural structure encountered in Tr 5 was given the number Tr 8, the grave
structure found in Tr 7 was numbered Tr 11 etc. There is however no risk of confusion
between grave structures and test trenches since each new structure encountered was
given a new number.
The test-trenches were excavated in artificial layers of 0,2 m, and the artefact
material was collected within each layer. The vertical section in these trenches were only
documented in a few cases, but a photo was always taken of the trench after excavation.
The aim of these test trenches were primarily to localize individual tombs, but also got
get a clearer picture of the distribution of graves within the sector. The trenches were
generally laid out close to expected tombs based on a survey and mapping of the sector
in 1989.
93
As indicators of tombs were chosen upright standing stones, but also looting
holes made mainly to localize Santa Maria urns by local grave looters. As will be
discussed in a later part, the only "safe" indicator of tombs were earlier lootings. Trench
5 -10 were test trenches, trench 11-15 were grave structures. During the field work in
1990 two of these structures were excavated: Tr12 and Tr 13.
6.1 Trenches 5-10
Trench 5 (Test trench)

93
During 1989 a survey and a mapping of the sector was made. At the same time, possible tomb
structures were marked out on the map. Upright standing stones were chosen as a basic indicator of
a tomb structure.
52
Trench 5 was laid out in the lower eastern part of sector XI,
94
close to the expected
tombs 18 and 22 (Figure 6.1). These were marked by upright standing stones in the
surface. The dimensions were 3 x 0,7 m (NE-SW). The trench was excavated in levels of
0,2 m, referred to as level 1, level 2, etc.
A very little ceramic material was encountered within the trench. In all three levels,
only 5 ceramic sherds were found. Of these 4 were of type red ware white or cream
slipped with a black painted decoration (Santa Maria bicolor). The sediment within the
trench was sandy, with rocks of small size. In the lower levels sedimentary stones were
found, together with a large quantity of roots. A large block was found close to the
border of the trench. Therefore the trench was opened in the North direction.
Trench 5A ( Test trench)
The reason for opening tr 5A was to make a closer inspection on the blocks
encountered in tr 5, that possibly could be part of a grave structure. The trench was 2 m
long, 0,7 m wide (NE-SW). The artefact material was as scarce as in tr 5, with only 2
tosca fragments encountered. The sediment was similar to the one in tr 5. In level 3
(0,4 - 0,6 m) a laying stone block was found. To get a closer look at the stone structure,
trench 5B was opened.
Trench 5B ( Test trench)
Trench 5B was situated south of tr 5, and was 2 m long, 0,7 m wide. The trench was
excavated until approximately level 3 (0,6 m). The artefact material was as scarce as in tr
5, only 2 unspecified ceramic sherds were found. A structure of stone blocks was found
which covered parts of trench 5, 5A and 5B. This structure was called Tr 8. A more
brownish, sandy sediment was surrounding Tr 8. After excavation the structure was
classified as natural.
Trench 6 (Test trench) (Figure 6.2)
The trench was located In the lower eastern part of sector XI in an east west slope
95

and was referred to as "tomb 12" during a survey of possible graves during 1989. The
trench was 3 m long, 0,7 m wide (N-S). An upright standing stone was located in the
southern part of the trench.
96
Very little material was found within the trench, in the
southern part a concentration of stones and a few ceramic sherds were encountered. The
ceramic material was mainly red ware white or cream slipped with a black painted
decoration (Santa Maria bicolor). In level 3 (0,4-0,6m) a whiter, sandier sediment was
encountered within the northern part of the trench. Because of the compactation of
stones in the southern part of the sector the trench was opened up in this direction.
Trench 6A (Test trench) (Figure 6.2)
The trench was 1m long, 0,7 m wide, and located directly south of Tr 6. Only 4
unidentified ceramic sherds were encountered within the trench. The concentration of
stones located in both Tr 6 and 6A was excavated and found to be natural. The whiter

94
The sector has a slope in the East - West direction. The western part of sector XI has a larger altitude
than the eastern one.For more information, see last years report El Pichao 1989.
95
In this part of sector XI the slope is rather steep.
96
This was also the reason for the location of the trench.
53
sandier sediment was found at the same level in this trench. The trenches 6 and 6A were
documented in the vertical section. There are three distinct layers:
1: Brownish sand with methamorphic rocks
2: More compact brownish sand with methamorphic rocks.
3: A whiter sandy sediment of unknown composition.
Trench 7 (Test trench)
The trench was located approximately 10 m west of trench 1, excavated during 1989.
The trench was 3 m long, 0,7 m wide (N-S) and placed between 3 looting holes, marked
as possible tombs number 60, 61 and 62 during the survey of the sector in 1989.
It was thought that the looters had only taken the ceramic material, and that the tomb
structure was intact as was the case with the tomb excavated in 1989 (Tr4). The ceramic
material was more plentiful in Tr 7 than in Tr 5 and Tr 6. A total of 138 sherds were
found in the 4 layers excavated. Of these were 121 red ware white or cream slipped with
a black painted decoration (Santa Maria bicolor). The sediment was lightbrown and
sandy, with small and medium sized rocks. This sediment continued until level 4 (0,6-0,8
m). In the same level 2 compactations of clay were found (see picture XX). These
compactations had circular impressions, possibly a result of urns. These urns have
presumably been taken by grave looters. The urns were located above Tr 15 , but were
not placed on the stone chamber grave itself, but above it. Large ceramic sherds were
found close to the compactations. The relation between these compactations and Tr 15
is so far unclear. It was decided to open up the trench in the east direction.
Trench 7A (Test trench)
Trench 7A was located directly east of Tr 7. It was 1,5 m long and 1 m wide. The
lightbrown and sandy sediment, with small and medium sized rocks was also present in
this trench. The amount of ceramics is however somewhat larger. A total of 296 sherds
were found, of these 274 were red ware white or cream slipped with a black painted
decoration (Santa Maria bicolor), 9 fragments of red coarse ware (tosca) and 11
unclassified fragments.
97
In level 4 (0,6-0,8 m) a possible grave structure was found. It
was therefore decided to open up the trench in the east direction. The grave structure
encountered will later be reffered to as Tr 11.
Trench 8 (Natural formation)
Trench 8 was the structure of stone blocks encountered within Tr 5, 5A and 5B. It
was exavated and found to be a natural formation.
Trench 9 (Test trench)
Trench 9 was located approximately 10 m west of Tr 6. It was 2 m long and 1 m
wide (N-S). The trench was placed on both sides of an upright standing stone.
98
The
sediment in level 1 and 2 (0-0,4 m) was sandy and brownish, with small and medium
sized rocks. In level 3 ( 0,4-0,6 m) the sediment changed colour and texture. It contained
particles of a much smaller size,among them muscovite and biotite, and the colour of the

97
For a description of the ceramic classification I refer to Susana Sjdin : Chronology and ceramics -
methods. El Pichao 1989 , Eds P Cornell S Sjdin Gteborg 1989 pp 72 - 117.
98
Which was considered as one of the indicators of grave structures. The other one was earlier lootings.
54
sediment was more white. A single sherd of grey coarse ware (tosca) was encountered.
The excavation was continued until a depth of one meter without result. The
uprightstanding stone was not an indicator of a tomb.
Trench 10: (Test trench)
Trench 10 was located directly west of Tr 1, excavated during 1989.
99
The trench
was 3 m long and 1 m wide (N-S). In the N part of Tr 10 an uprightstanding stone was
located. The trench had a rather rich ceramic material in all three levels excavated (0-
0,6 m). Of a total of 211 sherds 177 were red ware white or cream slip with a black
painted decoration (Santa Maria bicolor), 16 grey coarse ware (tosca) and 12 red coarse
ware (Caspinchango). The distribution of sherds was rather uniform throughout all 3
excavated levels, but the majority of the sherds were encountered in the southern part of
the trench.
The sediment was brownish and sandy, with small to medium sized rocks. In the
southern part of Tr 10 the sediment was of a somewhat darker colour, possibly
depending on bones encountered in this part of the trench. In level 2 and 3 (0.4-0,6 m)
human bone material of all kinds
100
was encountered . The bone material could be
directly associated with a structure of stones in the southern part of the trench. This was
also the case for the four glass pearls which were found close to the stone structure. In
the middle the structure had a hollow area. The structure was interpreted as a possible
tomb structure and will hereafter be referred to as Tr 12. Tr 10 was opened in E , W
and S to get a better look at Tr 12.
The uprightstanding stone located in the northern part of Tr 10 was not placed
directly close to a grave structure, but was only at a few meters distance from Tr 12. It
could perhaps be seen as a general indicator of graves within a small sector.
6.2 Trenches 11-15
Figure 6.3
Trench 11(Tomb structure)
In the eastern part of Trench 7A a structure of stones was found. It was decided to
continue the excavation in that direction. As a result of that excavation Trench 11 was
located.
Trench 11 is a stone chamber grave with a cantilevered vault. The cist is oval
shaped, 2 m long, 1,50 m wide and 0,8 m high. It consists of stones, of a size between
0,3 - 0,8 m. The stones generally have a flat surface and are placed horizontally in
direction of the center of the tomb. A drawing of the stone chamber in scale 1:20 was
made and the finds outside and above Tr 11 were registred. When necessary the finds
were nivellated and collected separately. The grave was not excavated during the
campaign of 1990 because of lack of time. It was sealed and covered with earth and will
be excavated during 1991.

99
During the excavations in 1989, there were possible indications of tomb structures W of trench 1.
100
Among them parts of cranium, mandibula and larger bones.
55
The finds are generally ceramic sherds, with a few finds of bone, obsidian and glass
pearls. No difference in the distribution of artefacts was found between finds located
above the grave and outside the grave with the exception that glass pearls and obsidian
only was found outside of the stone chamber, and that a concentration of bones was
encountered directly east of the grave. The ceramic material is generally of the type red
ware white or cream slip with a black painted decoration (Santa Maria bicolor). Of a
total of 630 sherds 577 were of the type red vare white or cream slipped with a black
painted decoration (Santa Maria bicolor), 33 sherds of grey coarse ware (tosca) and 3
each of red coarse ware (caspinchango) and Belem.
The concentration of bone material directly east of Tr 11 was interpreted as a
possible secondary grave. The compactations of clay with circular impressions
encountered in Tr 7 could possibly be connected with Tr 11. There is however a chance
that it can be a part of Tr 15 instead, this will be discussed in a later part of the report.
Not much can be said about Tr 11 before it has been excavated. The finds of glass
pearls dates it to the spanish contact period (1530 - 1660). It is located very close to the
other grave structures, Tr 12 -15 and is probably of the same date as them. It has a
probable secondary grave east of the stone chamber consisting of a concentration of
bones.
Trench 12 (Tomb structure) (Figure 6.4)
A structure of stones was encountered in the southern part of trench 10. This
structure was interpreted as a tomb structure and called Tr 12. The structure was a stone
chamber grave with a cantilevered vault. It was oval shaped, 2 m long, 1,8 m wide and
0,9 m high. It consisted of stones 0,3 - 0,8 m large with rather flat surfaces. The stones
were placed horizontally and directed towards the center of the tomb. The base was a
rectangular cist built up of vertically placed stone blocks. The height from sterile level
until the highest placed lock stone was about 1,2 meter. The general impression was that
the upper part of the structure was partly destroyed, and that some of the lock stones
had fallen into the grave.
The sediment outside the grave was generally brownish sandy, with small to medium
sized rocks. When bone material was encountered, the sediment changed colour and got
more dark brown. A few finds were encountered outside the grave, among them iron
fragments, glass pearls and bone material. The ceramic sherds were generally of the type
red ware white or cream slip with a black painted decoration (Santa Maria bicolor) with
lesser fragments of grey coarse ware (tosca) red coarse ware (Caspinchango) and Belem.
NW of the grave 3 whole wessels were found, one puco and 2 vessels, a smaller and a
larger, all of red coarse ware. The vessels were placed above each other. They were
buried in direct connection with Tr 12, and the author presumes that they can be seen as
part of the grave inventory.
Within the grave chamber, a large and diverse artefact material was encountered.
Ceramic material was found in all levels within the grave chamber, however whole
ceramic vessels and other types of artefacts were only encountered at the bottom of the
grave, close to sterile level. The interpretation is that only the artefact material found at
the bottom of the grave chamber can be synchronical to the construction of the tomb
and that the other artefact material (mainly ceramic sherds of type Santa Maria) is of a
somewhat earlier date than the construction of the grave chamber.
101
This will however
be discussed in a later part of this paper.

101
In other words, the grave can not be seen as a closed chronological unit. For a discussion of this I
refer to Nils Johansson: The grave material at El Pichao - Problems and possibilities. El Pichao
56
A rather rich ceramic material was encountered within the grave. A total of 274
sherds were encountered within the grave, of these 213 were of the type red ware white
or cream slipped with a black painted decoration (Santa Maria bicolor).There were 34
sherds of red coarse ware, 4 of grey coarse ware (tosca) and 1 of Beln. 22 sherds
remained unclassified. Only one whole wessel was encountered, a small caspinchango
vessel located close to sterile level. This is the only ceramic artefact that can be
connected with the construction of the grave. The other ceramic material was generally
found within higher located levels within the tomb. The sherd material was fragmentary
and impossible to refit. It had more the character of a "waste" material than sherds from
one or two vessels.
102

The other artefact categories were generally found close to sterile level within the
grave chamber. This make them safer chronologically than the ceramic material. The
artefacts of iron and glass pearls connect the grave chronologically with the Spanish
contact period, 1530 - 1660.
103
A total of 11 different artefact categories were
encountered, including ceramics as a single category. The bone material at the bottom of
the grave was rather "flat", it was thought that this was a result of pressure from infalling
lockstones. Parts of crania were encountered both in the south and northern part of Tr
12 ,which might indicate that possibly more than one person was buried within the
grave. Glass pearls of four different colours were encountered, white, blue, transparent
blue and dark blue. The iron artefacts were rather fragmentary and hard to identify.
There were identifiable objects of a knife and a scissor, but a further analysis of the
material by x ray will tell us more about the character of the artefacts. Of special
interrest was a textile fragment in the eastern part of Tr 12. It was surrounding a metal
fragment, possibly a copper derivate. There were also objects in quartz and polished
stone.
It is difficult to interpret many of the artefacts without further analyses. This will be
developed in another part of the paper.
Trench 13 (Tomb Structure) (Figure 6.5)
To facilitate the excavation of Tr 11 and Tr 12 a transsect was opened between the
two tomb structures. As a result Tr 13 was encountered. Tr13 was a stone chamber
grave with a cantilevered vault. It was 1,8 m long, 1,4 m wide and 0,8 m high. The
construction of Tr 13 was similar to Tr 11 and Tr12. The base was a rectangular stone
cist, the upper parts of the stone chamber were oval shaped with almost horizontally
placed stones. The stone chamber was closed with horizontally placed stoneblocks,
referred to as lock stones.
The general impression was that Tr 13 was of a much more solid construction than
the other tomb structures. There were no signs of damages or missing stones, unlike for

1989, eds Per Cornell Susana Sjdin. Gotarc Gteborg 1989 pp 49 - 61. The clue to this
phenomena lies in the way of constructing the burial chamber. A hole is excavated in a presumed
older gravefield consisting of Santa Maria urns. In it the burial chamber is constructed. The artifacts
are laid down at the bottom of the grave, and later covered with sand. This sand contains sherds
from the older grave field in the same sector. In that way the material gets chronologically mixed
within the same burial. The material close to sterile level is however synchronic to the construction
of the tomb.
102
An analysis of the ceramic sherd material from Tr 12 was made by Susana Sjdin, I refer to her
conclusions in another part of my paper. It was impossible to refit the sherds found within one and
the same burial chamber.
103
For a discussion of this, I refer to LIDIA BALDINI & MARIA ESTER ALBECK, La prescencia
hispnica en algunos cementerios del valle de Santa Mara, Catamarca. Presencia hispanica en la
arqueologia Argentina Vol 2, Bs As 1984.
57
example Tr 12, where the upper part of the stone chamber was partly destroyed. The
grave was only partly excavated because of lack of time. The excavation of Tr 13 will
continue during 1991.
South of Tr 13, in direct connection with the grave, a human crania was found.
However, most of the bones from other parts of the body were not encountered. The
interpretation of this is so far uncertain.
So far, very little artefact material has been encountered above, outside and within Tr
13. The distribution of ceramic sherds is similar both outside and within the tomb, with
more than 90 % red ware white or cream slip with a black painted decoration (Santa
Maria bicolor) and just a few percentages of the other ceramic categories.
104
A very few
conclusions can be made before Tr 13 is excavated completely.
105

Of far more interrest was the bone material encountered within Tr 13. A large
skeletal material was encountered within the grave. It was excavated by a biologist,
Noemi Acreche and a student from the institute in Tucuman Maria Gloria Colaneri. The
analysis of the material is not yet finished but a few conclusions can be made.
So far, a skeletal material from more than 13 individuals has been encountered. The
individuals were between 15 - 50 years old. Both males and females were
encountered.The position of the buried varied. There are two possible explanations for
this. One is that they originally were placed in a sitting position alongside the walls of the
stone cist,and after some hundred years had changed position
106
, another one that the
bone material was sorted as the result of that the grave chamber had been opened from
time to time.
107
The crania had signs of artificial deformation of the back of the skull
"tabular erecta". There were also indications of oseus neofication.
The bone material was generally very fragile and hard to excavate. In order to
stabilize the bone, a mixture of water and carpenters glue was used. The results of this
method were not to promising, but unfortunately no other chemical was available in the
region. Samples for analysis were taken before the conservation was made, among them
samples of bone for C 13 and C 14 analysis.
Trench 14 (grave structure)
Trench 14 is a grave structure encountered during the excavations of Trenches 11, 12
and 13. The tomb is located directly west of Tr 12 and at a higher level than that of Tr
12. This can possibly be explained by the fact that the slope is rather steep at this part of
sector XI.
It is not yet fully excavated and therefore only a few facts can be told. The tomb is
1,6 m long and 1,2 m wide. The tomb is a stone chamber grave with a cantilevered vault.
The stone chamber is however heavily damaged and some blocks from Tr 14 have fallen
down on Tr 12. A fallen down stoneblock from Tr 14 has probably pushed down one of
the blocks in the rectangular stone cist of Tr 12 (see plate XX).
108
The first

104
This might be an indication of that the grave after burial was refilled with sand containg ceramic
sherds from an earlier grave field in sector XI. The percentages of ceramic types could in that way be
similar outside and within the grave chamber.
105
A study of Santa Maria pottery from Tr 13 was done by Susana Sjdin. The porosity of the pottery
found in Tr 13 sector XI was different from that found in Unit 1 sector III.
106
Victor Nuez Regueiro, personal communication.
107
Karl Gran Sjgren, Gothenburg University (pers. comm.) got the impression of a sorted skeletal
material while looking at my drawings of Tr 13.
108
Gloria Esteban, personal communication.
58
interpretation was that Tr 12 was built around a part of Tr 14.
109
The movement of the
stoneblock is however hard to explain without assuming that it originally leaned on Tr
12 or that it has been moved by outer force.
Trench 15 (grave structure)
Trench 15 was encountered while excavating Tr 11. The structure can so far be seen
only in the vertical section. Tr 15 seems to be a structure of the same type as Tr 11 - 14,
that is a stone chamber grave with a cantilevered vault. The tomb is 1,7 m long and
consists of stones of a size between 0,2 - 0,4 m, but so far nothing can be said about
width and height of the structure. Tr 15 is located at a significantly lower level than Tr
11, this makes it an interresting object for next season of excavations.
110
An important
question is if there are any temporal difference between the two structures. Directly
above Tr 15, but not above it, 2 circular impressions were encountered. It was assumed
that these were impressions of urns, which had been collected by grave looters. Since
they were not found directly above Tr 15, they might be of a somewhat earlier date than
the grave structure.
6.3 Specific studies of artefact categories within the tombs
As mentioned before, the tomb material has the largest number of artefact categories
of all materials encountered at the site of El Pichao. In this section some results will be
presented:
6.3.1 Ceramics
Generally, only a few ceramic types occur within the tomb material, among them red
ware white or cream slip with a black or black and red painted decoration. (Santa
Maria bicolor and tricolor) and red and grey coarse ware (Caspinchango and tosca).
There is a much larger variety of ceramic material within a household context.
111
Red
ware white or cream slip (Santa maria) is encountered both in the burial and the
household context.
A sample was taken from the upper levels (far from sterile level) of Tr 13 and a
comparison was made with the material from Unit 1, sector IV. The sherd material from
the tomb consists generally of red ware white or cream slip and the comparison
concerns only this material. Firstly, the general impression is that the sherds do not fit
together, or in other words, they are not from one vessel, but from far more vessels than
would be reasonable in a single tomb structure.
112
This leads us to conclude that the

109
This was the case with Tr 14, which construction was leaning upon Tr 13. In that way it was verified
that Tr 13 was constructed before Tr 14.
110
There is no slope between Tr 11 and Tr 15 that might give a natural explanation for the difference in
altitude between the two tomb structures.
111
See for example Per Cornell: Unit 1 as a household and the 1990 excavations in structure 3 El
Pichao 1990 Gteborg
112
Susana Sjdin, personal communication.
59
vessels from which they originated was not originally deposited within the tomb. They
can instead be looked upon as a filling material, that was incorporated to Tr 13 directly
after the deposition of the dead. Another indication for this is the distribution of the
different artefact types within the graves. Whole ceramic vessels and non ceramic
artefacts are generally found close to sterile level (se plate XX), wheras ceramic sherds
of red ware white or cream slip is generally found far from sterile level within the tomb.
The possibility of a temporal variability within the grave clearly has to be considered.
During analysis, a diffence in technology was encountered between red ware white or
cream slip (Santa Maria ) collected in Tr 13, sector XI and the one collected in Unit 1,
sector III.
113
The material from Tr 13, sector XI had a much lesser porosity. The
material contained non plastic inclusions and the impression was that it had not been as
prepared
114
before burning as had been the material from Unit 1, sector III. The
conclusion is that the ceramic material from Unit 1 was produced possibly for storage,
wheras the ceramic material encountered in Tr 13 only was produced for a burial
context. This difference could not have been encountered with a traditional analysis of
decoration, since the two samples are similar in that respect.
6.3.2 Bone material
So far only a part of the bone material has been analyzed. The analyzed material
comes mainly from Tr 13, sector XI. The analysis has been done by Noemi Acreche
from the National museum of Salta and Maria Gloria Colaneri from the archaeological
institute in Tucuman.
The bone material from the 3 tombs so far excavated (Tr 4 in 89, Tr 12 and 13 in 90)
seem to indicate that generally more than one person was buried within the tomb. In
one case (tr 13) bone material from 14 individuals is encountered. Of these 10 were
adults and 4 subadults. There is an impression of a sorting of the bone material, which
might indicate that the tomb structure was opened from time to time. A clear indication
of this is that from a total of 13 individuals, only 8 crania were encountered. In Tr 13
the individuals were between 15 - 50 years of age at death. The sex determination could
only be based on the cranial material, but seems to be even between sexes.
115

During fieldwork it was possible to observe an artificial deformation (tabular Erecta)
of the backhead on some individuals and traces of oseous neoformation, as for example
the vertebral column of one individual transformed into one single piece. The total
number of individuals encountered during the excavations of 1990 can be estimated to
20. This number is achieved by calculating the minimum number of individuals based on
the skeletal material. Outside of Tr 11 rests of 2 individuals were encountered, within
and outside of Tr 12, 4 individuals, 2 young, an adult an a child, in Tr 13, 10 adults and
4 subadults. In a trench outside of Tr 12 called Tr 10 rests of 3 individuals were
encountered, one child, one juvenile and one adult. These rests, however can be
associated with Tr 12, and is therefore only counted as one individual.
The preservation of the bones is generally very bad, which makes conservation of
this material an acute problem. However, samples for analysis for C-14 and C-13 has to

113
For a more thorough discussion I refer to Susana Sjdin in another part of this report.
114
The conclusion was that antiplastics had not been added to the ceramics before burning.
115
For a further development on this, I refer to N Acreche, MG Colaneri and YMV Albeza, Human
skeletal remains from El Pichao 1990, this report.
60
be taken before conservation is made, which poses a difficult elective situation during
field work.
6.3.3 Textiles
A first study of the textile material has been made by Marta Ortiz Malmierca,
University of Stockholm. The study was based on textiles from Tr 3 and 4 ( excavated
during 1989) and Tr 12 excavated during 1990.
116
The sample is very small but still a
few conclusions can be made.
117

The samples are all of lama wool, and they are all produced with the same weaving
technique. (tuskaft ) They are generally of a rather small size, 1 - 5 cm wide. The only
difference encountered so far is between textiles encountered within tomb structures
(Tr4, Tr12) and outside (Tr 3). The textiles encountered within the tombs are of thin
fibres, 0,15 - 0,5 mm wide, where as the textiles encountered within Tr 3 are more thick.
The textiles encountered within the tombs are also woven in a more "compact" manner,
and has more threads per square cm than the material encountered outside of the tomb.
The two qualities of textiles are without further investigations difficult to interpret. It
might hypothetically be assumed that the difference stems from 2 different types of
usage, but this remains to be proven.
6.3.4 Metal
Samples of metal has been collected for further analysis. The sample consists of
fragments of copper and iron which many times are very hard to identify. No analysis has
been made so far with the exception of a simple photographic documentation of the
different fragments.
118

The iron fragments will be x- rayed, the copper fragments will be analyzed with the
pixe method in order to find out the percentages of different metals in the alloy. The
only identifiable artefacts so far are fragments of a scissor and a knife in iron, and a
"pincett" and "skrinbeslag" in copper. The study of the metal fragments will be an
important tool for understanding the social structure in the grave material, and possibly
to make a comparison with the house structures.
6.3.5 Macrofossil
Samples for macrofossil were taken during the excavations.
119
The analysis is not yet
finished, so far only samples from the 1989 excavation has been looked upon.
120
The

116
Tr 3 was a test trench, located outside of Tr 4 a grave structure. Tr 12 was a grave structure
excavated during 1990.
117
For a more thorough description of the sample I refer to Marta Ortiz Malmierca and her paper in this
report.
118
This has been done by Maria Rosario Vazquez, University of Stockholm.
119
For a further development of the subject, see Sven Ahlgrens paper in this report.
61
most interresting result so far seems to be small fragments of bone encountered within a
puco in Tr 4. Such a quantity of bone fragments is encountered in no other macrofossil
sample so far.
The authors interpretation is that the fragments come from the filling material, and
not from the material deposited within the grave. It could be a fragmented bone material
from the earlier grave field consisting of Santa Maria urns. This remains however to be
proven.
6.4 Discussion
So far, a few conclusions can be made about the grave material in sector XI.
The graves are located in the W part of sector XI, and in no other parts of the sector.
They are dated 1530 - 1660.
They are of the same construction.
They are collective tombs.
They are built on a earlier gravefield.
They are not chronologically closed units.
They have the richest artefact material of all at the site of El Pichao
They contain ceramics especially made for a burial context
6.4.1 Location
The system of test trenches (trench 5 - 10) clearly show that the graves are only
located in a limited part of sector XI. So far no indication of graves has been found
outside the w part of sector XI. The graves are built very close to each other, sometimes
one uses the other one as a fundament. In that way it is possible to get a relative
chronology between individual graves.
Sometimes there are differences in heights between grave structures. In some cases
(for example between Tr 12 and Tr 13) this can be explained by a natural slope in the
sector, In other cases (Tr 11 and Tr 15) such an explanation is not valid. Further
excavations will show if this difference has any chronological significance.
6.4.2 Dating
Samples for TL dating were taken and are at the moment at the Ris laboratory in
Denmark. In spite of these datings the graves are preliminary referred to the spanish
contact period 1530 - 1660 AD. This is done mainly on the presence of glass pearls and
objects in iron, which are generally referred to as spanish import objects. The spanish
contact period, a period of change between a new and old poses many interresting
questions. What was the relationship between the natives and the spanish ? How were

120
Including three samples from Tr 3 and one from tr 4.
62
the spanish imports valued ? What does it mean that you find them in a grave material ?
These questions will be dealt with in a later part of the report.
6.4.3 Construction
The graves encountered so far are all of the same construction. The base is a
rectangular stone cist with vertically placed stone blocks. Over it a circular or oval
shaped stone structure is built. The angle of the stone blocks within the circle, gradually
changes from almost vertical to horizontal. At the top the stone cist has a false vault, or
to put it more correctly, a cantilevered vault.
The graves are generally placed approximately 0,5 mts beneath the soil and are
seldom marked above ground. It was generally believed that uprightstanding stones were
an indicator of graves. A system of test trenches were therefore systematically placed at
uprightstanding stones but no correspondence between these and grave structures could
be found. The difference between the graves in sector XI and others mentioned in the
literature from the same time period lies mainly in the rectangular stone cist. The other
grave constructions from the contact period has a circular shaped stone cist at the
bottom.
121

6.4.4 Collective tombs
The graves so encountered are all collective tombs, with more than one person
buried. Indications for this are for examle skull fragments located at opposite parts of the
funeral chamber.
122
It is still unclear if all persons were buried at the same time, or if the
graves has been opened from time to time. It seems however unreasonable that as many
as 14 persons has been buried at the same time, which was the case in Tr 13.
Sometimes burials above (Tr 12) and outside (Tr 13) the tomb is encountered. It is
assumed that they are similar chronologically to the stone chamber graves.
6.4.5 Earlier grave field
There are some indications of that the stone chambers were constructed in an earlier
grave field. The only whole vessels encountered within the grave are of red coarse ware
(Caspinchango) wheras there is a large sherd material of red ware white or cream
slipped with a black painted decoration (Santa Maria bicolor) of a somewhat earlier
date. The fragments are not possible to reconstruct into whole vessels and are from far

121
See for example SALVADOR DEBENEDETTI, La influencia hispnica en los yacimientos
arqueolgicos de Caspinchango. Revista de la universidad de Buenos Aires, XLVI , , lamina VI. Bs
As 1921 pp 745-788
122
Or of course the presence of more than one skeleton. The preservation of bone is very bad however,
and you cannot count on finding a complete bone material.
63
more vessels than would be reasonable to find in a single stone chamber.
123
It is
therefore assumed that this is a filling material from an earlier gravefield.
Another indication of an earlier gravefield is that approximately 60 urns have been
looted from sector XI. These have nowadays disappeared, but from verbal descriptions
they seem to be of the Santa Maria type.
124

6.4.6 Not chronologically closed units
The graves can not be seen as chronologically closed units. The main indications for
this lies in the distribution of the artefact material within the stone chamber. Close to
sterile level, whole vessels of red coarse ware and other artefact types are encountered.
In the upper levels a Santa Maria sherd material is encountered. This sherd material is
not possible to reconstruct into whole vessels and stems from more vessels than would
be reasonable to find in a single grave chamber. The difficulty lies however in explaining
how the grave material was mixed. To make this, we have to look at the process of
constructing the grave.
Vladimiro Weiser writes about the construction of the grave chambers:
125

"They excavated the soil until they came to the silt, in these times it seems as if the
layer of soil was very thin, 5 - 10 cm deep. Then they dug a hole 3 m long and 2,5 m
wide to a depth of 1m. From this level to a depth of 2 m ,the diameter of the hole was
only 2 m. From here on they started to construct the vault of the stone chamber made of
stone blocks put horizontally. The stone blocks were laid in a circle until they reached a
diameter of 0,6-0,8 m. Here the chamber was closed by putting vertical stone blocks
over the chamber".
Smaller stones were put between the larger ones in order to "close" the grave.
Weiser considered the position of the skeletons and the position of the artefacts buried
to be an indication that they had not been buried at one and the same time, but the
grave chambers had been opened from time to time.
In my explanation of the chronological mixture the emphasis will be put on the the
construction of the grave chamber. A hole is dug in an supposedly older grave field.
During this process older urns are cracked, but also sherds from already destroyed urns
are excavated.
The cist is constructed and the dead people buried together with their grave gifts and
whole ceramic vessels. They are then covered with sediment, wich serves to stabilize the
grave chamber from within. The sediment contains an older Santa Maria sherd material.
In a way the hypothesis assumes that the process of constructing the grave leads to the
mixture of two chronologically different materials within the same grave chamber.

123
Susana Sjdin, personal communication
124
Pio Gwanka, personal communication
125
Weiser Vladimiro 1922 , Field book 18, pg 92-93, based on 4.th expedition 1922. Dep. at museo de
Ciencias Naturales, La Plata.
64
6.4.7 A rich artefact material
The grave material in sector XI has the richest artefact material of all materials
encountered on the site of El Pichao. During the 1990 excavations, 11 different artefact
categories were encountered. This is both a possibility and a problem. Hypothetically, if
you apply the concepts of quantity, diversity and place of origin you would have a great
possibility to create a ranking scale among the graves.
126
A wealthier grave should have
more material goods than a poorer one, it should also posses a greater variety of material
goods. If materials of exotic origin are encountered, this can also be taken as an
indicator of wealth. Of course this is only true if wealth is considered on the axis of
vertical differentiation.
All of this is true for the grave material in sector 11. The difficulty lies however in
weighing the different artefact types against each other, to evaluate who is an indicator
for social differentiation, and who is not.
6.4.8 Specially produced pottery for a grave context
As mentioned earlier two different types of Santa Maria pottery were found. One
originated from sector III, the other one from the supposed filling material in sector XI.
The decoration on the two types of wessels were similar, but the Santa Maria from
sector XI had a much lesser porosity than the one from sector III. This leads us to
conclude that the two types had a different usage. It seems unlikely that the Santa Maria
ceramic encountered within sector XI could have been used outside of a grave context.
The Santa Maria in sector III had more porosity and could possibly have been used for
storage, wheras the lesser porous ceramics (with no antiplastics added) encountered in
sector XI would have been unsuitable for such matters. So far, the lesser porous Santa
Maria has not been encountered outside of sector XI. This clearly indicates a specialised
production of grave pottery on the site of El Pichao. From a production point of wiev,
not as much work is invested in this kind of pottery.
6.4.9 The Spanish contact period
The presence of a foreign material culture
127
dates the graves to the spanish contact
period. The period includes a period of first encounter with the spaniards, but also
periods of trade and war with the colonialists, and lastly the total surrender of the natives
to the Spaniards. The period of the indians contact with colonialists is generally not well
known, and especially not how the indian culture was changed as a result of that contact.
One of the main problems seems to be to get accurate descriptions of how indian life
tended to be. Many descriptions are from the colonialists point of wiev, and very

126
For a further discussion, I refer to Smith Michael E 1987 Household Possesions and Wealth. Journal
of Anthropological Archaeology 6:4 pp 297-335.
127
That is, glass pearls and objects in iron, which are traditionally referred to as Spanish import objects.
65
coloured by the values of their culture. Sometimes the descriptions are no more than
fantasies.
128

Another problem is to interpret changes in cultural behaviour on basis of material
evidence only. If material was imported or exchanged as a result of trade with the
colonialists, what role and importance played that material within indian society? Can we
interpret it in terms of social differentiation? If so, how do we evaluate it in comparison
with the natives own materials and artefacts? To understand this we first have to
understand the nature of contact and trade with the colonialists. In a short paper
129
I
have tried to develop this theme. As an outcome of this, I developed 5 changes within
native culture which might occur as the result of contact with the Spaniards.
1: Contact might intensifie trade.
2: Contact might give new ways of gaining prosperity and thus increase social
differentiation.
3: Contact might incorporate a foregin material culture among the indians.
4: Contact might change traditional alliance systems among the indians.
5: Contact might create a dependence situation towards the colonialists.
To understand the changes that the contact with the spaniards might have created we
must however put it in its historical context.
The contact period lasts from 1530 until 1660 and includes the timeperiod from the
first encounter with the Spaniards to the spanish military victory in 1659. The spanish
presence in the Santa Maria valley was small before 1650.
130
The Spaniards constructed
centres like Santiago del Estero and Ibatin at other places which existed alongside with
the indian centres like Tolombon, El Pichao and Quilmes. In fact no real political control
was achieved before 1659. The reason for this seems to be that the indian political
organisation was of a segmentary type
131
The centres in the Calchaqui valley had no
supreme political power but unified in case of outside threat towards a common
enemy.
132

However, each alliance group had its own tactics towards the Spaniards. A northern
group, the Pulares choose to collaborate with the spanish to a great extent. The site of El
Pichao seems to have belonged to the Calchaqui group which fought against the spanish
for many years. After some victories during the 1650:s, the leader of the Calchaqui
group, Pablo Calchaqui was killed in a battle in Tolombon in 1659. After this the alliance
group capitulated to the Spaniards. After their defeat the Calchaqui group came to be
antagonistic in their relation to the Yocavil group, especially concerning Algarobo trees
in the valley bottom.
Let us now return to the 5 points concerning changes in native culture related to
contact with the spaniards. In this case the indians have incorporated a foreign material
culture in their grave material because of contact with the Spaniards. The material is
probably a result of trade or exchange with the colonialists but could also have been
taken in war. Because of the presence of the Spaniards, local alliance systems are
altered, some groups chose to colloborate, others to fight. After their defeat the

128
A good example can be taken from the french artists Lafitaus description of the Hurons feast of the
dead in North America. In the picture skeletons are dangling, and corpses are wrapped over the
mourners shoulders. This had no connection whatsoever with the traditional feast of the dead. In
Trigger, Bruce 1987 The children of Aataensic Montreal pp 89
129
Johansson Nils Specified problems related to the spanish contact period unpubl paper 1990
130
Cornell Per 1989 Introduction. El Pichao 1989 p 6 MS.
131
ANA MARIA LORANDI & ROXANA BOIXADS, Etnohistoria de los valles Calchaquies en los siglos
XVI y XVII, manuscript for publication, 1989.
132
Cornell Per 1989 Introduction El Pichao 1989 p 7 MS.
66
Calchaqui group got Antagonistic against the Yocavil group because of lack of local
resources.
We cannot say anything about the intensity of trade with the spaniards, or if trade
created a dependence situation against them before their victory in 1659. The wars
against the Spaniards opposes such an conclusion. The fact that spanish items were laid
down in graves during that period might however indicate that spanish items were highly
valued in indian society.
The fact that an older cemetery possibly was reutilized might indicate an ambivalence
towards the own culture. Another indicator of this might be the rectangular structure of
the base of the chamber graves, a possible imitation of a cist. However the grave ritual
with putting more than one person in the same grave together with grave goods are
clearly indian customs. We stand in front of a "hybrid", with two types of material
culture and a possible influence from the cist in the form of the base of the stone
chamber. The difficulty lies in deciding what is clearly reflecting indian society, and what
can clearly indicate social differentiation. Part of it depends on the value of spanish items
in indian society, but also on the nature of the relationship between conquerer and
conquered.
6.4.10 Graves encountered in other sectors.
During the campaign of 1990 graves were also encountered in sector IX, and close to
the Carissal mountain. A brief survey of the graves close to Carissal mountain was made
by the author and Gloria Esteban. The graves were generally encountered as a result of
earlier looting. The authors impression is that the graves are different from the graves in
sector XI, and that they possibly could be dated earlier.
Sector IX was surveyed by Eduardo Ribotta and Gloria Esteban. On the basis of this,
a geographical description of the sector was made. This cemetery is heavily damaged by
earlier looting.
133
The grave structures includes both rectangular stone cists, and circular
stone structures. Mediations were made and a map of the sector was constructed. As
part of the plans for the next field campaign, field work will be undertaken in this sector.
References
ACRECHE, N, MG COLANERI & YMV ALBEZA, Human skeletal remains from El Pichao 1990. El
Pichao 1990 GOTARC Gteborg 1991
BALDINI, LIDIA & MARIA ESTER ALBECK, La prescencia hispnica en algunos cementerios del
valle de Santa Mara, Catamarca. Presencia hispnica en la arqueologa Argentina, Vol 2,
Buenos Aires 1984.
CORNELL, PER, Introduction. El Pichao 1989 .
CORNELL, PER, Unit 1 as a household and the 1990 excavations in structure 3. El Pichao 1990.
Gteborg
DEBENEDETTI, SALVADOR, La influencia hispnica en los yacimientos arqueolgicos de
Caspinchango. Revista de la universidad de Buenos Aires, XLVI. Buenos Aires 1921, pp 745-788.
JOHANSSON, NILS, The grave material at El Pichao - Problems and possibilities. El Pichao 1989, (eds
Per Cornell & Susana Sjdin) Gteborg 1989, pp 49 - 61.

133
Ribotta Eduardo: Geographical description of sector IX El Pichao 1990 MS
67
JOHANSSON, NILS, Specified problems related to the Spanish contact period, unpubl paper, Gteborg
1990.
LORANDI, ANA MARIA & ROXANA BOIXADS, Etnohistoria de los valles Calchaquies en los siglos
XVI y XVII, manuscript for publication, 1989.
ORTIZ MALMIERCA, MARTHA, Textiles en tumbas. El Pichao 1990.
RIBOTTA, EDUARDO, Geographical description of sector IX.El Pichao 1990 .
SJDIN, SUSANA, Chronology and ceramics - methods. El Pichao 1989 , (Eds P Cornell & S Sjdin),
Gteborg 1989, pp 72 - 117.
SJDIN, SUSANA, El Pichao 1990.
SMITH, MICHAEL E, Household Possesions and Wealth. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 6:4
(1987), pp 297-335.
TRIGGER, BRUCE,The children of Aataensic Montreal 1987.
VLADIMIRO, WEISER, Field book 18, based on 4.th expedition 1922. Dep. at museo de Ciencias
Naturales, La Plata 1922.
69
7. Human skeletal remains from El Pichao 1990 -
(Preliminary report)
Noemi Acreche, Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Museo de
Antropologa de Salta.
Mara Gloria Colaneri, Instituto de arqueologa, Universidad nacional de Tucumn
Mara Virginia Albeza, Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Salta
The human skeleton, can provide important information about individual and social
history. Data extracted from bones recovered from archaeological excavations, such as
pattern of burial, number of individuals, deformative practices, age at death, sex or
group composition, signs of injury, and degenerative changes, reflect social organization,
way of living, activity, nutrition, health and even peace and war periods. On the other
hand, morphological characters, either measurable in numerical scales or not, may
contribute to the understanding of genetical relationships, among groups and their
distances. For an inequivocal interpretation, it is needed a significant sample of bone
remains of a population. One of the main problems of this work is the cuantification of
the representativity of samples. Differential conservation of bones must also be
evaluated.
The recovery of human skeletal remains with a clear association to cultural materials,
is very important in our region, where bones were not studied, sometimes because their
importance was not understood, others because they were not treated by specialists.
There is some bone material in museums, lacking the references of provenance or
cultural association. This is why it is still necessary to study and characterize human
prehistoric population in this area, defining a reference collection. Fortunately, there is a
number of works that have done much to change this situation.
134

The human remains considered in this study were recovered in the 1990' campaign
from a cemetery at El Pichao and were studied at the Laboratory of Physical
Anthropology, Natural Science museum, National university of Salta.
Three tombs were excavated, and a minimum of 13 adults, 8 adolescents and 1 child
were identified.

134
Cf for example EDUARDO CIGLIANO, Tastil, una ciudad preincaica argentina. Tastil, una ciudad
preincaica argentina, (ed Cabargon). Buenos Aires 1973; JOS COCILOVO, Estudios sobre
discriminacin y clasificacin de poblaciones prehispnicas del noroeste argentino. Publicacin
ocasional, 36, Museo Nacional de historia natural, (Santiago de Chile 1981); LIVIA FEBES
KOZAMEH, Estudio antropofsico de una coleccin perteneciente al Museo arqueolgico de Cachi.
Estudios de arqueologa, 2 (Cachi 1977); ALBERTO MARCELLINO, El morfotipo paleoamericano
lagofueguido en restos humanos del perodo de agricultura incipiente del noroeste argentino.
Publicaciones del Instituto de antropologa, 36, Universidad nacional de Crdoba, Crdoba 1981;
ALBERTO MARCELLINO & S COLANTONIO, Relaciones morfolgicas de los aborgenes
prehispnicos del territorio argentino VI: La rgion noroeste (Beln, Valles Calchaques, Santa Rosa
de Tastil, Cachi). Bioanthropos, vol 1 (1988); ALBERTO MARCELLINO & S RINGUELET, Estudio
antropofsico de los restos de Tastil. Tastil, una ciudad preincaica argentina (ed Cabargon), Buenos
Aires 1973; SUSANA SALCEDA, Anlisis de la variabilidad biolgica intergrupal en la serie de
craneos adultos procedentes de Pampa Grande (Guanchipas - Salta). Biontropos, vol 1.
70
The assessment of age and sex was done on the basis of anatomical examination, as
recommended by Hrdlicka, Hooton, Bass, and Ferembach et al.
135

Biological age at death was estimated in subadults when possible, evaluating tooth
eruption, epiphyseal closure and relative length of long bones without epiphyses. An
individual was identified as an adult when the spheno-occipital suture was closed. When
this part of the skull was broken or missing, closure of other sutures (ecto and
endocranial), the presence of third molar, or degree of attrition were considered. Tooth
ware was only secondarily considered, due to its particular characters and variation of
pattern. Teeth were poorly preserved, crowns were mostly separated from their roots,
and heavily eroded. Degenerative changes, such as signs of osteoarthritis and dental
caries were also considered.
The estimation of sex was based upon the generalization that men are more robust,
rugged and muscle-marked than women. It was done only for adults, considering the
following distinguishing characters:
- General aspect of the skull
- Relief of muscular markings
- Orbital outline
- Relative teeth length
- Shape of the thin
- Gracility of bones
- Muscle ridges, especially in the occipital bones
- Robustness of processes (zygomatic, mastoid)
- Innominate bone
Tomb 13 was carefully excavated. The material was surrounded by a dense sediment,
very dry, adhered to the bones. It was so dry that removal was very difficult, for it didn't
resist the faintest pressure. Bones were removed, and each fragment identified in the
field when possible, given a register number and a possible vinculation with one of the
hipothetical individuals. Laterality, sex and age were also recorded. The material is
incomplete, poorly preserved, and very fragile. It was handled with care at all times.
The minimum number of individuals present in the tomb was determined by an
analysis of each bone fragment regarding sex, age or any distinctive feature such as
degenerative changes in the joints or other signs of pathology, in order to group those
that with any degree of probability belonged to the same individual.
Eight cranea were studied, all very fragmented. Mandibles and teeth, comparatively
known as parts with highest indices of differential conservation were also very
destructed.
Many fragments were found in anatomical position, indicating a primary burial. The
work was done in artificial strata, drawing plans, where each fragment was registered.
Differences in depth of burials, may indicate reuse of the tomb. Fragments seemed to
have been displaced from their original position, making difficult the interpretation of
relative placement. It is notable the disposition of all cranea at the borders of the tomb.
Cranium no 4 was placed close to the lateral wall of the tomb leaving no room for the
rest of the body's supposed anatomical position. It must be pointed out that most of the

135
A HRDLICKA, Practical anthropometry (ed T D Steward), The Wistar Institute of anatomy and
biology, Philadelphia 1952; E A HOOTON, Up from the ape. New York 1954; WILLIAM BASS,
Human osteology: a laboratory and field manual of the human skeleton (ed D R Evans). Columbia
1971; D FEREMBACH et al, Recommendations por determiner l'age et le sexe sur le squelette.
Bulletine et memoires de la socit d'Anthropologie de Paris, vol 6 (1979).
71
long bones were recovered from the northern part. Individual no 3, on the other hand,
was found in anatomical position.
It is possible to infer that this tomb was in continual use during a relatively long time
span. In some cases it seems to have been used for primary burials (individual no 3) and
secondary burials in other cases, as the case is with individual no 4. Nils Johansson
excavated a trench close to a grave, where he found what he considers a secondary
burial.
The tomb was shared by adults and adolescents, as well as by children, of both sexes.
Skull no 1 was artificially deformed (tabular erecta). It belonged to an adult male,
probably older than 50 years, considering the closure of all sutures, except a small
endocranial sector of coronal suture. In this point, it must be considered that the
estimation of age, done on the basis of normally developed individuals, may be altered by
the deformatory practices.
Skull no 2 presents parietal pitting, as well as nos 3, 4, and 5. This may be a
consequence of nutritional deficiency. Nos 2 and 6 present Inca bone, a character related
to heredity in American populations. No 2 has also a small supernumerary bone, which
might be the result of the deformative practice. According to sutures and eruption of the
third molar, this individual was aged 17 to 20 years.
Skull no 3 belonged to a female, 30 to 40 years old. This craneum presents, after
reconstruction, a shape with very high degree of asymetry, possibly the result of earth
pressure after death because its position in the tomb suffered diagonal pression.
Skull no 4 presents flat occipital, similar to those of nos 1 and 3. No sutures are
visibles, except for a small portion of the temporal. This is the biggest of all the cranea
studied, presenting thickening of the table and an prominent orbitary arc. This led to the
conclusion that it belonged to a male individual, aged around 40 years.
Skull no 5 presents cavities in the inferior canine and in the third molar. Neck caries
are also present in second mandibular molars. This may have been a woman, 30 to 40
years old.
Skull no 6 belonged to a robust man, older than 40 years. Second molar was lost
during his life. Sutures notably dented, not visibles on the inner face.
Skull no 7 is very fragmented, with visible methopic suture. In general lines, it
appears to be a very small skull, belonging to an individual of 20 to 30 years of age.
Skull no 8 is represented by only a few fragments of occipital and parietal bones,
without visible sutures. According to general characters, it might have been an adult,
older than 50 years.
Shovelling shaped incisors were found, with no precise relation to any of the skulls.
Long bones were also recovered from this tomb, as well as a number of fragments
representing almost all parts of the body. In spite of this, and even though all the
fragments were recorded, identified and studied, in this report we will include only those
that contributed to the assessment of the minimum number of individuals in the tomb.
Fragments of tibia, fibula, feet, scapul, humerus ulna, etc, of maximum seven
individuals were recorded, two of them being subadults.
According to femur fragments, which show the best degree of preservation, the
minimum number of individuals represented in the tomb is 13, 10 of them adults.
Fragments of ulna, on the other hand, represent seven individuals, 3 of them subadults.
Evidence of arthritic changes were recorded in the head of femur, and vertebral
transformation into one single piece, caused by oseus neoformation, a case of advanced
deforming spondilitis, causing column in bambu. In general terms, considering the age at
death of the individuals recovered and studied, and in spite of having found parietal
pitting in some of them, it may be concluded that the nutritional status of this population
was fairly good.
72
In no case was it possible to reach a definite conclusion regarding the cause of death,
since none of the bones show signs of injury before death.
Skeletal remains of the other three tombs were also studied, i e tombs nos 10, 11 and
12. In tomb no 10, fragments of three individuals were recognized, one child, one
adolescent and one adult. From tomb no 11, rests of two individuals were found. In
tomb no 12, a total of four individuals were found, two adolescents, one adult and one
child.
References
BASS, WILLIAM, Human osteology: a laboratory and field manual of the human skeleton (ed D R
Evans). Columbia 1971.
CIGLIANO, EDUARDO, Tastil, una ciudad preincaica argentina. Tastil, una ciudad preincaica
argentina, (ed Cabargon). Buenos Aires 1973.
COCILOVO, JOS, Estudios sobre discriminacin y clasificacin de poblaciones prehispnicas del
noroeste argentino. Publicacin ocasional, 36, Museo Nacional de historia natural, (Santiago de
Chile 1981).
FEREMBACH, D, et al, Recommendations por determiner l'age et le sexe sur le squelette. Bulletine et
memoires de la socit d'Anthropologie de Paris, vol 6 (1979).
HOOTON, E A, Up from the ape. New York 1954.
HRDLICKA, A, Practical anthropometry (ed T D Steward), The Wistar Institute of anatomy and
biology, Philadelphia 1952.
KOZAMEH, LIVIA FEBES, Estudio antropofsico de una coleccin perteneciente al Museo arquelgico
de Cachi. Estudios de arqueloga, 2 (Cachi 1977).
MARCELLINO, ALBERTO, El morfotipo paleoamericano lagofueguido en restos humanos del perodo
de agricultura incipiente del noroeste argentino. Publicaciones del Instituto de antropologa, 36,
Universidad nacional de Crdoba, Crdoba 1981.
MARCELLINO, ALBERTO & S COLANTONIO, Relaciones morfolgicas de los aborgenes
prehispnicos del territorio argentino VI: La rgion noroeste (Beln, Valles Calchaques, Santa Rosa
de Tastil, Cachi). Bioanthropos, vol 1 (1988).
MARCELLINO, ALBERTO & S RINGUELET, Estudio antropofsico de los restos de Tastil. Tastil, una
ciudad preincaica argentina (ed Cabargon), Buenos Aires 1973.
SALCEDA, SUSANA, Anlisis de la variabilidad biolgica intergrupal en la serie de craneos adultos
procedentes de Pampa Grande (Guanchipas - Salta). Biontropos, vol 1.
73
8. Textiles en tumbas. Resultados de trabajos de campo
Martha Ortiz Malmierca, Department of archaeology, University of Stockholm
El anlisis de textiles encontrados en enterratorios es un tema que aparece con
relativa frecuencia en la bibliografa arqueolgica de la zona. Cementerios excavados en
Villavil
136
en Docellas
137
en Chaquiago
138
posean restos de textiles. Es evidente que el
hallazgo de textiles dentro del rea del enterratorio da la posibilidad de brindar una
informacin cronolgica sobre los mismos. Su asociacin con otros materiales tambin
encontrados en ella, evidencian su contempraneidad. Se encuentran entre material
excavado por Casanova quipus que como se sabe son cuerdas que constituan un sistema
contable de los incas
139
por lo que se pueden adjudicar dichos materiales a este perodo.
Tambin cierto tipo de materiales proven de evidencias sobre la relacin social dentro
del grupo al que perteneci el muerto explican este punto ampliamente.
140

La investigacin del material oseo pudo tambin aportar informacin sobre el sexo
del muerto y en este caso diferenciar el vestido de hombres y mujeres As mismo los
restos oseos nos pueden aportar importante documentacin sobre los ritos de
enterratorio si ellos estuvieran quemados por ejemplo y el ajuar funerario tendra vital
importancia en relacin al status social del enterrarorio.
141

En el caso del anlisis del material textil de las tumbas de El Pichao, en el valle de
Santa Mara NO de Argentina, usaremos las notas obtenidas por nosotros
personalmente en el trabajo de campo de la primera temporada de 1989 as mismo de el
informe de Nils Johansson que dirigiera la excavacin de la tumba.
142

La prospeccin de uno de los cementerios de la Quebrada de Amancay se centr en
el sector XI y XII. Ella revelo la presencia de textiles en tumbas.
La tumba elegida para excavar es de tipo falsa bveda como las excavadas en Santa
Mara y en Zrate.
143
Es de marcar que este ltimo caso se encuentra en el valle
pedemontano de Trancas al oeste de las Cumbres Calchaques, es decir fuera de la
subrea de valles y quebradas. En el sitio que nos ocupa la base de las mismas no ser
oval sino rectangular. Como en ellas tendr cermica de tipo santamariano pero con
predominio del bicolor al mismo tiempo que el tipo Caspinchango con una datacin
probable de entre los 1500 a 1600.
144
Las cuentas de collar de vidrio que se encontraron
en la tumba sealaran el final del perodo prehispnico y el contacto con el espaol. Este

136
Schieiter 1919 en Docellas ()
137
Casanova 1940
138
Berberian1969
139
Perrot y Nardi 1978
140
Binford 1972 y Parker Persson 1982.
141
Bennett 1987
142
Nils Johansson 1989
143
Cigliano1960; Berberian y Soria 1970.
144
Susana Sjdin 1989
74
mismo contexto se encuentra al analizar el material de la coleccin Muniz Barreto en el
Museo de La Plata.
145

El registro de materiales dio como resultado la presencia de 16 diferentes tipos. Los
mas relevantes sern la cermica, el cuartzo, la obsidiana, los metales, cuentas de collar
de vidrio, fragmentos de pelo, huesos y textiles.
De los ocho fragmentos textiles rescatados tres de ellos estaban en la trinchera
practicada fuera de la tumba propiamente dicha, algunos asociados a una urna. Otros
cuatro estaban ubicados dentro de ella y junto a restos oseos Por ultimo uno se econtr
en una nueva tumba abierta en las proximidades de la anterior.
Es de sealar la presencia de un fragmento de pelo que estaba tambien en la tumba
pero que aparecio recien en la zaranda por lo que no se pudo saber exactamente su
ubicacin en el enterratorio
De los primeros fragmentos se puede decir que aparecen en el nivel cuatro a cms
fuera de la tumba en una concentracin de tierra junto a fragmentos grandes de
cermica. Los segundos aparecen en la tumba cerca de huesos largos y junto al craneo.
(Tabla 1)
El mtodo empleado para el estudio de los fragmentos fue el de la observacin de sus
caractersticas tcnicas atravez del microscopio. El estudio de los fragmentos nos dar
(a) El tamao de la muestra
(b) La densidad contando la cantidad de hilos por centmetro tanto de la trama como
de la urdiembre
(c) Que tipo de torcin se us para formar el hilo
(d) De que tipo de tejido se trata; si es hecho en telar, es decir una tela o si es
genericamente un textil
(e) Por ultimo la ubicacin de la muestra dentro del sitio de hallazgo. De ese modo
conocemos el tipo de torcin de los hilos su constitucin es decir la cantidad de fibras
que lo componen, la densidad del tejido de acuerdo a la presencia de hilos por centi-
metro en trama y urdiembre, y por ultimo el de los mismos midiendo su tamao.
Este trabajo fue realizado en el La seccin textiles del R A Al Bajo la supervisin de
su directora Margareta Nockert.
Diferenciamos entre el total de las muestras las de tejido propiamente dicho y los
cabos sueltos, es decir de un tejido desintegrado donde solo se puede observar las
caractersticas de los hilos pero no la confeccin del tejido. En general al no evidenciarse
ningn borde no puede definirse los conceptos que marcan las direcciones trama y
urdiembre, usndose ellos en forma relativa. El colr aparece como marrn y la tcnica
del tejido es el llano pero con efecto de rips. La trama y la urdiembre trabajan uno a uno,
pero la urdiembre esta muy apretada 0.5 por lo que no deja ver la trama diciendose
como de faz de urdiembre.
Es importante sealar las caractersticas climticas del sitio ya que ellas tienen directa
relacin con la conservacin de los textiles.El rea es seca y se la puede llegar a
caracterizr como un casi desierto. En El Pichao solo llueve de 30 a 300 mm por ao.
Las lluvias son en verano y cortas y el agua se evapora rapidamente por lo que el clima
es clido La temperatura es de 16,7 grados en la zona.
146
El estado de conservacin es
dificiente debido a los grandes cambios climticos entre las estaciones. Si bien el clima es
calificado como seco en el enterratorio se concentraba mucha humedad.
Posiblemente se trate de restos de diferentes textiles. Los que aparecen fuera de la
tumba en la trinchera es de una densidad de 3, mientras que los de dentro de ella es de

145
Baldini 1984
146
Ahlgren 1989
75
10 a 12 en la trama y 4 a 6 en la urdiembre. Algunos posen varias capas, lo cual es
frecuente en tejidos finos.
El torcido de los hilos es no es claro se presume es en Z la filatura y en S luego. El
fragmento de pelo posea restos de vegetales.
En cambio los fragmentos de dentro de la tumba son de hilos de 5 mm con un
porcentaje de 30 a 10 por centimetro.
Algunos fragmentos encontrados en la tumba XII estaban adheridos a un trozo de
tierra endurecida de color turqueza restos de minerales. El mismo esta siendo analizado
en laboratorio.
La tecnica es muy primaria y aparece desde perodos muy tempranos. Pudo servir
para confeccionar bolsas para enterrar a los muertos por lo que aparece fuera de la
tumba de piedra.
Solo podemos conclur que se trata de diferente tipo de material, talvez de diferente
uso.
Futuras investigaciones nos darn respuesta a esta y otras preguntas Entre ellas ser
la de comparar el material encontrado en la tumba, es decir el usado para uso funerario
con otros que eventualmente pueden aparecer en otros lugares como las viviendas
Pensamos en el intrumental empleado en la confeccin de agujas, torteros, palos de telar,
etc, que se han encontrado por ejemplo en Chaquiago.
147

Otro aporte importantsimo en futuras investigaciones lo brindar la continuacin con
las entrevistas a los actuales textileros de la zona para realizar un estudio comparativo
con la comunidad actual.

147
Veronica Williams 1979
76
Tabla 8.1
6.1.3.1
Fragmento encontrado fuera de la tumba en la trinchera. Colr marrn obscuro muy
deteriorado
6.1.3.2
Fragmento debajo de una urna que rodea la zona del enterratorio muy deteriorado
6.1.3.9
Fragmento textil fuera de la tumba
6.1.4.3
Fragmento de pelo en la zona de la tumba aparecio en la zaranda
6.3.4.14
Fragmento textil asociado a tumba aparecio en el nivel 78
6.1.4.16
Fragmento textil asociado a tumba igual que el anterior
6.1.4.22
Fragmento textil igual decripccion que el anterior
6.1.4.27
Fragmento textil asociado a tumba en nivel 83
6.1.12
Fragmento textil depositado sobre conglomerado de colr turqueza aparece en otra
trinchera
77
Tabla 8.2
Codigo del Numero Medida Trama Colr Tecnica Hilatura Diametro Ubicacin
hallazgo cm Urdiembre hilos
6.1.3.1 6 1.5x5 - marrn faz de ur- z s 3.5 mm afuera
diembre de tumba
6.1.3.2 - - - marrn faz de ur- z s 1.5 mm afuera
diembre de tumba
6.1.3.9 3 3x3 10-12 marrn faz de ur- z s 0.15 mm afuera
diembre de tumba
5x3 4-6 0.15 mm

2.5x3 -
6.1.4.14 1 2x1.75 24 marrn faz de ur- z s 0.5 mm dentro
diembre de tumba
14

6.1.4.16 5 1.3x1 28 marrn faz de ur- z s 0.5 mm dentro
diembre de tumba
16
6.1.4.22 1 5x2.5 30 marrn faz de ur- z s 0.3 mm dentro
diembre de tumba
12 0.5 mm
6.1.4.27 10 1.5x0.5 24 marrn faz de ur- z s 0.5 mm dentro
diembre de tumba
11
6.1.12.58 1 3.5x2.5 16 marrn faz de ur- z s 0.5 mm
diembre
7 0.1 mm
78
Obras citadas
Ahlgren 1989
Schieiter 1919 en Docellas ()
Casanova 1940
Berberian1969
Perrot y Nardi 1978
Binford 1972
Parker Persson 1982.
Bennett 1987
Johansson, Nils 1989
Cigliano 1960
Berberian y Soria 1970.
Susana Sjdin 1989
Baldini 1984
Veronica Williams 1979
79

9. Geographic description of sector IX
Eduardo Ribotta, instituto de arqueloga, Universidad Nacional de Tucumn. Translated by Sven
Ahlgren and Nils Johansson

9.1 Location
During the campaign of 1989 the archaeological site was divided in 13 sectors for
their proper study. In sector IX there is a cemetery which is placed on the east side of
the Condorhuasi mountain. This cemetery has different areas with many tombs
presenting disimilar characteristics.
One of these areas is located on a low hill surrounded by two gullies, one to the
North-Northeast the other to the South towards a cliff oriented Northwest-Southsouth
East, which the locals call the ravine of Aguila. Both the cliff and the gully that comes
from the south joins a gully coming from sector I, (near the ravine of Zorro) and they
penetrate sector IX in direction North-Northeast. The cliff, the southern gully and the
gully coming from sector I flows through the southeastern part of the cemetery. This
area is approximately 150 meter long and between 50-100 meter wide. The tombs in this
area have been looted, and this permits us to observe their circular and rectangular
forms.
At the edge of the cliff there are large stone cists, one of these is 3,5 meter long and
two meter wide and contains a mortar. There is another one on a block located close to
Tomb 1 (se plan XX) and many others diseminated but damaged on blocks of smaller
size. In this area we also find platforms that were probably constructed to level the
terrain.
To the southwest and west there is another area belonging to the cemetery. The area
contains looted tombs, all of circular shape. They are located on a low hill between the
cliff to the North and the slope of the hill to the south. The area is approximately 50
meter long and 30 meter wide. Very close to this area we encounter another gully and
many unlooted tombs of circular shape diseminated over the slope. Some of these are
covered with sediment, probably depending on their location, close to the gully and and
on the slope of the hill. This third area is also delimited by the cliff towards the north.
At a distance of 200 mts from the cemetery we find sector X which is surrounded by
many but small gullies. Although we call the mountain Condorhuasi, the inhabitants of
Pichao consider that it is this sector that properly bears the name of Condorhuasi. There
are many contention walls on the South-Southeast slope. Under these there are
structures of square and circular shape and a lot of mortars. Climbing 300 mts from the
structures towards the Southwest we encounter a permanent flowing spring. This spring
is located in the gully which descends towards the cemetery and arrives at it from the
south.
80
The possibility of obtaining water during the whole year, probably made the
construction of a large number of dwelling structures possible. The close distance to the
cemetery might indicate some sort of relationship with it.
In the other direction, located East and Northeast of the cemetery we find a large
number of cultivation platforms in sectors IV and V.
9.2 Geology and geomorphology
The sectors mentioned above are located in the Sierra de Quilmes, that streches from
Cafayate (Salta) in the north to Punta Balasto (Catamarca) in the south. Sierra de
Quilmes belong to the system of mountains called Sierras Pampeanas that was elevated
during the the Precambrian orogenesis, eroded during the following periodes and
rejuvenated during the Andean orogenesis. At the present erosion is denuding the Sierra
Pampeanas.
The eastern slope of Sierra de Quilmes where El Pichao is situated is steeper than the
western slope. Sierra de Quilmes lacks the cover of Tertiary sediments, found in other
areas, as a result of the possition of the block and through erosion.
The predominant type of bedrock at El Pichao is of metamorphic origin, that
depending on mineral composition displays different textures. Here the textures are
classified into three types; cataclastic texture, unexfoliated texture and schistosity or
exfoliated texture.
The cataclastic texture is the result of the intense folding and fracturing often
suffered by the bedrock. Taking the clasification in to account, sector IX shows a
abundance of cataclastic rocks, with individual mineral grains of about 2.5 cm in size.
Mylonitic rocks are also encountered, thise with individual rock fragments less than 2 cm
in size. The most abundant rocks, though, are muscovitic schists with exfoliated texture
that were employed for tombs and mortars.
This type bedrock is also found near the slope of the Sierra de Quilmes were it
generally is covered by clay, produced by processes initiated by precipitation. Here
pegmatitic derivates, pegmatites of granitic composition milonitizied cataclastic schists
are also found. Milonitization is an extreme form of fracturing that the rock have
suffered in this area becaurse of intence faulting. Desert varnish in the form of iron
hydroxid covers many blocks, probably due to decomposion caused by atmopheric
agents initiating cemical reactiones in the rock.
The dominating minerals of the area are quartz and muscovite. Abundant minerals are
also potash feldspar, plagioclase, epidote and garnet.
Three flakes of quartz, quartzite and basalt were encounterd on the ground surface.
The origin of the flakes, though, are difficult to establish becaurse of sloping ground
and intence erosion.
9.2.1 Erosion
The processes of erosion clearly identified in sector IX are, biologic, eolic, antropic
and downward movement of debries on slopes. Wethering is also a active agent
transforming bedrock and overburden.
81
Wethering is the combined action of all of the processes by which rocks are broken
down through the action of the elements, elements excluding processes involving major
movements of soil and sediments.
Movement of debris is caused by pluvial erosion, when lokal summer rains yeilds
much larger amounts of water than can be absorbed by the earth. When this water
descends a slope it picks up soil turns into a mudflow that, once on the adyacent ground,
becomes a dense static mass.
When a extremty strong flow of water acts over loose sediments on the
mountainesides, the ground below is covered by sharp edged debries. Large avenyes
form throgh the action of mudflows during the intermittent summer rains. No area is
sheltered from violent mudflooows containing rockfragments, which when comming to
rest form fanglomerates.
Another phenomenon that causes the movement of rock fragments to is the erosion
caused by the force of .rain drops during the seasonal rains. When the drops hit the
ground they form a `geyser, lifting rock fragments up into the air, subsequently droping
into new positiones on lower levels.
The water that flows from the slopes form ephemeral strems dissimenated all over the
lower flat areas called `arroyada waters. The strems can be concentrated `arroyada en
surco or diffuse `arroyada en manto . Of these the first type mentioned is the most
important. It is characterized by the formation of unnumbered channals lying very close
together (for example in sector X). Those channals converge into a streambed that
gradually becomes deeper till i forms a deep arroyo. This process will occure if the most
active streambeds deepens faster than there neighbours and take posession of adjacent
drainage areas.
In this way the erosive action is concentrated into a few big streambeds makeing
them deeper till they form huge arroyos with rough walls. One of these typical arroyos,
called `quebrada de Aguila, is encountered in sector IX, and is a disictive feature of the
badlands landscape.
Biologic erosion taces place when growing roots of trees and bushes push with
incredible strength into the cracks of the earth, causing them to enlarge, this type of
erosion, though, is unusual in the sector. The constant roaming of goat herds without
proper control ruins the scarce vegetation with severe consequences for the ground.
Antropic erosion occur when man modifies his environment through a excesive
gathering and cutting of the vegetation in a area. Also, man makes reuse of material
from older structures, for example in sector X during the construction of a corral for
goats (at the present abandoned). Aggravateing the action of humans, a consideable
amount of looting have been registered espesially in this sector.
Eolic erosion is redused to the slow wasteing away and transportation of wethered
rock. The above mentioned erosive processes cause frequent slumpes of sediments, that
is movements of finegrained sediments and boulders of different sizes.
9.2.2 Soils
At El Pichao the soils contains a elevated, precentage of altered mica, feldspar and
quartz. Predominanteing among the soils are types of light and medium texture. Often
large amounts of gravel and pebbles have accumulated at the base of the mountains.
No analyses of the soils have been made, but they correspond to the typical
Torriorthents. They are easily eroded becaurse of there texture, exccesive permiability,
82
lack of water retention, distinct grades of stoniness and steap slopes. The soil is sandy
with much gravel and clasts of various sizes.
9.2.3 Phytogeography and zoogeograophy
El Pichao is part of the phytogeographical zon of xerophil mountain, where the
climate is inappropriate for the existence of grass, perennial grasses and forests. The site
have a permanente annual deficit of water that is around 700 to 800 mm per year.
The vegetation in sector IX is similar to that of El Pichao, but there is a relatively
large portion of Opuntia, Jarilla `Larrea divaricata, Cardon `Trichocereus pasacana,
Carob tree `Prosopis alba, Churqui `Prosopis ferox moss and lichen. Trees and bushes
are thinly scattered troughout the sector.
The following fauna have been observed: Bird spider `Ceropelma longisternalis,
Gray Yashawk `Spiziapteryx circumcinctus, Scorpions `Titys tribitatus (the most
poisonus), `Titys confluens and `Timogenes elegans, ants and San Jorge a large
parasitic wasp `Pepsis sp..
83
10. New approaches to the study of ceramics, El Pichao
1990
Susana Sjdin, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
10.1 Introduction
The ceramic material is a direct evidence of human activity at many different levels.
Firstly, it is the obvious result of a conscious planning for a certain specific purpose that
can vary from food preparing or storing of liquids and provisions to ceremonial use,
toys and votives. Secondly, the manufacture of pottery is a labour process that often
takes part, direct or indirectly, in other labour processes, for instance textile
manufacturing, metallurgy, salt extraction, and house building. In the ethnological and
ethnoarchaeological litterature there are examples about how the knowledge of pottery
manufacture is used when for instance preparing floor or making roof material.
The manufacture of pottery, i e the technical aspects including also the decoration
techniques, comprises certain occasional components, but there also exists certain order
in the conciously chosen elements created after repeated experiments. The raw material,
the manufacture technique, and so on, can be chosen in order to obtain certain purposes
related to the use of the vessel. There are strong evidences that manufacturing technique
(including shape and finish) also affects or influence use and durability.
148
An analysis of
the ceramic material related to and with the labour processes in focus, is also linked to a
specific tradition in social theory, the study of labour processes being one essential part
of marxist analysis.
149

The secondary use, that is the recycling of big vessel fragments for storing, as lids
during the firing, as fillmaterial, or crushed sherds used for temper (grog), demands
different fabrics depending on the intended purpose. Grog added to the paste gives for
instance a frost constant fabric. Primary material analysis of clay samples and tempering
material collected in the surroundings and in the site compared with finds of ceramic

148
Cf D BRAUN, Pots as tools. Archaeological hammers and theories (eds A Keene & J Moore). New
York 1983, pp 107-134, and VINCAS P STEPONAITIS, Technological studies of prehistoric pottery
from Alabama: Physical properties and vessel function in The many dimensions of pottery (eds S E
van der Leeuw & A C Pritchard), Amsterdam 1984, pp 79-122, where he shows the relation between
the intentional use of ceramics and the techniques employed.
149
For a terminology on labour process and production systems, see LASSE CORNELL, Arbete och
arbetsformernas utveckling. Gteborg 1986, pp 11-15. Cf also for examples from the Andean world
PER CORNELL, Emergence and growth of centres in the Andes. Gteborg 1988. pp 18-31.
84
fragments within a specific archaeological context, can give an apprehension of prove-
nience.
10.1.1 Ceramic research
The history of ceramic research may be divided into three main phases, each
caracterized for different perspectives and aims.
150
The initial phase, from the beginning
of ceramic studies until the mid 1960s, operated at the level of artefact and the artefact
pattern. It was a typological approach, with the main object to distinguish types. The
sherds were seen to behave as people; variations and differentiations assumed to point to
different groups of people or cultures.
151
Groups of sherds could affect other goups and
give cause to new groups. Artefacts were measured and types were made mathematically
using numeric taxonomy.
152

The second phase, from the mid 1960s to circa 1980, was very much influenced by
functionalistic and materialistic views, with ecological and technological approaches.
The man behind the artefact was the main study object, and it was recognised that the
same people could make very different pots, or decorate similar pots very differently.
153

We can see a development from an intuitive type (Montelius) to the objective type
based on numerical methods (Clarke and Malmer), and finally to the realisation that
types are subjective patternings of artefacts created by the archaeologist.
154

Here I wish to mention two works concerning ceramic technology. Anna O Shepards
classical work from 1956, Ceramics for the archaeologist meant a considerabely
advance for the technological analysis.
155
She was interested in testing relative small
samples of ceramic fragments in thin section, to identify provenience, and to study
manufacturing technologies.
Birgitta Hulthn is much inspired of her work. Her analysis in turn concerns
manufacturing techniques in order to make observations concerning the variations in the
material. The material consists of almost exclusively sherds and a few whole vessels.
Hulthn considers that continuity respectively discontinuity can be traced in the material
by the similarities and variations in the manufacturing techniques.
156


150
SANDER VAN DER LEEUW gives an interesting approach to this in From dust to dust: a
transformational view of the ceramic cycle. The many dimensions of pottery. Ceramics in
archaeology and anthropology (eds S E van der Leeuw & A C Pritchard), Amsterdam 1984, pp 707-
773, pp 709-718.
151
Good examples are OSCAR MONTELIUS, Die typologische Methode, Stockholm 1904; James A
Ford, On the concept of types: the type concept revisited. American Anthropologist, 56 (1954), pp
42-54. For a more detailed discussion, see my contribution in El Pichao 1989, Ceramics of El Pichao
1989.
152
An example of this is MATS P MALMER, Metodproblem inom Jrnlderns konsthistoria, Lund
1963.
153
See for typical examples LEWIS R BINFORD, Archaeological perspectives. New perspectives in
archaeology (eds L R Binford & S R Binford). Chicago 1968, pp 5-32; J N HILL & P R EVANS, A
model for classification and typology. Models in archaeology (ed D L Clake). London 1972, pp
231-274.
154
Cf HILL & EVANS, op cit.
155
ANNA O SHEPARD, Ceramics for the archaeologist. Washington 1956.
156
BIRGITTA HULTHN, On ceramic technology during the Scanian Neolithic and Bronze Age.
Stockholm 1977.
85
The third phase is, following Sander van der Leeuw, caracterized by an increasing
preoccupation with symbols, symboling, and the humans aspects of environment and
behaviour.
157
The perceptual framework develops an interaction between humans and
their social and natural context. The contributions from this perspective have been of
two kinds; ethnoarchaeological studies which have attempted to relate pottery shape and
decoration to other aspects of the world view of the makers of this pots,
158
and
archaeological studies which have attempted to elicit the structuring principles
underlying the decoration of pots.
159
This veiw takes, as a point of departure, that each
society studied has got its own specificity, and considers it impossible to trace any
generalities.
160

Van der Leeuw, however, criticizes some of the symbolic archaeologists, and states
that symbolic systems does not need to be entirely specific for the cultures which use
them, and that it cannot be an obvious truth that the so called underlying principles of
organisation, such as binary oppositions, may explain them all. He clarifies that these
two positions are reminiscent of the substantivist and formalist debate in economic
anthropology, and equally fruitless. Departing from the third phase, he elaborates an
approach, conceptualising pottery as a flow of energy and information, from raw
materials to dust, via pots.
161

My intention is to depart from a somewhat different approach, the production, and
with this in mind, I will try to integrate and adapt parts of the studies and methods which
seem fruitful and relevant for my perspective.
Among works opening new directions in ceramic analysis during the last 25 years of
ceramic studies, I wish to mention three. Ceramics and man was published in 1965 with
Frederick R Matson as editor.
162
The majority of the papers here are contributions from
archaeologists that use pottery for reconstruction of cultural processes in general terms.
A smaller number of the articles are written by anthropologists and ethnographers. They
are mostly concerned with the role of pottery-making and trading seen in a context in
which the pottery belongs, and with the social, political and economic background for
past and present pottery-making. There are also some constributions from ceramicists
who represents the emerging perspective to study the pottery in the realm of technology.
They are interested in the manufacture, both the context and the technique, the dating
and the sourcing of ceramics.
The focus of Pots and potters edited by Prudence M Rice, a student of Matson, and
The many dimensions of pottery, edited by Sander E Van der Leeuw and Alison C
Pritchard, is on three main subjects: ceramic ecology (the term is introduced by Matson,
meaning the context of pottery), ethnoarchaeology and technology.
163
Almost all the
authors are pure archaeologists in the American sense.

157
SANDER VAN DER LEEUW, op cit, pp 715-716.
158
D MILLER, Structures and strategies: an aspect of the relationship between social hierarchy and
cultural change. Symbolic and structural archaeology (ed I Hodder). Cambridge 1982, pp 89-98.
159
IAN R HODDER, Symbols in action. Cambridge 1982.
160
See also PER STENBORG's contribution in this report, part 13, where he discusses the postprocessual
archaeology respectively the functionalistic view, comparing the two approaches departing from
examples taken from El Pichao.
161
SANDER VAN DER LEEUW, op cit, p 719, pp 739-741.
162
Ceramics and man (ed F R Matson). Chicago 1965.
163
Pots and potters: current approaches in ceramic archaeology (ed Rice). Los Angeles 1984. The
many dimensions of pottery (eds S E van der Leeuw & A C Pritchard), Amsterdam 1984; in the
following abbreviated M d of p.
86
The ethnoarchaeological approach is most emphasized in The many dimensions of
pottery, and the contributing archaeologists are much concerned with the ethnography of
pottery and its contribution to ceramic studies.
Here Hlne Balfet's very important ethno-archaeological studies of pottery making
must be mentioned. She describes manufacturing methods, implements used, and the
organisation of work during the pottery-making procedures. Her examples are taken
from North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco), and her aim is to demonstrate the
relation between methods of formation and the shape of the pottery. She compares hand
made pottery (the coiling method) and wheel thrown, where she distinguishes three
models of pivoted devices. Very clearly she demonstrates the relation between the
methods of formation and the shape of pottery, and, as a consequence, the importance of
the means of labour and its effect on the social conditions of work.
164

10.2 Method
In the following study of the ceramic material, I consider that the object in itself
exists. This statement does not imply that there is a standardized conception or system in
analyzing artefacts.
As an example of a standardization is the hierarchical scheme Stephen Plog makes to
analyse ceramics from Chevelon Canyon in the American southwest. He considers that
attributes are the basic units of design classification.
165

In this work he gives several attributes, following the method of hierarchical analysis,
delineating two different groups of design organization, primary and secondary units,
which are basic geometrical shapes of the design. The distinction between primary and
secondary designs is that the former are painted first, and that the latter are added to the
primary design or in their location dependent of the configuration. Each level in the
classification system represents a different decision made by the potter. Employing
methods departing from the concept that the attribute is the only thing taken for granted,
reduces the artefact, in a certain sence, to being just attribute combinations.
The traditional way of grouping pottery into type series, has been based primarily on
the assumption that pottery changes in the course of time. In combination with absolute
datings, this method is suitable, but can hardly ever give a better understanding about the
people who made the pots. The method gives problems when distinguishing between
pots within one large group, as there are fewer differences in shape. There are also
problems when dealing with vessels fired in an open fire, as sherds with different colours
can belong to the same vessel.
166


164
Cf HLNE BALFET, Ethnographical observations in North Africa and archaeological
interpretation. Ceramics and man (ed F R Matson). Chicago 1965, pp 161-177; Methods of
formation and the shape of pottery. M d of p. pp 171-197; Fabrication de poterie Djerba
(Tunisie), Contribution aux recherches sur le tour de potier. Actes du VIe Congrs International des
Sciences Anthropologiques et Ethnologiques, II, Vol 1. (Paris 1963), pp 499-503.
165
STEPHEN PLOG, Stylistic variation in prehistoric ceramics. Design analysis in the American
Southwest. Cambridge 1980, pp 14-24, 117-119.
166
Cf ABRAHAM VAN AS in Reconstructing the potter's craft. M d of p. pp 129-159, where he
discusses a tecno-analytical method in opposition to the concept type and a traditional descriptive
classification, pp 134-144.
87
The intended function affects the choice of clay and other raw materials, the forming
technique, the distribution, the longevity and the reason and place of discard.
167
The
attributes chosen in this study are therefore considered as essential for the planned use of
the vessel and are conditioned of supposed concious choices in a labour process.
Widespread acceptance of the concept ware is a function of the belief that the wares
are both discrete and easily identifiable entities. Groups and types that result from ware
based sorting are archaeological constructions that may have little in common with how
ceramic items were manufactured, used, reused, and final deposited. The grouping or
classification should bear the research problem being investigated and the groups would
be interpreted in a meaningful fashion, including the choices and problems encountered
in production and the adjustment made in the choiced raw materials in order to arrive at
a finish product.
168

This study aims to, among other things, reconstruct the manufacturing process of the
ceramics.
169
Also other labour processes where ceramic technology and ceramic items
takes a part are interesting. In order to group the ceramic material, a kind of quantity
method is employed where the different properties and attributes are studied and in
certain cases combined.
The grouping of fabrics in this study is consequently mainly based on the analysis of
raw materials, i e raw clays and temper material. The theory and method of ceramic
petrology are discussed in detail by Anna Shepard.
I depart from the nonplastic inclusions of the paste and the technique employed in the
manufacture of ceramics when forming, firing and finishing the vessel. The different
criteria chosen concerning the raw material permits a rough division of the material into
two main groups, ceramics with great amount of coarse grained nonplastic inclusions,
coarse ware, and ceramics with none or low amount of fine grained non plastic
inclusions, fine ware. The concept of ware is here employed only concidering the fabric
or clay body with its different properties depending on the choice of raw material and
manufacturing technique, and not taking the surface treatment into consideration.
The remaining criteria over lap in part each other, and most of them are represented
in both groups. The different combinations giving obvious groups also might in part
overlap the two general groups. Studying the different properties and the relation
between them, the reasons for their use, and the kinds of manipulations required to
arrive at the final ceramic product gives the possibility of grouping the material into
subgroups which could be called types. Further an analysis of the distribution and the
find context in comparison with the grouping of the material, strengthen in turn the
accuracy and significance of the different types.
170


167
JOHN A RILEY, Pottery analysis and the reconstruction of ancient exchange systems. M d of p. pp
55-73.
168
cf TERESITA MAJEWSKI & MICHAEL O'BRIEN, The use and misuses of nineteenth-century English
and American ceramics in archaeological analysis. Advances in archaeological method and theory,
vol 11 (ed Michael B Schiffer), San Diego New York 1987, pp 97-209, pp 99-102. SANDER VAN
DER LEEUW, Dust to dust: a transformational view of the ceramic cycle. M d of p. pp 707-773, p
57.
169
The significance of reconstructing the entire manufacturing process is discussed by ABRAHAM VAN
AS, op cit, pp 129-159.
170
For a discussion of the concepts class, group, ware, and type in North American archaeological
studies, see TERESITA MAJEWSKI & MICHAEL O'BRIEN, op cit, pp 97-131.
88
The following criteria were chosen for the analysis of the sample from El Pichao. The
observations were made with microscope on a fresh fracture of the ceramic fragment in
field, after washing and marking the sherds.
171

Technical description of the paste.
1. The different nonplastic inclusions as observed with magnifier (hand lense) and
binocular.
2. Grain size judged microscopically adopting a scale 1-5, where 1 is very fine and 5
very coarse.1: <0,125 mm; 2: 0,125 mm - 0,25 mm; 3: 0,5 mm - 0,25 mm; 4: 1 - 0,5
mm; 5: 1< mm.
172
Observations concerning homogeneous and heterogeneos grain size.
3. The amount of nonplastic inclusions, adopting a scale 1-5, where 1 is a very low
amount of nonplastic inclusions and 5 very high. This is at present a subjective judgment.
Description of manufacturing technique
1. The apparent texture. The apparent texture is influenced by grain size, shape,
grading and percentage of inclusions, colour relations of clay and inclusions, and texture
of the clay.
173

2. Surface texture.
3. Colour of the paste - interior surface, exterior surface, and nucleus.
4. Firing conditions.
5. Surface finish, both interior and exterior surface, e g brushed, smoothed, brushed
with corn knob, coarse slipped, slipped, polished, untreated, amount of muscovite on
surface or in slip if differing from the paste.
6. Technique of decoration, e g painted, impressions, incisions, engraved, application.
7. Colour of decoration.
There are also observations concerning the forming technique of the vessel.
Remaining observations concerning the fragment's present condition.
1. Measurements of the fragment with ruler or finer measurements - total height, total
width and thickness in mm. Diameter in cm if part of rim subjectively is big enough to
give a measurable curve.
2. Vessel part, i e handle, rim, lip, base, body, neck.
3. Object - if recognizable vesselform, open vessel, closed vessel, urn, bowl, etc.
4. Design motif.
5. A drawing is made of the fragment if it is decorated or if it is a part of lip, rim,
base, handle or neck. There are also drawings of fragments subjectively judged
interesting in other aspects. Some fragments are also photographed, both in their
context, and during analysis.
If it is judged as necessarily, further observations are made, por example if the frag-
ment is worned or eroded, or if it has rounded edges due to watertransportation.

171
My work is much inspired by BIRGITTA HULTHN, On ceramic technology during the Scanian
Neolithic and Bronze age. Stockholm 1977; Cf for Argentinian examples MARIA BEATRIZ
CREMONTE, Alcances y objetivos de los estudios tecnolgicos en la cermica arqueolgica. Anales
de arqueloga y etnologa (Mendoza), tomos 38-40, pp 179-217. MARIA BEATRIZ CREMONTE,
Un estudio sistemtico de los denominados vasos libatorios. Publicaciones Larda, ao 5, nr 18.
Universidad nacional de La Plata 1984; ANNA O SHEPARD, op cit.
172
ANNA O SHEPARD, op cit, p 118, following Wentworth's size classification.
173
ANNA O SHEPARD, op cit, p 119.
89
10.3 The sample of El Pichao1990
The ceramic sample here analysed is chosen concerning the archaeological context
and comes from different kinds of structures or constructions. The field campaign of
1990 comprised excavations in four types of constructions, i e a household complex, a
terraced construction supposed for domestic settlement, an agriculture terrace complex,
and a grave field. The ceramic sample originates from these four different units and has
been chosen in consultation with respective excavation leader. Each fragment has been
washed and marked with an individual find number, in order to make it easy to identify.
Table 10.1 Number of sherds analysed, El Pichao 1990
Excavation Unit Number of sherds
Sector III, unit 1, trench 15 786
Sector IV, trench 11 99
Sector XI, trench 13 140
Sector VIII, trench 19 120
Total 1145

10.3.1 Groups in the material
At present it is possible to present a summary in seven points of the hitherto reached
results.
1. Locally made ceramics and imported ceramics
Comparing the results of the ceramic analysis from 1990 year field campaign with the
results of the ceramics registered in detail from the campaign of 1989, there is an
important conclusion to be drawn concerning the organisation of the production.
Imported ceramics
In the big rectangular structure excavated in 1989 (Figure 3.1, unit 1), 12 fragments
were found in trench 2, containing graphite in the paste. This fabric is called Graphite
ware in the report of El Pichao 1989. The fragments derive with certainty from two
different vessels, and similar ware has not been found at the site besides a stray find from
sector XI. Some of the fragments are decorated with geometrical incisions.
At the prospection of 1989 we also found four fragments deriving from sector XII of
a fabric that can be assigned to the Spanish period, the so called Yocavl ware.
174
One

174
Cf ANA MARA LORANDI, MARA BEATRIZ CREMONTE & VERONICA WILLIAMS, Identificacin
tnica de los Mitmakuna instalados en el estblecimiento incaico Potrero-Chaquiago. Unpubl paper
90
fragment if this type was also found during the field work of 1990 in sector IV.
175
This
type was further found and documented at the first colonial province capital of
Tucumn, today the archaeological site of Ibatn.
These two fabrics, or wares, I consider to have been brought from outside to the site
of El Pichao, and they constitute a very small group in relation to the hitherto analysed
ceramics. The first group, the Graphite ware, may also be attributed to an earlier period,
although the stratigraphic circumstances points to the former possible conclusion.
176

Locally made ceramics
The conclusion to be drawn considering the remaining group of pottery, is that it may
have been locally manufactured. The non plastic inclusions forming part of the paste are
relatively homogeneous, and the raw materials can be found naturally in the
environments. The manufacture technique and forming technique of the vessels point at
the same direction. Similar results have been reported from other sites that at present are
being investigated of Argentinian archaeologs in northwestern Argentina.
2. Raw material sources
As the main part of the pottery is locally made, the raw material sources are to be
found inside or at the nearest surroundings of the site. It appears from the ethno-
archaeological litterature that the raw material sources can be found at as most a half
days walk from the pottery manufacturing activity area.
177

Residual and sedimentary clay deposits
Residual clays (primary clay deposits) are formed by the disintegration of rock
formations in situ, and have not been transported by natural agencies, and contain
consequently the same minerals as the surrounding or indigeneos rocks and bedrock.
178

Sedimentary clay (secondary clay deposits) are formed by sedimentation of eroded
material and have been transported by natural agencies. Residual clays tend to be coarse
and contain less fine material than do sedimentary clays, and are therefore less plastic
and with less strength in the dry state than the latter.
179

The examination of the paste and of the non plastic inclusions made it possible to
divide the fabrics into three different groups. The biggest group is manufactured by a
coarse grained residual clay, containing naturally quartz and mica. The second group is a

presented at the XI Congreso Nacional de arqueologa chilena, Santiago 1989, 18 pp. This article
points at a different conclusion, as the Yocavl ware is supposed to be locally made by foreigners
installed at the site. However, the proportion of Yocavl ware at El Pichao is so diminutive and
limited that it is hard to belive that it could be locally made in this case.
175
See CECILIA ERICSON's contribution, this report, part 14, the description of site 56.
176
Cf the contribution by VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO and MARTA R A TARTUSI, this report, part 2
and part 5, about the grey or black polished fragments with incisions found in sector I. Cf also
SUSANA SJDIN, Ceramics of El Pichao. Problems and methods in ceramic classification. El
Pichao 1989. The first report of the project Emergence and growth of centres. (unpubl prel version,
Gteborg 1990).
177
LIDIA CLARA GARCA, Etnoarqueologa: manufactura de cermica en Alto Sapagua, Arqueologa
contemporanea Argentina, (ed Hugo Daniel Yacabacito et al), Buenos Aires 1988, pp 33-58, p 35.
178
W E WORRALL, Clays and ceramic raw material. New York 1975, pp 48-52. Cf also WILLIAM O
PAYNE, Kilns and ceramic technology of ancient Mesoamerica. Archaeological ceramics (eds
Jaqueline S Olin & Alan D Franklin), Washington DC 1982, pp 189-192, p 189.
179
W E WORRALL, Clays and ceramic raw material. New York 1975, pp 48-52.
91
coarse grained sedimentary clay with inclusions of minimal quartz and mica grains, and
the third group is a very coarse sedimentary clay with abundant amounts of mica.
180

This implies that we might suppose at least three different sources for raw clays
represented in the ceramic sample, with the exception made for the above mentioned
imported ceramics.
3. The temper amount and grain size
The ceramic sample may obviously be divided into two big groups concerning the
tempering material and amount, the grain size of the non plastic inclusions, and the
manufacturing technique. The difference between the two groups, coarse ware
respectively fine ware, might for the main part, be explained in terms of the planned use
for the vessels, due to that it was utilized the same clay raw materials, but adding
different temper and temper amount to the different wares.
Non plastic inclusions
The tempering material is relatively homogeneous, the commonest non plastic
inclusions being quartz, muscovite and biotite, i e crushed rock material. Some
fragments contains grog, i e crushed sherd fragments. Grog can be found in both groups,
and there is no stratigraphical or distributional tendency in the material concerning this
tempering technique. To use grog for tempering is something rather special, and have
been considered to be characteristic for the eastern Andes.
181
This tempering technique
of the clay gives a fabric which is frost resistant, advantageous if the vessel is intended to
be placed in the open air. A paste made of grog could also be utilized to mend small
fissures appearing before the firing, and this might give a possible explanation to why
there is no tendency in the ceramic material concerning grog temper neither concerning
fabric nor the spatial distribution.
182

Feldspar, tourmalin, garnet, among other minerals, are also to be found, but these
elements are to be considered as natural components in the bedrock and have been
added more as a coincidence during the preparation of the clay and temper. There is also
obsidian and other at present not identified minerals, as black mineral grains, but in very
little proportions.
183
These different minerals could also been added accidental during the
preparation of the paste. The grain size and the amount of non plastic inclusions varies
however substanstially, and gives a grouping of the ceramic sample into two different
groups.
Coarse ware
The fragments assigned to the group of coarsed tempered fabrics, coarse ware, have
thick walls and have belonged to rather large vessels, often wide, supposedly for food
preparing, cooking pots or storing vessels. The paste is more porous and the grain size

180
See OLE STILBORG's thinsection analysis, this report part 11, which supports the results, and states
that the latter clay may have been deposited at a lake environment, due to silicified plant rests.
181
ROGGER RAVINES, op cit, p 405. Cf also ANA MARA LORANDI, MARA BEATRIZ CREMONTE &
VERONICA WILLIAMS, op cit, p 7, where the ceramic from Santiago del Estero, the so called
Averas, is characterized for being grog tempered.
182
LIDIA CLARA GARCA, Etnoarqueologa: manufactura de cermica en Alto Sapagua, Arqueologa
contemporanea Argentina, (ed Hugo Daniel Yacabacito et al), Buenos Aires 1988, pp 33-58. On p
41 in the article, Doa Daniela Lamas is cited. She informs the use of a paste made of goat liver and
chamotte to remend the fissure in a vessel appeared before the firing.
183
See OLE STILBORG, op cit, for more detailes.
92
of the inclusions are bigger, which support the assumption that these vessels were
intended for household tasks.
Fine ware
The smaller group, constituting about 1/3 of the ceramic sample, the fine ware,
displays a great variation in the manufacturing technique and shape. The thinner walls
might have been formed with N-technique and the paddle-and-anvil method, which can
be traced in the fractures of the fragments. Here are both opened and closed vessels,
showing a great variation of sizes.
4. Choice of raw materials and manufacturing technique
Beside the rough division into two groups, there is a variation if departing from the
amount of non plastic inclusions of the temper and the clay. Different choices of raw
material, of the amount of temper and different manufacturing techniques gives different
goups, and a further analyse detects the following variation.
184

All three clay sources have been used for fabrics fired in both reducing and oxidizing
atmosphere.
Coarse grained clay sources wares
Coarse grained clay sources wares dominates in all examinated units. The wares
emanating from this clay sources are to be found both amongst the fine and the coarse
wares. The ware is often brick red, the coarse tempered vessels can be brownish red to
greyish. There are both opened and closed vessels.
The coarse grained residual clay were particularly used to manufacture the common
ware for every day use dominating in the material from the habitation areas of the site.
The temper consists of crushed and grounded bed rock material, giving a medium coarse
to coarse use ware with inclusions of quartz, feldspar, muscovite, biotite, etc. In certain
cases there also can be found grog. The ffagments are often coated with a coarse slip,
and brushed or surface treated with a maiz knob leaving impressions on the exterior.
This coarse grained clay source has also been used for finer wares, adding finer
crushed rock or without any temper. The vessels have been fired in an oxidizing
atmosphere and are often white slipped and decorated with black geometric motifs.
Red polished ware
The red polished ware belongs to the same raw clay group as the coarse ware, but
with no further temper added.
Remaining small groups with the same raw materials and similar manufacture are:
smoothed ceramics (brown, grey, red, buff smoothed wares). The wares are often thin
walled, with compact and fine fabric, minimal grain size, with no decoration or with
black painted geometric motifs. The red ware is not common, and it does not appear at
all excavated units, i e no fragments in the samples examinated from the fill material of
the grave and sector IV.

184
Cf OLE STILBORG's contribution in this report, part 11.
93
Black and grey polished wares
The black and grey polished groups may be considered to belong to the same ware
group, as they are manufactured of the same fine grained raw clay material, a
sedimentary formed clay with inclusions of especially quartz. This ware group is
consequently to be found amongst the Fine ware group.
The ware is compact and hard, with homogeneous sized fine grains in the clay. There
is no temper added, and in some few cases there are grog tempered fragments.
The walls are thin. Vessel forms are very uniform, an open, semispherical bowl, puco.
The black and grey polished wares are found in relatively small proportions, but in
spite of that there are fragments in all examinated units, except for in the fill material of
the grave, sector XI. Just one fragment was found in sector IV, the agricultural terraced
area. It was surface collected and belonged to the black polished ware.
Black or red mica ware
The red and black wares containing very high amounts of mica, belong to the group
Coarse wares, the clay being very coarse and of a residual type. The mica wares have
been found in all investigated units. The clay source is characterized by the rich amount
of muscovite and biotite and there can also be grains of quartz.
Reducing atmosphere gives the blackish or grey varities of the ware and oxidizing the
red varities of the ware. The black ware dominates, and the red ware can be decorated
with black painted geometric decoration, in a band following the rim or round the body.
There can also be applications and engravings on the black wares. The vessels can be
very thin walled, but have often medium thich walls.
This ware-group is very interesting in the following discussion of changing raw
material sources due to economic changes.
5. Surface finish
An important observation is that the surface finish in almost all cases cannot be tied to
a specific fabric or group. The following methods of finish treatment of the surface are
seen in both the Coarse ware and Fine ware groups:
coating with coarse slip
marleado - surface treated with corn knob leaving
characteristic marks
brushed
coarse slipped and marleado
coarse slipped and brushed
white or red fine slip
slipped and painted with black (and red) geometric motifs
slipped and with applications and painted black (and
red) geometric motifs
smoothed
polished
The following method of finish treatment of the surface is only to be found in the Fine
ware group
polished with incisions or engravings (only black or grey
polished wares)
94
As the same surface finish can appear in both the Coarse ware group and the Fine
ware group, just a combination of fabric and surface finish is not enough to define a
type. A fragment can also show different surface finishes on exterior and interior surface,
i e white slip on interior surface and marleado on exterior surface.
6. Grain size, amount of non plastic inclusions, and surface finish
Small grain size
The analysed sample from sector XI belongs to the grave fill material. The
archaeological context implies that the fill material belonged to an earlier grave field, and
that this former grave's ceramics were reutilized in the construction of the graves.
The fill material's ceramic fragments have fabrics often characterized of being more
compact and thin walled than fragments from the habitational area. The fabrics have in
those cases a smaller and more homogeneous grain size, a fact that might be explained
with the absence of tempering material. There are fragments with a high amount of
temper, but they appear in relativity small proportions comparing with the sample taken
as a whole. This fact could indicate a somewhat differing manufacturing technique for
the main part of the grave material, in comparison with the ceramics from the rest of the
site. There might be a cronological reason for this difference, but it is not very plausible,
as the archaeological context points at another direction, i e that the fill material belongs
to an earlier period, and an earlier grave field, than the grave material from inside the
grave construction, and may thus belong to the same period as the sample analyzed from
the habitational zone.
The fragments are often decorated with black geometric motifs. It seems that they are
to be considered as a reused refuse material, originating from a waste deposition, as they
represent a higher amount of vessels than the amount of fragments reasonably can
represent.
Coarse grain size and high amount of non plastic inclusions
The coarse ceramic, the group Coarse ware, may be considered as utility cermics
used especially in the household's labour processes and in other labour processes.
Different surface treatments may indicate different purposes of use, as cooking,
containers for liquids, storing. Fragments coated with a coarse slip, with a brushed
surface, or with a marleado treated surface, may have been cooking pots. The fragments
with a white slipped surface and black geometric decorations, the so called Santa Mara-
ceramics, which are coarse tempered, may have been liquid containers, storing vessels or
serving pots.
The ware is often brownish red or greyish, and constitutes the major part of the
pottery of the habitational area.
White slipped ceramic
The White slipped ceramic is to be found both in the Fine ware group and in the
Coarse ware group. The different manufacturing techniques employed in preparation of
the clay and temper may thus be considered as more significant for the vessels intentional
use than the decoration employed. There is further no stratigraphic evidence that the
black and red decorated fragments (Santa Mara tricolor) might be earlier than the black
95
decorated ones (Santa Mara bicolor).
185
The white slipped ceramic is found in all
contexts, and the majority of the pots were with certainty used in different domestic
tasks and labour processes.
Red slipped ceramic
The red slipped group belongs to the same fabrics and raw clay source ware group as
the white slipped and coarse ware group. If the fragments are decorated, i e painted with
black geometrical motifs, the motifs are the same as the white slipped fragments. The are
a few fragments deriving from the habitational area, but they are dispersed both
vertically and horisontally, and there are no indications of any tendency in the material.
The conclusion is that they are not to be considered as a separate group with a specific
utility, but should be seen as belonging to the same group as the white slipped group. To
be mentioned here is the fact that there are vessels in part red slipped and in part white
slipped deriving from the site of Quilmes. The same could be the case at El Pichao, but
there are hitherto no whole slipped vessels found.
7. Types in the material
Within the same ware or surface finish group, there are different groups of ceramics,
but there is no basic unitarily system of division to be found in the material. An analysis
of the different properties of the raw materials and manufacturing techniques, gives,
however, a grouping of the material based on the intentional use of the pottery.
186
These
groups could be confirmed as types when comparing with the spatial distribution and the
archaeological context, as the case is with the fill material from the grave field of sector
XI in comparison with the habitational area.
187

Black mica ware and Red mica ware is to be considered as belonging to the same
group of ceramic. The variation in colour can not be assigned to any difference in the
intentional use or to the apparent shape. The fragments are very homogeneous, when
analysing the properties of paste and the manufatcturing technique. They belong to the
group Coarse ware and the vessels are being used as utility ware and are also to be
found as grave goods.
188

Black and grey polished ware shows a high degree of homogenity in the properties of
raw material and manufacturing technique. The ware belongs to the group Fine ware,
and have very likely been used as containers, to serve food, or to be show vessels.
Future studies will indicate if there is any spatial variation to be connected with this ware
group, both between different types of constructions inside the site taken as a whole, and
inside specific room structures.

185
ANA MARA LORANDI and ROXANA BOIXADS reports the same conclusion in Etnohistora de los
valles Calchaques de los siglos XVI y XVII. Paper to be publ. Instituto de ciencias antropolgicas,
Facultad de filosofa y letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1988, p 125.
186
CF VINCAS P STEPONAITIS, op cit, where the author discusses the changes of pottery techniques as
fundamentally technological, rather than stylistic.
187
Cf ABRAHAM VAN AS, Reconstructing the potter's craft. M d of p. pp 129-159, where the author
discusses how the technical pottery analyses, departing from the archaeological material, helps to
explain phenomena concerning the typological work giving the typologies an increasing
significance.
188
Cf NILS JOHANSSON's contribution, this report, part 6.
96
The Coarse grained clay source wares group displays a great variation. The same
surface treatment and clay raw sources are represented in both of the groups Fine and
Coarse wares, but the manufacturing techniques variates. Different choices of temper
amount and surface treatment, in combination with different shaping technique gives
different fabrics, apt for different uses. In this group there should consequently be
different types represented. A division into types departing from the intentional use of
the pot is, at the present stage of investigation, difficult to make, but comparing with the
spatial distribution certain assumptions can be drawn.
Comparing the spatial distribution of ceramics and ware group a distinct variation can
be seen concerning the white slipped Coarse grained clay source group, the so called
Santa Mara ceramic, often decorated with black geometric painted motifs. The sherds
deriving from the habitational area are in the majority of the cases coarser tempered than
the sherds deriving from the fill material of the grave field in sector XI. The main
observation is that the material from the habitational area apparently consists of
fragments deriving in the most part from utility vessels with thicker walls, while the fill
material's sherds from sector XI are show vessels.
The utility vessels, supposedly used as food preparing vessels, are often coarse
slipped in combination with a brushed or marleado treated surface. Pots used for storing
of staple food, as corn or beans, would have a lighter ware, not affected of food
preparing over open fire. Liquid holders perhaps were more porous, in order to keep the
water or liquid fresh by a cooling evaporation.
The red slipped and red polished goups belong to the Fine ware, but are
manufactured by the same coarse raw residual clay that the above mentioned. This finer
ware is not tempered, or tempered with small amounts of sand or finer crushed rock, and
with no decoration as so far seen in the material. This gives four different types with
different amount of temper or non plastic inclusions, and with different degree of
coarseness of the paste. The surface treatment should also be considered, and compared
with the spatial distribution within the habitational area as well as within the household
unit, to supposedly give a clearer insight of the use of these different wares.
References
BALFET, HLNE, Ethnographical observations in North Africa and archaeological interpretation.
Ceramics and man (ed F R Matson). Chicago 1965, pp 161-177.
BALFET, HLNE, Fabrication de poterie Djerba (Tunisie), Contribution aux recherches sur le tour
de potier. Actes du VIe Congrs International des Sciences Anthropologiques et Ethnologiques, II,
Vol 1. (Paris 1963), pp 499-503.
BALFET, HLNE, Methods of formation and the shape of pottery. M d of p. pp 171-197.
BINFORD, LEWIS R, Archaeological perspectives. New perspectives in archaeology (eds L R Binford
& S R Binford). Chicago 1968, pp 5-32
BRAUN, DAVID P Pots as tools. Archaeological hammers and theories (eds A Keene & J Moore). New
York 1983, pp 107-134
Ceramics and man (ed F R Matson). Chicago 1965.
CORNELL, LASSE, Arbete och arbetsformernas utveckling. Gteborg 1986.
CORNELL, PER, Emergence and growth of centres in the Andes. Gteborg 1988. pp 18-31.
CREMONTE, MARIA BEATRIZ, Alcances y objetivos de los estudios tecnolgicos en la cermica
arqueolgica. Anales de arqueloga y etnologa (Mendoza), tomos 38-40, pp 179-217.
CREMONTE, MARIA BEATRIZ, Un estudio sistemtico de los denominados vasos libatorios.
Publicaciones Larda, ao 5, nr 18. Universidad nacional de La Plata 1984.
97
FORD, JAMES A, On the concept of types: the type concept revisited. American Anthropologist, 56
(1954), pp 42-54.
GARCA, LIDIA CLARA, Etnoarqueologa: manufactura de cermica en Alto Sapagua, Arqueologa
contemporanea Argentina, (ed Hugo Daniel Yacabacito et al), Buenos Aires 1988, pp 33-58.
HILL, J N & P R EVANS, A model for classification and typology. Models in archaeology (ed D L
Clake). London 1972, pp 231-274.
HODDER, IAN R, Symbols in action. Cambridge 1982.
HULTHN, BIRGITTA, On ceramic technology during the Scanian Neolithic and Bronze Age.
Stockholm 1977.
LORANDI, ANA MARA & ROXANA BOIXADS, Etnohistora de los valles Calchaques de los siglos
XVI y XVII. Paper to be publ. Instituto de ciencias antropolgicas, Facultad de filosofa y letras,
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1988.
LORANDI, ANA MARA, MARA BEATRIZ CREMONTE & VERONICA WILLIAMS, Identificacin
tnica de los Mitmakuna instalados en el estblecimiento incaico Potrero-Chaquiago. Unpubl paper
presented at the XI Congreso Nacional de arqueologa chilena, Santiago 1989, 18 pp.
MAJEWSKI, TERESITA & MICHAEL O'BRIEN, The use and misuses of nineteenth-century English and
American ceramics in archaeological analysis. Advances in archaeological method and theory, vol
11 (ed Michael B Schiffer), San Diego New York 1987, pp 97-209.
MAJEWSKI, TERESITA & MICHAEL O'BRIEN, op cit, pp 97-131.
MALMER, MATS P, Metodproblem inom Jrnlderns konsthistoria, Lund 1963.
The many dimensions of pottery. Ceramics in archaeology and anthropology (eds S E van der Leeuw &
A C Pritchard), Amsterdam 1984.
MILLER, D, Structures and strategies: an aspect of the relationship between social hierarchy and
cultural change. Symbolic and structural archaeology (ed I Hodder). Cambridge 1982, pp 89-98.
MONTELIUS, OSCAR Die typologische Methode, Stockholm 1904.
PAYNE, WILLIAM O, Kilns and ceramic technology of ancient Mesoamerica. Archaeological
ceramics (eds Jaqueline S Olin & Alan D Franklin), Washington DC 1982, pp 189-192.
PLOG, STEPHEN, Stylistic variation in prehistoric ceramics. Design analysis in the American
Southwest. Cambridge 1980, pp 14-24, 117-119.
Pots and potters: current approaches in ceramic archaeology (ed Rice). Los Angeles 1984.
RILEY, JOHN A, Pottery analysis and the reconstruction of ancient exchange systems. The many
dimensions of pottery. Ceramics in archaeology and anthropology (eds S E van der Leeuw & A C
Pritchard), Amsterdam 1984, pp 55-73.
SHEPARD, ANNA O, Ceramics for the archaeologist. Washington 1956.
SJDIN, SUSANA, Ceramics of El Pichao. Problems and methods in ceramic classification. El Pichao
1989. The first report of the project Emergence and growth of centres. (unpubl prel version,
Gteborg 1990).
STEPONAITIS, VINCAS P, Technological studies of prehistoric pottery from Alabama: Physical
properties and vessel function. The many dimensions of pottery. Ceramics in archaeology and
anthropology (eds S E van der Leeuw & A C Pritchard), Amsterdam 1984, pp 79-122.
VAN AS, ABRAHAM, Reconstructing the potter's craft.The many dimensions of pottery. Ceramics in
archaeology and anthropology (eds S E van der Leeuw & A C Pritchard), Amsterdam 1984. pp
129-159.
VAN DER LEEUW, SANDER,From dust to dust: a transformational view of the ceramic cycle. The
many dimensions of pottery. Ceramics in archaeology and anthropology (eds S E van der Leeuw &
A C Pritchard), Amsterdam 1984, pp 707-773.
W E WORRALL, Clays and ceramic raw material. New York 1975
99
11. Report of thin section analysis of six ceramic
fragments from El Pichao
Ole Stilborg, Department of archaeology, University of Copenhagen
The aim of this pilot investigation was to test the macro microscopical studies carried
out by Sven Ahlgren and Susana Sjdin during the field campaign of 1990 at El Pichao,
Argentina.
11.1 Thin section analysis
A 0.03 mm thick slice of pottery mounted on a glass plate - a thin section - may be
analysed in a petrographic microscope. This enables the ceramologist to study the
amount and nature of the natural nonplastic inclusions of the clay; the accessory minerals
(f ex ore, olivine, zircon); the content of mica and iron oxide and possible
calciumcarbonate or micro organic remains. Furthermore any added temper, its nature
and the amount may be discerned. In some cases it is also possible to find traces of the
vessel building technique.
11.2 The material
The six sherds analyzed were found in structure 3, unit 1, sector III, El Pichao.
Thin section 1: (5768-2) A 6 mm thick body fragment from a bowl. The outer surface is
smoothed and the sherd is painted both inside and outside with 0.5 - 1 cm broad,
vertical going bands. The vessel was fired in an oxidizing atmosphere. The sherd
originates from level 5b, square 19, i e the lower floor level.
Thin section 2: (5769-1) An 11 mm thick body fragment from a larger vessel. The outer
surface is coated with coarse slip. The vessel was fired in a reducing atmosphere,
possibly with a short oxidizing phase at the end of the firing process. The sherd
originates from level 6, square 19.
Thin section 3: (1) A 9 mm thick body fragment. The surfaces are polished and the
outside is decorated with incised, concentric curves. The vessel was fired in a
reducing atmosphere. The sherd originates from level 3b, square 19, i e the upper
floor level.
100
Thin section 4: (2) An 8 mm thick body fragment. The outer surface is fine slipped. The
vessel was fired in a reducing atmosphere. The sherd originates from level 3b,
square 19, i e the upper floor level.
Thin section 5: (5764-1) A 10 mm thick body fragment from a larger vessel. The outer
surface is smoothed and painted with 0.5 cm broad, black, horizontal bands. The
vessel was fired in an oxidizing atmosphere. The sherd originates from level 2,
square 19.
Thin section 6: (5766-1) A 6 mm thick neck/body fragment. The outer surface is
smoothed and characterized by a large amount of small flakes of mica. The vessel
was fired in an oxidizing atmosphere. The sherd originates from level 3b, square
19, i e the upper floor level.
In addition, two body fragments, 5771-6 (level 8, square 19) and 5750-4 (level 4,
square 17), similar to the sherds above are analyzed in a binocular microscope. They are
both of a fabric closely related to thin section no 1.
11.3 Results
The results of the clay and temper analyses are first treated separately, and
subsequently grouped into significant ware groups.
11.3.1 Clay
A.
4 sherds - thin sections no 1, 2, 4, and 5 - are made of a a fine to coarse grained raw
clay (silt is well to rich represented and sand sparsely to well represented). The clay
contains a very high amount of mica and also a fair to rich amount of iron oxide.
Furthermore it contains some sand grains of pumice and may contain single grains of
limestone, though the clay in itself is lime-free. Occurring accessory minerals are some
ore, olivine, zircon, and other undefined dark minerals (the main part probably
hornblende).
B.
1 sherd - thin section no 6 - is made of a lime-free, very micaceous and ferriferous,
and very coarse clay (rich amount of silt and sand). The lack of grains of pumice
distinguishes this fragment from group A. It also contains rather large flakes of biotite
(mica).
C.
1 sherd - thin section no 3 - is made of a coarse (high amount of silt), lime-free,
micaceous and ferriferous clay with a few sand grains of pumice. The accessory minerals
are the same as in group A and B - ore, olivine, and other dark minerals, but the amount
of olivine needles and grains is considerably greater. The fact that clearly distinguishes
101
this clay from group A and group B, is the high amount of microorganic inclusions,
presumably silicified plant remains. This fact indicates that this clay may have been
deposited in a lake environment.
11.3.2 Temper
I. Rock
Thin sections no 1 and 4 are tempered with 10 and 20 % (vol) crushed, slightly
wethered, granite/diorite. The maximum grain size is 1.2 and 2.6 mm respectively in
proportion with the temper amount. The ware is homogenized well.
II. Sand
Thin section no 5 is tempered with 21 % (vol) sand of pumice. The maximum grain
size is 0.75 mm, but most of the grains are between 0.3 and 0.5 mm. Some grains are
probably natural inclusions of the raw clay itself, but the high amount of grains, in the
otherwise very finely grained raw clay, and the uniform grain size indicate, that the main
part must be interpreted as added sand temper. The ware is homogenized very well.
III. Grog
Thin section no 2 is tempered with at least 12 % (vol) crushed ceramics (grog)
deriving from at least four different ware types. One of them has a high amount of mica
and olivine. The maximum grain size is 2.5 mm. The quantity of grog temper as well as
the number of ware types represented are minimal measures because of the difficulty in
observing grog. The ware is homogenized to a sufficient degree.
IV. Natural temper
Thin sections no 3 and 6, are made of coarse and very coarse sandy raw clays, to
which have not been added any further temper.
11.3.3 Ware groups
A I.
Thin sections nos 1 and 4 found in level 5b (lover floor level) and 3b (upper floor
level), square 19, derive respectively from a small painted bowl (fired in an oxidizing
atmosphere) and from a coarse slipped vessel (fired in a reducing atmosphere). They are
made of a coarse, lime-free, micaceous raw clay with a few sand grains of pumice, and
tempered with 10 and 20 % (vol) of crushed granite/diorite respectively (max grain 1.2
and 2.6 mm). This clay, which has been used for the manufacture of thin section sherds
nos 2 and 5 as well, probably originates from a secondary clay deposit (i e a clay, that
has been moved by wind or water away from the primary site of formation - by rock
erosion). Sherd 5771-6 found in level 8, square 19, and sherd 5750-4 found in level 4,
square 17, belong to the same ware group as thin section sherd no 1.
A II.
102
Thin section sherd no 5, level 2, square 19, is from a large, painted vessel fired in an
oxidizing atmosphere. It is made of a lime-free, micaceous raw clay tempered with 21 %
sand of pumice.
A III.
Thin section sherd no 2 is from a large, thick walled, coarse slipped vessel (fired in a
reducing atmosphere) found in level 6, square 19. It is made of a coarse, lime-free,
micaceous raw clay, with sporadic sand grains of pumice and tempered with at least 12
% grog (max grain 2.5 mm) deriving from at least 4 different ware types (among them
the local micaceous and olivine rich clay).
B/C IV.
Thin section sherds nos 3 and 6 from medium sized vessels (fired in a reducing and an
oxidizing atmosphere respectively) found in level 3b, square 19, are made of coarse and
very coarse sandy raw clays, with no further addition of temper.
The clay of thin section-sherd no 6 is characterized by the relatively large pieces of
mica indicating that the clay was deposited nearer the primary clay deposit (site of
formation) than the other raw clays analysed in this study. As it does not contain any
grains of pumice, it is probably not a local material, although it is similar to the local
clays in all other aspects.
The clay of thin section sherd no 3 was, as mentioned above, probably deposited in a
lake environment, simultaneously with a certain amount of plant remains. The sorting of
the non-plastic inclusions in the raw clay (a high amount of silt and few sand grains)
points in the same direction.
11.4 Conclusions
From this limited pilot study it appears, that local micaceous raw clays of different
qualities have been used in 2 or 3 different manufacturing traditions.
The first tradition, AI, used rock as temper, finely crushed for the oxidized fired
vessels and coarsely crushed for the reduced fired household vessels. The tradition is
found at levels 8, 5, 4 and 3b, and is thus in continuous use during the whole habitation
period of the structure. Ware group A II, which is charaterized by its sand temper, could
be a variant or development of the fine ware of this tradition. The vessel is of the
oxidized fired, painted type, and the sherd is found at level 2.
Ware group A III, which is represented by a large, coarse slipped, oxidized/reduced
fired vessel, is clearly different from A I being tempered with grog. As it was found at
level 6, it can hardly be considered a development of the tradition A I, but rather as a -
perhaps experimentally - adopted feature of an alien technique used on local materials.
Ware group B/C IV is represented by two sherds of fine ware from level 3b. Both
sherds are made of coarse/very coarse raw clays that diverges from the clays here
designated as probable local materials. None of them has been added any further temper.
The pumice in thin section sherd no 3 indicates on the other hand, that it may be a
local lake-deposited raw clay, and thus the sherd would represent a third local
manufacturing tradition using silty clays with no addition of temper.
103
Thin section sherd no 6, with no pumice, apparently is a product of non-local
materials and furthermore the choice of such a coarse raw clay is alien to the local
traditions as described here.
104
Table 11.1 Results of thin section analysis

Thin section

number 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Degree of Coarse Fine Coarse Coarse Fine Very coarse
coarseness

Clay:
Silt - - + + +
Sand - - +
Lime
Iron oxide + - - + + +
Konc of fer-
ri hydrite - -
Mica ++ ++ + ++ ++ ++
Accessory
minerals o, ol, z o, a, ol o, a, ol o, ol, z o,a, ol o, ol, z
Micro org
remains +
Pumice -


Temper:
Natural
temper * *
Granite * *
Sand *
Grog *
Max grain 1.2 2.5 0.7 2.6 0.7 1
size mm
Amount %
(vol) 10 12 20 21


Vessel:
Sherd thick-
ness mm 6 11 9 8 10 6
Surface Smoothed Coarse Polished Coarse Smoothed Smoothed
exterior slipped slipped

= present - = well represented + = richly represented
105
o = ore a = amphibole/pyroxene ol = olivine z = zircon
107
12. The pottery of El Pichao - the process of production
and the labour processes
Susana Sjdin, Department of archaeology, University of Gothenburg
12.1 The context of the process of production
A specific societies' process of production is a very complex phenomenom, which
must be studied in its context to be fully understood. A process of production is the
entity of a system of varied, continually repeated labour processes which are needed to
make one or more products, and the social relations which evolves during these labour
processes. The labour process is of a physical nature while the production process have
both a physical and social form.
189

My intention is consequently to depart from the production and study its organisation
considering different aspects. The ceramic material is one of many obvious evidences of
the production system of the prehistoric El Pichao. The production process is then not
considered to give just a technical or sthetical aspect, but also to contribute to a deeper
insight of problems deeling with the labour organisation. It is essential to study both the
prevailing division of labour (between individuals or households, or between members of
a household) and the control of the means of production.
190
Also the existing level of
specialization, the bringing in of ceramics or alien techniques in the manufacturing of
ceramics from other settlements or areas, the spatial division of different components
and moments in the manufacture of ceramics, are in focus. The manufacture of pottery
was one of many production processes in a specific mode of production. The
manufacture of ceramics consists of several labour processes, and demands certain
degree of concious labour organisation and labour division.
191


189
LASSE CORNELL, Arbete och arbetsformernas utveckling, Gteborg 1986, p 15. Cf also OSCAR
LANGE, Political economy, vol 2. Warsaw 1968, p 4.
190
For a discussion of the household concept, see PER CORNELL's contribution, part 3.2, this report.
191
The labour process consists of three elements: 1. the concious and purposeful human activity, the
labour, 2. the object it manipulates, 3. the means by which it operates.
The object of labour is the material object which is transformed by labour, for example, the earth before
it is cultivated.
Material means which transforms objects of labour are called means of labour. The means of labour is
what the worker places between himself and the object of labour, and by which he transfers the
activity of work to the object of labour. When raw material is manipulated by work it becomes a
mean of labour, for example, seed crops.
108
The manufacture of ceramics, the technique and the decoration of the vessels, may
comprise a certain degree of experiment or accidental events, but my point of departure
is that the raw materials and the technique were, for the most part, conciously chosen for
a predestinate area of use, and that manufacturing technique (including shape and finish)
affects or influence use and durability.
192
The use of the ceramic vessel is accordingly
dependent of its manufacture - and contrariwise.
The production process is not given just a technical or sthetic aspect, bus also an
outlook towards questions concerning the organisation of work. Questions here
considered interesting are, for example, both the prevailing division of labour (between
individuals or between members of a household) and the control of the means of
production, the level of specialization, the import of ceramics from other sites or areas,
and the spatial distribution of the differents moments of the manufacture of ceramics.
12.2 Method
Which approaches are possible when studying the ceramic material and its context in
the process of production? In the following I am going to mention five different
methods.
1. Analysis of the material's own properties, a techno-analytical approach. At the present
stage of the study, this is in focus. The different properties chosed to study, I consider
conditioned of concious options in a labour process. By analysis of these different
properties it is possible to find a variation in the material that makes it possible to
group the pottery.
2. The searching for direct evidences of labour processes in the objects of labour and
auxiliarity facilities. Raw material sources, implements, activity areas and places of
manufacture, ceramic refuse, evidences of other labour processes than the direct
ceramic manufacture where the knowledge of ceramic manufacture is involved, i e as
mortar in walls and plastering, roof material, floor coating, metallurgy, textile, etc.
3. Related observations giving contributions to the understanding of the manufacturing
process in a wider context. For example the limitations of the delimited structures, the
rooms, and separate objects.
4. Archaeological datings as instruments to give an understanding of the chronological
aspects. TL-analysis, stratigraphic researches, comparisons between materials from
different contexts.

The means of labour which directly shape the object of labour are called tools of labour. Means of
labour necessary for the use of tools of labour are called auxiliary facilities, examples are all kinds of
structures, kilns. watering systems, terracces, etc.
The product is the transformation of the object of labour by means of labour. KARL MARX, Kapitalet, I.
Lund 1970, pp 153-160. OSCAR LANGE, Political economy, vol 2. Warsaw 1968, pp 4-10.
192
Cf for examples of the articles by VINCAS P STEPONAITIS, Technological studies of prehistoric
pottery from Alabama: Physical properties and vessel function in M d of p. and D BRAUN, Pots as
tools. Archaeological hammers and theories (eds A Keene & J Moore). New York 1983, pp 107-
134.
109
5. The use of general knowledge, in part based on ethnoarchaeological researches - in
this case those concerned with the manufacture and labour processes of ceramics. The
division of labour and how the work is organized, both in room and time, seasonal
work, choices of raw material and manufacturing technique, etc.
12.3 The manufacture of pottery - ethnoarchaelogical evidence
As a background to the preliminary discussions about the production system, I will
give a short description of the manufacturing process of ceramic, i e the labour processes
of the ceramic.
This brief survey is partially based on the analysis of the material and partially on
comparisons with ethnoarchaeological studies made in Jujuy and Peru by Lidia Clara
Garca, Beatriz Cremonte, and Rogger Ravines.
193

Collection of raw materials
The clay's raw material sources are supposed to be found at the site or in the close
vicinity of the site. It is evident from the ethnoarchaeological litterature that the raw
material sources could be found at up to a half days walking distance from the
manufacturing place of the pottery.
194

Besides the raw clays, the following raw materials are essential in the manufacturing
process of pottery: water, tempering material, fuel, and in some cases dyeing pigments
(for slip and painted decoration).
In the collection of raw materials certain implements, or means of labour, for the
gathering and transportation to the site are used. It is also of interest to study the
division of labour during the collection and the storing of the raw materials at the site.
195

Preparation of raw materials
To crush and grind the tempering material certain implements and auxiliarity facilites,
as stones with plane surfaces, and morteros are needed.
Implements and auxiliarity facilites, as stones with plane surfaces, for kneadning and
preparation of the raw clays. Slight elevation of the ground could also be utilized.
The clay and temper have to be carefully mixed, and certain implements and
auxiliarity facilites are utilized.
Shaping and forming vessels
Implements, working area, technique employed.
Drying the vessels before firing

193
LIDIA CLARA GARCA, Etnoarqueologa: manufactura de cermica en Alto Sapagua, Arqueologa
contemporanea Argentina, (ed Hugo Daniel Yacabacito et al), Buenos Aires 1988, pp 33-58;
ROGGER RAVINES, Cermica actual de Ccaccasiri, Huancavelica. Tecnologa andina (ed R
Ravines), Lima 1978, pp 447-466. Cf also OLE STILBORGS contribution in this report, part 11.
194
LIDIA CLARA GARCA, Etnoarqueologa: manufactura de cermica en Alto Sapagua, Arqueologa
contemporanea Argentina, (ed Hugo Daniel Yacabacito et al), Buenos Aires 1988, pp 33-58, p 35.
195
Cf WARREN R DEBOER's study of the ceramic industry of the Shipibo-Conibo, Peruvian Amazon, in
The last pottery show: system and sense in ceramic studies. M d of p. pp 525-564, pp 530-549,
where the acquisition of ceramic supplies is but a small task among other of the routinely made
journeys.
110
The area used, how the vessels are arranged, how long time the drying process
requiers.
Surface treatment
Study of implements used for slipping, polishing, coarse slipping, incisions, painting,
etc.
Firing
I suppose that a possible firing method utilized at the ancient El Pichao could have
been of the type described in the ethnoarchaeological litterature for northwest Argentina.
There are also similar descriptions concerning Peru.
196
This supposition is based on the
fact that we have not yet found any traces of kiln constructions or other foundations that
could be connected with firing of ceramics.
Auxiliarity facilities
The firing area have an oval or irregulate shape. It is placed near the dwellings. The
diameter varies from one to two metres. In descriptions from Peru, the firing area is
restricted by a 0.40 m high wall made of stones. In the northwest of Argentina, Jujuy, a
hollow or pit is digged to a depth of 0.5 - 1 metre.
The firing process
After cleaning the firing area, dung of goat (Argentina) or llama (Peru) is spread out
on the pround. The dung is packed together to a compact floor. The vessels are placed
in rows on the dung, with openings to opening or base to opening. The vessels are
covered with a new layer of dung, which is the very fuel, but this time it is dung of
bovines in the Argentinian example. It is important that the dung fills up all the cavities
and not falls into the vessels. Further a layer of ass dung is spread out and wood as
lighting material. In the Peruvian example everything is covered with straw.
The firing takes place a wind free day, and contiues for three hours in the
Argentinian example and 20 - 30 hours in the Peruvian case. The vessels are left to cool
before they are removed to be surface treated in different ways, depending on the
intentional use of the vessels.
Finish treatment of the vessels
Some vessels are polished after firing, decorated with engravings, etc. Cooking
vessels are rubbed with fats or prepared by, for example boiling soup in them, in order to
make them water proof or good tasty.

196
ROGGER RAVINES, Cermica actual de Ccaccasiri, Huancavelica. Tecnologa andina (ed R
Ravines), Lima 1978, pp 447-466, LIDIA CLARA GARCA, op cit.
111
12.4 Conclusions concerning the process of production - archaeological
evidence
12.4.1 Locally made pottery
A. The pottery is for the main part locally manufactured
The raw materials indicates that the ceramic, for the most part, is locally made. The
properties of the wares are rather homogenous, and are found naturally in the geological
environment.
197
The manufacturing techniques and the shaping of vessels indicates also a
local manufacture. Similar results are known from other sites, investigated by
Argentinian archaeologists, in the northwest of Argentina.
198

A small part of the analysed sherds, however, might have been brought, in one way or
another, to the site of El Pichao. They are of two different manufacturing traditions.
The predominant part of the sherd sample has to be attributed to a local manufacture
at the site of El Pichao. The production concerning the most part of the ceramics is
supposed to be at a household level, i e no specialized work-shops or specialized
artisans.
199

Conclusion: there has been a local knowledge of pottery manufacture at the site of El
Pichao. This fact in turn indicates that the site had certain degree of autonomity in
relation to other sites in the valley. As this conclusion is based only on an analysis of the
ceramic material, it might be of minor interest, but if this fact also could be proved for
other labour processes, it would be of great importance for the context as a whole. We
might also suppose, for instance, that the manufacture of quartz items is local, as there
are quartz flakes over the whole site, i e refuse after a labour process. Obsidian artefacts,
on the other side, might have been imported, due to the fact that finished products are
found, but not yet identified refuse of the manufacture of obsidian objects.
12.4.2 Differentiated manufacture of ceramics
B. There is a differentiation of the pottery manufacture inside the site
I. The archaeological material
1. At least two local manufacturing processes
There are categories in the ceramic material indicating at least two different
manufacturing processes for the ceramics. One of them, concerning the utility vessels,
was essential for the household's survival. A great deal of work, knowledge, carefulness

197
See OLE STILBORG's contribution in this report, part 11.
198
ANA MARA LORANDI, MARA BEATRIZ CREMONTE & VERONICA WILLIAMS, Identificacin
tnica de los Mitmakuna instalados en el estblecimiento incaico Potrero-Chaquiago. Unpubl paper
presented at the XI Congreso Nacional de arqueologa chilena, Santiago 1989, 18 pp.
199
SANDER VAN DER LEEUW, Dust to dust: a transformational view of the ceramic cycle. M d of p.
pp 705-773, pp 722, where he lists the variables for a household production of ceramics concerning
the organisation, technology and economy of pottery making.
112
for the raw materials and the preparation was invested in this manufacturing process. It
was very important that the vessels were suited for the coming tasks, for instance storing
and food preparation. The second manufacturing process was in a way more simple, but
resulted in the here so called show vessels or serving vessels, and to a certain degree also
utility vessels.
200

These two traditions used the same raw clay, but with different amounts of temper
added. The fragments of household vessels contain crushed rock and the fragments of
the finer ware may contain sand.
201

2. An imported tradition made local?
A small amount of sherds are tempered with grog, among them also large household
vessels with thick walls. There is no indication that this technique was introduced with
foreign ceramics, as the sherds' raw clays are the same as the above mentioned, and
furthermore the grog is of the local ware groups. The grog tempered sherds are found at
all levels in the studied sample. This technique may be an experimental feature or an alien
technique applied on local raw materials.
202

3. The labour processes indicates a certain degree of specialized knowledge in the
manufacture of pottery.
The conclusion to be drawn, is that not all inhabitants of the site had the possibility of
adquiring the whole knowledge required for the manufacturing processes of ceramic -
just certain individuals were involved in certain manufacture processes. This in turn
points to a certain degree of differentiation, a fact based on the supposition made above
at points 1 and 2.
There exists also the possibility that this knowledge of the labour processes could be
utilized for other labour processes. It has been mentioned above the plastering and
mortar in the construction of buildings, roofing and preparation of floors. There are
observations made at El Pichao of, for example, stone walls with mortar.
II. Comparisons with the ethnoarchaeological material
The hypothesis of an existing labour differentiation is supported by the
ethnoarchaeological material.
Certain members of a household have the knowledge about the labour process, and
organize or directs the work, get assistants among the household members, where even
children and juveniles may participate. In the ethnoarchaeological litterature, as well as
in the written sources, there is no apparent sex division in this part of the Andean region
- both men and women are involved in the work with the hand made ceramics.
The manufacture of pots was a seasonal work. It is not possible to collect clay or dry
the pots before firing if it is raining or if it is in another way inconvenient. An economy
based on agriculture has a natural seasonal division at a non-specialized level. The
manufacture of ceramic is neither a regularly returning work - it is just undertaken when
it is judged as necessary. A storing vessel might endure for eight years, while a show
vessel, feast bowl or serving pot can last for a whole generation, i e ca 30-50 years.
Cooking pots do not last so long. After about one year they may be discarded, and
reused in another way than in the original intentional use.

200
Compare with the fill material of the grave, discussed above in part 10.
201
Cf OLE STILBORG's study, part 11.
202
Cf OLE STILBORG's study, part 11, where he discusses thinsection sherd no 2.
113
Consequently the manufacture of ceramics cannot be seen as a full time occupation at
this level of household economy.
203
This fact is very important in the following
discussion about labour division, differentiation and degree of specialization.
To conclude it must be said that both I and II are biased or deficient, but
independently they indicate the same thing, i e a differentiation in the labour processes
inside the site of El Pichao.
III. To reinforce or reject the argumentation above, an archaeological method have to be
elaborated in order to be able to trace the differentiation of the ceramic material.
12.4.3 Further differentiation of the manufacturing process of ceramics
C. Further differentiation
The studied material expose different specific labour processes and techniques to
reach specific aims.
204

Departing from an analysis of raw materials and manufacturing techniques, the
following results may be drawn.
1. The manufacturing process of the coarse utility ceramic
The residual raw clays (primary clay deposits) were used in the manufacture of the
utility vessels that dominates in the habitational parts of the site. The rock temper have
been crushed and ground. In certain cases there has been added grog as temper.
The coarse utility vessels have a complicated manufacturing process implying great
skill among the potters. The vessels were going to be used for more advanced tasks than
just being exhibition objects. They were in fact essential for the management of the
household. The manufacture process was complicated and demanded a greater skill and
knowledge and a bigger contribution of labour for the preparation of raw materials than
other ceramics. For shaping the vessels the so called N-technique has been utilized. This
group of fabrics constitute about 2/3 of the whole ceramic sample from the household
unit, the habitation terraced levels, and the agricultural terrace.
Vessels fired in oxidizing atmosphere dominates, but in spite of the variation of firing
atmosphere, it may not have been decisive for the intentional use of the vessel. Often we
find fragments which are not fully oxidized, and fragments that supposedly have been
greyish black after contact with fire at food preparation activities.
2. The variation giving storing vessels and serving vessels
The cooking vessels are often coarse slipped in combination with a brushed or
marleado treated surface, while vessels utilized as storing vessels of staple food, as
beans and maiz grains, may have a lighter surface, not affected by food preparation. The
vessels might have had a great range of different uses, from storing staple food and
liquid containers to serving purposes. The porousity varies, from compact to porous
pastes. Among physical properties that could be considered important for the vessel's

203
SANDER VAN DER LEEUW, op cit, pp 722-724.
204
Cf DAVID P BRAUN, Pots as tools. Archaeological hammers and theories (eds J A Moore & A S
Keene). London, New York 1983, pp 107-134, pp 108-109, where he discusses variation in
morphology and composition depending on the potter's selection of raw materials and manufacturing
techniques.
114
suitability as liquid container are permeability. The vessels utilized as liquid containers
supposedly were more porous and not slipped, as the water is kept fresh if a certain
chilling evaporation is permitted throught the walls of the vessel. The thermal
conductivity affects further the vessel's performance in cooking.
205

The surface treatment should here be taken into consideration, as well as the spatial
distribution inside the household and inside the site as a whole.
3. The Red polished Fine ware-group
Red polished ware is made of the same residual raw clays as the above mentioned
ceramics. If there is temper added, the temper is finely crushed rock, and there are also
sherds tempered with grog. However, in most of the cases this ware's non plastic
inclusions are a natural part of the clay. It may be polished, and the fragments found
often belong to open vessels, spherical bowls.
4. The Black or grey polished Fine ware-group
Black and grey polished ware is strikingly different from the above mentioned. The
raw clay is from a sedimental clay deposition, possibly a lake environment, and there is
no further temper added.
206
The vessels have been fired in a reducing atmosphere, and
are decorated with geometrical incisions made before the firing. The supposed use was
as serving vessels or show vessels, and the shape is rather uniform - a spherical, small
bowl with convex bottom.
5. The ceramics from the fill material of the grave
There is a distinct variation of the White slipped Coarse grained clay source wares-
group, which often is decorated with black geometrical designs. The most important
observation is that the ceramics found in the habitational zone for the most part consists
of utility vessels, with coarser and higher amount of temper than the fragments studied
deriving from the grave's fill material. Here we may discern a special grave ceramic, or
show ceramic, differing from ceramics with the same surface treatment and decoration,
and with a divergent manufacturing process, i e finer crushed and less amount of temper.
6. The firing auxuliarity facilities and the control of firing conditions
The firing auxiliarity facilities for ceramics may have been easy to construct, if we
relay on the ethnoarchaeological studies, and on the fact that hitherto there not yet have
been found any traces of kiln constructions at the site of El Pichao. On the other hand,
there is evidence of a high knowledge of how to control the firing atmosphere.
The grey and red polished and the red polished fine wares, respectively, are fired in
differing firing atmospheres, and the different wares also have differing decorations, the
grey and black wares often incisions made before the firing, while the red polished ware
is undecorated. Apparently the manufacturer had control over and could predict the
firing conditions.
The coarse utility ceramics are fired both in a reducing and an oxidized atmosphere,
with a tendency that the former are being coarser tempered than the latter.
Vessels fired in oxidizing atmosphere dominates, but even if the firing atmosphere
varies, it may not be decisive for the intended use of the pots. This question is not fully
studied yet. Often there are fragments fully oxidized, and other fragments that have been
greyishblack after use over open fire at food preparing.

205
VINCAS P STEPONAITIS, Technological studies of prehistoric pottery from Alabama: physical
properties and vessel function. M d of p. pp 9-122, pp 81-82.
206
See OLE STILBORG, part 11 this report, where he discusses thinsection sherd no 3.
115
12.4.4 Changes of the manufacture of ceramics at the time of the Spanish
intrusion
D. Changes of the manufacture of ceramics as a consequence of the Spanish intrusion
The red respectively the black ware group belong to the coarse group of wares. It is
to be found at all excataved units. This raw clay contains very high amount of muscovite
and biotite, and there are also to be fopund quartz grains, but in small amounts. The clay,
from a residual clay deposit, has not been added further temper. The surface glitters with
mica, and this may have been a wanted effect when choicing the raw material. A
reduced firing atmosphere gave the dark variants and the oxidized firing atmosphere
gave the red ware. The black ware dominates, and the red ware can be decorated with
black painted geometric designs in a horizontal band following the mouth. The surfaces
are grainy due to the mica flakes, but is carefully smoothed.
This type of ceramics is only found in the late period, and the choice of raw material
source is very interesting when discussiing the Spanish influence in the region, giving the
very coarse micaceous raw clay ceramic a special background.
It may be supposed that the control of water and earth, i e the conditions of
landowing, were drastically changed with the Spanish intrusion. The Spanish intruders
were not interested in the indigeneous pottery making. In conquested areas in Peru the
manufacture was consequently drastically changed, and new raw material sources were
exploited. During the precolonial period clay deposits from the river banks had been
used for the manufacture of pottery. After the Spanish occupation clay resources from
mines in the mountaine declivities were come into use. The changes may be explained by
the new landowning conditions imposed by the Spaniards and also by the new irrigation
systems.
207
New raw clay sources are exploited - the river banks are no longer common
ground.
In the case of El Pichao the Spaniards came sporadically to the bottom of the river
valley of Santa Mara, but it was not until the later part of the 17th century, that they
managed to enter the valley's surrounding mountain declivities and subordinate the
settlements of the valley.
208
A break may be seen in the grave material when comparing
it to the habitational zone - new raw material sources were utilized to get new effects, or
in a combination with the new conditions and a foreign control of the raw material
sources.
This could help us to a better understanding and a deeper penetration in the
discussion of how a differentiation between different labour processes may be traced in
an archaeological material.
209


207
ROGGER RAVINES, Alfarera. Tecnologa andina (ed R Ravines), Lima 1978, pp 400-409, p 405.
208
ANA MARA LORANDI & ROXANA BOIXADS, Etnohistora de los valles Calchaques de los siglos
XVI y XVII. Paper to be publ. Instituto de ciencias antropolgicas, Facultad de filosofa y letras,
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1988.
209
DICK A PAPOSEK gives in his anthropological study from northwest Mxico, a good description of
the whole process of ceramic manufacture of three pottery-making villages in the 1960s, and the
changes in production due to changing economic conditions. Pots and people in Los Pueblos: The
social and economic organization of pottery.M d of p. pp 475-520. Cf also RICHARD A KRAUSE,
Modelling the making of pots: an ethnoarchaeological approach. M d of p. pp 613-698, pp 650-
668, which, however, is a formalistic approach.
116
12.5 Ethnoarchaeological approaches
This section deals with coming research and here I will try to give some outlines
concerning ethnoarchaeological approaches.
The ethnoarchaeological litterature has grown considerabely during later years.
Explorations in ethnoarchaeology is an important work with many references to
ethnoarchaeological studies before 1975.
210
Ceramics and man and The many
dimensions of pottery have previously been mentioned. For the study area of El Pichao,
the works of Mara Beatriz Cremonte and Lidia Clara Garca are of great relevance.
211

A condition for the intended study is that there are potters still working in the area, or
that there are living traditions concerning the manufacture of pottery. It is important to
emphasize that the study must take place with the direct- or participant-observation
technique.
212

The manufacture of pottery is here supposed to have been carried out as a part of a
household activity, by family members or household members. The potter (in the
northwest of Argentina there are both men and women working as potters) engage other
household members as assistants and helpers. There may also occurr that different
households colaborate for different tasks. The following list is to be seen as an outline to
the study of pottery manufacture, and not as a questionaire:
213

1. Description of the manufacturing process
Raw material sources - the intentional or chance selection of specific clays and tempering
materials for recognized purposes, where they are deposited; the extracion, collection,
and transport; implements and facilities; means of transportation
Preparation of raw materials - kneadning, shaping, surface treatment, drying of vessels,
firing, temperatures, finishing treatment (decoration, treatment of vessels before use),
Control of firing conditions - design of hearth or kiln - fuels, firing schedules, kiln
maintenance, the loading patterns employed for the pottery of varying size
How/why the potter choices and compromises during the manufacturing process.
How the working area is disposed and utlized
Staff organization of the household
2. Spatial descpription of the different labour processes
How and where the raw materials are kept and stored
Where the vessels are kept during the drying process, after firing, before being disposed
of, and in the household
Description of implements used, their local names, and if they are used for other tasks

210
Explorations in athnoarchaeology (ed Richard A Gould). Albuquerque 1978.
211
MARA BEATRIZ CREMONTE, Teofila Romero, Ollera de Juella (Quebrada de Humahuaca),
Comunicaciones cientficas, direccin provincial de antropologa e historia, ao 1, nr 1, San
Salvador de Jujuy 1989, pp 37-44; LIDIA CLARA GARCA, Etnoarqueologa: manufactura de
cermica en Alto Sapagua, Arqueologa contemporanea Argentina, (ed Hugo Daniel Yacabacito et
al), Buenos Aires 1988, pp 33-58.
212
Cf LEWIS R BINFORD, Nunamiut ethnoarchaeology. New York 1978; MICHAEL B STANISLAWSKI,
If pots were mortal. Explorations in ethnoarchaeology (ed Richard A Gould). Albuquerque 1978,
pp 201-227, pp 205-206.
213
The following ethnoarchaeological studies are good references for the field work. CAROL KRAMER,
Ceramic ethnoarchaeology, Annual Review of Anthropology 22, pp 117-132; op cit; DICK A
PAPOUSEK, Pots and people in Los Pueblos: the social and economic organization of pottery, M d
of p. pp 475-520; FREDERICK R MATSON, Ceramics and man reconsidered with some thoughts for
the future.M d of p. pp 25-49.
117
3. Collection of raw material samples for analyses: raw clays, tempering materials,
pigments, slips
Collection of samples for analyses of unfired, dried and fired ceramics.
4. Evaluation of success in production with the materials selected in terms of vessel
form, size, wall thickness, techniques of fabrication, breakage patterns.
The vessels' intended use and the local names for different vessel forms
Longevity for different vessels and their functions
Re-use of sherds or inclomplete pots
Disposal of the broken or discarded pottery
214

5. How and to whom the knowledge of the manufacture is passed on
6. Assistants - the organisation of the work inside the household, if any helpers from
outside, the division of work according to age or sex
7. The rythm of the work - when the different moments of the manufacturing process are
done depending of the season and of other households activities
8. The scale of production - amount working hours in relation to manufactured vessels
and amount of manufactured vessels in relation to number of members of the
household
9. Distribution of the pots - the family's or the household's use, trading, distribution to
other families, households or consumers
Evaluation of the pottery, how it is demanded for and how it is distrubuted
10. Religious practices and mythical conceptions related to raw materials, the different
moments of the manufacturing process and success or failure of the product
11. The potter's social status and the potter's own opinion concerning the quality of the
finished vessels in relation to other ceramics of the region
The reasons to technical changes of the manufacture process
12. A list of terms used by the potter - raw materials, implements, vessel shapes,
working areas, pigments, motifs of decoration, etc

214
MICHAEL B STANISLAWSKI, If pots were mortal. Explorations in ehnoarchaeology (ed Richard A
Gould). Albuquerque 1978, pp 201-227. In this article is a discussion about reuse, recycling and
abandonment, discard and breakage of ceramics. See also MICHAEL B SCHIFFER, Methodological
issues in ethnoarchaeology. Explorations in ethnoarchaeology (ed Richard A Gould). Albuquerque
1978, pp 229-247, where Schiffer advocates laws for residues that depend upon the physical and
spatial relationship of materials left behind in their final context of discard. DIANE P GIFFORD
discusses the natural processes related to residue formation in her article Natural processes affecting
cultural materials in Explorations in ethnoarchaeology (ed Richard A Gould). Albuquerque 1978,
pp 77-101.
118
12.6 Summary
The raw materials indicate that the ceramics for the most part was locally
manufactured. The knowledge of the ceramic manufacture was thus local, and this in
turn implies that the manufacture was not attached to a certain specialized settlement in
the valley. We can then suppose a certain autonomy in relation to other settlements in
the region.
Analyses of the finished products indicate that the labour processes demanded a
certain degree of specialized knowledge. Categories in the analyzed material may also
imply the existence of different labour processes in the manufacture of ceramics
demanding different knowledge. The conclusion to be drawn of the above is that not all
individuals of the site had the required knowledge about the manufacture of ceramics,
but a group of persons. A second conclusion may be that not all different kinds of
ceramics were manufactured in all households, but at some households, thus a certain
degree of differentiation or specialization between habitational units or household units
is a reasonably assumption. This assumption in turn is supported by the
ethnoarchaeological material.
The concious choice of a specific labour process or manufacturing technique, may
depend of a specific intentional use. The division of the ceramic material into five
different groups, may further contribute to deepen the discussion about differentiation. It
is evident that it existed an insight about how to utilize the raw materials, and thus it may
be assumed that a household could have got the monopoly of the knowledge in the
manufacturing of a certain type of ceramics. This in turn implies the existence of a
certain degree of organisation of the manufacturing process. The knowledge of pottery
manufacture may also be used in other labour processes.
The supply of raw materials has been abundant in the near surroundings of the site -
both concerning water (the large area of agricultural terraces), raw clay deposits
(supposedly to be found at the river banks) and tempering materials (natural rock).
During the late period there is a break in the material, and new raw clay sources are
taken into use. This is evident when comparing the material from the habitational area
with the grave material. The break may be a consequence of the Spanish intrusion into
the valley, with new imposed economic and social conditions for the inhabitants of the
site.
It is obvious that comparisons with historical and ethnological sources is essential for
the interpretation of the archaeological material, in order to give it a human perspective
and relevance.
References
BINFORD, LEWIS R, Nunamiut ethnoarchaeology. New York 1978.
BRAUN, DAVID P, Pots as tools. Archaeological hammers and theories (eds A Keene & J Moore).
New York 1983, pp 107-134.
CORNELL, LASSE, Arbete och arbetsformernas utveckling, Gteborg 1986.
CREMONTE, MARA BEATRIZ, Teofila Romero, Ollera de Juella (Quebrada de Humahuaca),
Comunicaciones cientficas, direccin provincial de antropologa e historia, ao 1, nr 1, San
Salvador de Jujuy 1989, pp 37-44.
119
DEBOER, WARREN R, The last pottery show: system and sense in ceramic studies. The many
dimensions of pottery. Ceramics in archaeology and anthropology (eds S E van der Leeuw & A C
Pritchard). Amsterdam 1984, pp 525-564.
Explorations in athnoarchaeology (ed Richard A Gould). Albuquerque 1978.
GARCA, LIDIA CLARA, Etnoarqueologa: manufactura de cermica en Alto Sapagua, Arqueologa
contemporanea Argentina, (ed Hugo Daniel Yacabacito et al), Buenos Aires 1988, pp 33-58.
GIFFORD, DIANE P, Natural processes affecting cultural materials. Explorations in ethnoarchaeology
(ed Richard A Gould). Albuquerque 1978, pp 77-101.
KRAMER, CAROL, Ceramic ethnoarchaeology, Annual Review of Anthropology 22, pp 117-132.
KRAUSE, RICHARD A, Modelling the making of pots: an ethnoarchaeological approach. The many
dimensions of pottery. Ceramics in archaeology and anthropology (eds S E van der Leeuw & A C
Pritchard). Amsterdam 1984, pp 613-698.
LANGE, OSCAR, Political economy, vol 2. Warsaw 1968.
LORANDI, ANA MARA & ROXANA BOIXADS, Etnohistora de los valles Calchaques de los siglos
XVI y XVII. Paper to be publ. Instituto de ciencias antropolgicas, Facultad de filosofa y letras,
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1988.
LORANDI, ANA MARA, MARA BEATRIZ CREMONTE & VERONICA WILLIAMS, Identificacin
tnica de los Mitmakuna instalados en el estblecimiento incaico Potrero-Chaquiago. Unpubl paper
presented at the XI Congreso Nacional de arqueologa chilena, Santiago 1989, 18 pp.
The many dimensions of pottery. Ceramics in archaeology and anthropology (eds S E van der Leeuw &
A C Pritchard). Amsterdam 1984.
MARX, KARL, Kapitalet, I. Lund 1970.
MATSON, FREDERICK R, Ceramics and man reconsidered with some thoughts for the future.The
many dimensions of pottery. Ceramics in archaeology and anthropology (eds S E van der Leeuw &
A C Pritchard). Amsterdam 1984, pp 25-49.
PAPOSEK, DICK A, Pots and people in Los Pueblos: The social and economic organization of
pottery.The many dimensions of pottery. Ceramics in archaeology and anthropology (eds S E van
der Leeuw & A C Pritchard). Amsterdam 1984, pp 475-520.
RAVINES, ROGGER, Alfarera. Tecnologa andina (ed R Ravines), Lima 1978, pp 400-409.
RAVINES, ROGGER, Cermica actual de Ccaccasiri, Huancavelica. Tecnologa andina (ed R Ravines),
Lima 1978, pp 447-466.
SCHIFFER, MICHAEL B, Methodological issues in ethnoarchaeology. Explorations in ethno-
archaeology (ed Richard A Gould). Albuquerque 1978, pp 229-247.
STANISLAWSKI, MICHAEL B, If pots were mortal. Explorations in ethnoarchaeology (ed Richard A
Gould). Albuquerque 1978, pp 201-227.
STEPONAITIS, VINCAS P. Technological studies of prehistoric pottery from Alabama: physical
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121
13. Approaches to room structure interpretation at El
Pichao.
Two perspectives applied comparing sectors III, IV, and VIII.
Per Stenborg, Department of archaeology, Unversity of Gothenburg
13.1 Introduction
I originally set out with an idea of comparing the New Archaeology and the recent
directions termed Postprocessual Archaeology in this paper. However, after getting
involved with the project on Emergence and growth of centres - a case study in the
Santa Mara valley, northwestern Argentine, it was natural to let this paper be
connected to my work there. Instead of making a strictly theoretical study I have tried to
look at an archaeological material from two different theoretical standpoints. They are
compared as approaches to this material. I have thus retained some of my original idea.
The material dealt with is obscure in the sense that, although the division of space is
often clear and distinct (eg walls), the structures which the area is divided into are not
easy to connect to specific functions (eg dwellings, activity-areas, cultivation-areas).
Neither can direct analogies to ethnographical examples be used.
For me it has been quite obvious how obscure and dubious the once (at home,
reading the debate on archaeological method and theory) clear ideas might get when
confronted with a concrete, but complex, material. Apparent lack of experience of
fieldwork and virtually no previous knowledge of South American archaeology didnt
mend matters. By using the field-data as an example of material on settlement, and
letting the data be limited to that from measurements of structures and groups of
structures, hopefully some problems have been avoided.
This paper might be read in several ways. If the reader is mainly interested in the
general ideas, it is my suggestion that the reader skips the rather explicit descriptions of
part 7.
13.2 Purpose
In this paper I will compare two different archaeological perspectives as they appear
when confronted with an archaeological material. The material will be a material on
room-structures from surveys at the archaeological site of El Pichao in the Santa Mara-
valley, northwestern Argentine. The two perspectives are not directly tied to existing
directions, although similair approaches exist. What I have called a functionalistic/-
122
materialistic-perspective has similairities to views put forward by for example Lewis R.
Binford. Likewise, the social/symbolical-perspective is intended to share some of its
attitude towards the archaeological material with parts of the so called Postprocessual
Archaeology
215
. This does not mean that I deny the existence of directions within the
New Archaeology interested in the social structures of past societies
216
. Instead its a
result of my intention to formulate two contrasting perspectives as two different ways of
approaching the El Pichao material.
13.3 Background
Just before the turn of the century, Juan B. Ambrosetti did research at the
archaeological site of Quilmes in the Santa Mara-valley. He asserted that two shapes of
structures dominated: One rectangular and the other rounded. The rectangular structures
often had erected stones in its interior, forming an inner rectangle. A common
combination was that of a rectangular main-structure (my expression), connected to
one, or several, smaller, rounded structures. This kind of unit is often termed Casa
Ambrosetti. He also proposed a function of the inner rectangle of erected stones,
connected to a construction of posts supporting a partial roof.
217

Research have also been made by Eric Boman
218
and Carlos Bruch
219
.
Victor A. Nez Regueiro has given a historical survey of the attempts at a
periodization for northwestern Argentine.
220
Here I will only mention the periodization
suggested by Nes Regueiro and only the periods which bear relevance upon this study
(the archaeological site of El Pichao is preliminarely suggested to have been occupied
between A.D. 600 and 1660). Three stages are suggested by Nes Regueiro:
1. Foraging stage (13 000-500 B.C.)
2. Producing stage (500 B.C.-A.D. 1536)
3. Stage of European trade expansion (post 1536 A.D.)
The second stage is subdivided into several periods, of which only the last three are
important here (all three are agricultural):
A. Formative period (200 B.C.-A.D. 1000)
B. Regional development period (A.D. 1000-1480)
C. Imperial period (A.D. 1480-1536)
221


215
Cf IAN HODDER, Reading the past. Cambridge, 1986, pp.1-178
216
Cf KENT FLANNERY, Culture history v. culture process: a debate in American archaeology.
Scientific American, vol. 217/1967, pp. 119-122
217
JUAN B AMBROSETTI, La antigua ciudad de Quilmes. Boletn del Instituto Geogrfico Argentino ,
XVIII, Buenos Aires 1897, pp. 37-40
218
ERIC BOMAN, Antiquits de la region andine de la Rpublique Argentine et du dsert d'Atacama, I-
II. Paris 1908
219
CARLOS BRUCH, Exploraciones arquelogicas en las provincias de Tucumn y Catamarmarca, vol
5. Buenos Aires 1911
220
VICTOR A NUEZ REGUEIRO, Considerations on the periodizations of Northwest Argentina.
Advances in Andean archaeology, The Hague 1978, pp. 453-484
221
VICTOR A NUEZ REGUEIRO, OP CIT.,pp.464-484
123
The archaeological site of El Pichao is situated in the semi-desert of the Santa
Mara-valley, northwestern Argentine. The climate is dry with occasional torrents of
rain. The sparse vegetation is mostly consisting of bushes and various species of cactus
(mostly Opuntia and Cereus-species). The site is mainly situated on the alluvial-cone,
which with varied inclination slopes towards the Santa Mara-river. Here large terrace-
systems, as well as room-structures, dominates the picture. The remains of room-
structures which are visible above ground, consists largely of stone-walls, more or less
demolished. Parts of the site are located to the far steeper hill-sides around the cone,
where structures and constructions are situated on terraces. For practical reasons the
area of the site has been divided into 13 sectors (see Figure 1). Research has been been
carried out in 1989 and 1990 at this site.
13.4 Two main perspectives
To make an attempt of showing the potentials for hypothese creations offered by the
material discussed here, I will outline two different theoretical and methodological
perspectives, as a basis for two different approaches to the material on room-structures
at the archaeological site of El Pichao. This outline will generalize about such things as
functionality, symbolical aspects of the archaeological material and interest for
regularity/irregularity, in order to polarize the two perspectives.
Archaeology is a wide field, and the archaeologist must choose which aspect of the
archaeological material that is of interest for his or her approach. This choice is of course
dependent upon interests and values kept by the individual archaeologist. Anyhow, it
should be possible to outline some major features constituting two different perspectives.
The division of these two perspectives could be made at many different levels, like
micro/macro-perspectives or studies in accordance with different political ideologies.
The division chosen and used in this paper is one between a perspective that puts its
emphasis mainly on the usage and function of varios parts of a prehistoric society, as
well as on the very method of gaining and testing such knowledge, and a second
perspective, interested in aspects of the archaeological material other than the mere
function of details in, and parts of, a society.
The latter perspective presuposes that, for example values and relations within a
society in one way or another are observable in the archaeological record. The cause of
their observability could be either a conscious intention by people of the past to show or
hide some aspect of the living conditions of their society, or it could be an unconscious
consequense of the constitution of, or relations within, this society. The material culture
is, according to this second perspective, meningfully constituted, it provides the
environment within which people can reach their ends and means.
222
In the interpretation
of meaning a subjective element is involved since an understanding of meaning is
possible only through the use of imagination and association, and since this
understanding do differ between individuals.
223

According to the functionalistic/materialistic perspective, it is not what is meant, not
any inherent purpose, besides the function of the artefact or construction that

222
IAN HODDER, Postprocessual archaeology. Advances in archaeological method and theory, ed.
Michael B. Schiffer, New York, vol. 8, 1985, p.5
223
IAN HODDER, op cit., p.14.
124
archaeology is about. The object of the study is material, not psychological
phenomena.
224
It is pointed out that the archaeological material consists, not of symbols,
but of material "things".
225
The material remains of a culture tells us of its adaption to
the environment, in some senses analogous to how the physical constitution of an animal
spiece may show its adaption to an ecological niche. The system of adaption that
characterizes a culture, consists of material, communication-channels and energy.
226

Theoreticaly the method is often described as a process where a general theory of
society (ie system theory) is used by deducing hypotheses for the special case. The
implications of this theory in the special case is then to be tested against data.
227

Archaeology should adopt methods from the natural sciences.
228

13.5 A presentation of the field-data and of the methods of data-collection
The material used in this study is collected from several surveys carried out during the
fieldworks in El Pichao 1989 and 1990. Those surveys have been carried out for
different purposes, and by different methods. This might bring about a problem of
comparability. I will here give a brief description of the methods used in the different
surveys, as well as a discussion on possible lack of comparability. I will also discuss the
problem of representativety, as well as the question of contemporaneity.
13.5.1 The complex of structures in the northwestern part of sector III
(complex A).
A survey of this area was carried out in april 1990 by the author. This complex of
structures is located to the northwestern part of sector III (Figure 13.2). The method
used was simply stepping out distances and checking out directions by compass. An
optical heightmeter and a pocket-rule was used for the measurement of heights. About
200 observationpoints were used. Data concerning all selected elements and variables
were collected. As the complex covers a large area, it was only possible to measure it in
part. Hopefully it will be possible to extend the survey in the forthcoming field-
campaign. The structures included in the survey are preliminary given the numbers A.1
to A.19. The numbering of structures was in this case made chronologically, in the
order they where measured, with the exception of structure A.19 which was identified
after the survey had been completed.

224
LEWIS R BINFORD, Meaning, inference and the material record. Ranking, resource and exchange,
Cambridge university press, 1982, p. 162
225
LEWIS R BINFORD, In pursuit of the past, London, 1983, p. 19
226
LEWIS R BINFORD, Meaning, inference and the material record. Ranking, resource and exchange,
Cambridge university press, 1982, p. 162
227
GIBON, GUY, Explanation in archaeology
228
LEWIS R BINFORD, In pursuit of the past, London, 1983, p. 22
125
13.5.2 The complex of structures in sector VIII (complex B).
This area was surveyed under direction of Susana Sjdin during the fieldcampaign of
1990 by the means of a teodolite. Approximately 30 teodolite-points were taken (64
when including measurements of heights and inclination) and details were measured
using compass and measuring-tape making the total number of observationpoints reach
around 200. Observations were made regarding all selected elements with the exeption
of the one concerning lines of stones. Not all observations are marked on the plan.
229

Parts of this complex was excavated during the 1990 field-campaign, when parts of
terrace-levels two and five were excavated. The numbering of structures have been made
after the survey. The area of this complex includes eight terrace-levels (Figure. 13:3).
13.5.3 Unit 12.
This unit is situated in the southwestern part of sector IV, near the border to sector
III (Figure 13.4). Starting the 19th of april 1990 this unit was surveyed during three
working days by Per Cornell and the author using an angular-prism and measuring-tape.
The vegetation inside this unit sometimes made the measuring a bit difficult. A fixpoint
was chosen northeast of the smaller, semicircular structure. A second fixpoint was
placed northwest of the large, rounded structure. The measurement included 74
observationpoints. Observations on all elements and variables were recorded.
13.5.4 Unit 1.
A survey of this complex was made by Lisbet Bengtsson during the 1989
fieldcampaign and some additional work was made by Susana Sjdin 1990 (Figure 13.5).
A level was used, together with a measuring tape and a pocket-rule for those surveys.
The unit is situated in sector III to the southeast of complex A. The unit might be
connected to a structure to the southeast of the main structure (1.1), which is not
included in the survey.
230
112 observationpoints were used. Observations were made
concerning all selected elements. Parts of the unit were excavated during the 1989 and
1990 fieldseasons.
13.5.5 The problem of comparability
It is my opinion that the comparison of material from the different surveys is not
prevented by differences in methods used. In fact, the numbers of observationpoints in
the different surveys are in the same scale, why the precision should be comparable.

229
SUSANA SJDIN, Personal communication
230
LISBET BENGTSSON, Personal communication
126
The only limitation is in the comparison of complex B with other units and
complexes, where "lines of stones" cannot be used as a variable. Otherwise observations
concerning all selected elements have been recorded.
13.5.6 The problem of representativety
The material used in this study cannot be said to be representative of the site of El
Pichao as a whole. It is representative of the types of structures which are characteristic
of a part of the site (sectors III, IV and VIII). About the question of El Pichao as a unit
of some significance I here simply refer to the discussion by Per Cornell.
231

13.5.7 The question of contemporaneity
So far, the result of the research in El Pichao has rather supported than contradicted
contemporaneity of the units and complexes dealt with in this study.
232
This study
departs from the assumption that those indications are correct.
13.6 Approaching the El Pichao material in accordance with the two
perspectives
13.6.1 The functionalistic/materialistic approach
In accordance with the functional/material view, I choose to look for elements which
could be of use in the creation of a typology of structures. To a great extent the variable
of shape will be excluded from the study, as this variable seems to be determined by the
topography rather than by the nature of the kind of activity for which the structure was
constructed (eg cultivation-areas must not be shaped exactly the same way to be put into
the same category as their differences probably are the result of, for example, varying
inclination of the ground). A hypothesis will be formulated as a proposal concerning the
use of different types of structures. This study ends at this point as a testing of the
hypothesis is not possible without further data from excavations. The evaluation of the
hypothesis could for example be done by the testing of certain postulations regarding the
kinds of ceramics that would be expected to be found in the different kinds of structures.
Also other categories of material, like bone, carbon and seeds, could be used in similar
manner. Anyway these proposals are at this point purely hypothetical, as this kind of
data is not available.
An attempt will be made to find general differences between the different groups
(units and complexes) of structures.

231
PER CORNELL, Prospection at El Pichao in 1989. El Pichao 1989
232
PER CORNELL, Why centre?. Part 1, this report.
127
The typology will be built mainly on the presence or absence of a number of elements.
It follows from the way the data collecting for this study was made that the reachable
elements are those visible on the ground. A list of variables and elements follows below:
Class 1: General elements
1. Location (topographical, geographical) of whole units.
2. Location (relative) of structures in relation to other structures.
3. Size of structures in relation to other structures.
"Unit" is a recurrent pattern of assemblages of structures.
Class 2: Special elements
1. Erected stones.
2. Bridges.
3. Entrances, connections through walls.
4. Passages.
5. Shifts of groundlevel.
6. Mortarstones.
7. Lines of stones.
"Erected stones" are stones placed in an upright position, not leaning against other
stones. "Bridges" are sections of the walls, directed towards the interior of the structure
and right-angled, or nearly right-angled, to the walls they are connected to (Figure 13.6).
"Entrances" are sections of walls, where the height of the wall is considerably lower than
is the height of the nearest parts of the same walls. "Passages" are entrances which
differs from the normal type (3) by not being connections through walls, but rather gaps
between walls (Figure 13.6).
The aim here is to put forward a proposal concerning functional types. Clearly I here
have to do some suppositions about the fundamental needs of the people that once lived
on the site. I will thus look for structures probably used as dwellings, and for others
where cultivation is likely to have taken place. A list of postulated spheres of
applications for the room-structures of El Pichao follows here:
Type A. Structures used as dwellings (for sleeping &c).
Type B. Structures used as cultivation-areas.
Type C. Structures used as enclosures, or pasture for cattle.
Type D. Structures used as activity-areas.
Type E. Structures used for communication.
A division of an area into zones of different heightlevel (analogous to the terraceation
of parts of the alluvial-cone in a larger perspective), as well as any traces of irrigation-
constructions will be taken as indicators of cultivation. Differentiation of hightlevels
frequently appears in combination with walls, thus marking a border between structures,
this kind of hightlevel-differentiation is not included in the class 2.4 type of elements.
Dwellings are assumed to be smaller than areas normally used for cultivation (a
smaller size-structure is more easely roofed).
Structures used for communication and transport are supposed to form connected
systems, to be small and extended in one direction.
Activity-areas might be indicated by the presence of mortar-stones.
For the detection of cattle-enclosures or pastures, observations of possible passages
used for driving cattle in and out of enclosures, will be recorded.
128
13.6.2 The social/symbolical approach
Using the second perspective, interest will be focused upon possibilities of detecting a
social content of the society under study. To make this a reasonable aim of archaeology,
the remains of the material culture must be viewed as a carrier of meaning. A frame,
within which this meaning can be interpreted must also be created. It is accepted that the
way in which this frame is constructed will direct the interpretation.
Here it is simply assumed that the division of an area marks more than (even if also) a
division for practical reasons. It creates a differentiation between areas on opposite sides
of the border. The most fundamental division could be said to be that between an interior
inner area, and an exterior surroundings. As a second step the inner area might in turn
also be divided into subareas. If this inner division is into different activity areas and a
division of labour also takes place, then the border marks a social differentiation, as well
as a functional one. Thus I here assume that a social, as well as a functional,
differentiation might be traced by observations of differences in structure, or content
between areas, and between subareas. Such differences will here be identified, both
between units located at different parts of the site, and between individual structures and
groups of structures located near each other.
The division of labour is just one dimension, and it should be possible to trace other
aspects of of a society as well. One such aspect is the attitude held by the society under
study (or held by its inhabitants) towards its (or their) environment.
It should be mentioned that also this study is incomplete, since the symbolic structure
proposed will not be shown in more than one category of the material. To be complete,
the proposed pattern should be shown to be valid also for other categories of material
(eg the decoration of pottery).
The elements used here will in part be identical to those selected for the funcional,
material study.
Selected elements and variables:
1. Differences or similarities in the location on the site-area of separate units.
2. Differences or similarities between different units, or between structures in the same
unit regarding:
a) Angular and rounded shapes.
b) Presence or absence of erected stones.
c) Presence or absence of bridges.
d) Presence or absence of entrances.
e) Presence or absence of lines of stones.
f) Presence or absence of mortarstones.
3. Relation between the orientation and shape of structures and the lines and shapes of
the natural environment.
1. Differences and similarities in the location on the site-area of separate units.
Attention will here be payed to the possibilty of a geographical differentiation between
social groups. The physical conditions varies throughout the site-area of El Pichao. Parts
of the site are situated to the steep slopes of the surrounding mountains. The main body
of the site is spread over the flatter, but varied, area of the alluvial-cone. The parts of the
site located up the mountain-slopes are thus both peripheric and at the same time placed
in an elevated position, overlooking most of the site-area. This variable acquires its
129
importance when data on it can be combined with observations about one or more of the
other variables.
2. To trace a division into areas of different activities, and thereby possibly a social
differentiation, the differences or similarities between different units, or between
structures in the same unit according to six different elements and variables will be
noted. Of the chosen elements only f) is directly associated to a certain activity
(treatment of seeds or other parts of vegetables, possibly also crushing of quartz for the
tempering of clay &c). Thus what might be interesting is the tracing of any pattern in the
combination of elements between structures and between groups of structures.
3. The relation between the orientation and shape of structures and the lines and
shapes of the natural environment will be taken as an indication of the attitude held by
the society and its inhabitants towards their natural environment. Stated another way: It
might show the degree of division, or opposition, created, expressed and experienced
between nature and culture. This opposition might well vary spatially.
13.7 A description of the material, based on field-data
13.7.1 The complex of structures in the northwestern part of sector III
Complex A, figure 13.2
This complex, bounded by a river-arm -arroyo- by its southern side, consists of a
large number of structures. The structures are connected to each other, lying wall by
wall. Sizes and shapes of structures show great variation. A part of the complex, divided
into 19 structures, is included in this study. The area is rather flat, with relatively low
inclination.
Structure A.1
This structure is located to the southwestern part of the complex. The shape of the
structure is angular, although it gives the impression of being disturbed by the smaller
structure A.3. There are nine possible entrances of which two differs from the others,
one being simply a gap between two walls (this type is here termed "passage"), and the
other being an upward slope in northeastern part of the structure, towars A.4. The
structure has erected stones in the interior, two of them standing side by side and
showing a remarkable degree of similarity. The structure also includes two mortar-
stones, as well as boulders. The corner of the wall shared with A.3 is extended towards
the centre of the structure, forming a construction here termed "bridge". The ground is
flat, exept for parts covered by material fallen down from the walls. The walls are
comparably high and broad, with exception for the wall towards A.2.
Structure A.2
This structure, situated to the south of A.1, has an angular shape and is rather small,
with low walls. It has two connections to structure 1, one possible entrance and one
possible passage. It also has a possible entrance to a southeastern structure, as well as a
possible passage to the east. The ground is flat with boulders lying on the surface.
130
Structure A.3
Structure A.3 is small with high walls and has five corners. It has one possible
entrance. The character of the ground-surface is disturbed as the structure evidently has
been subjected to looting. The groundlevel is higher than that of A.1.
Structure A.4
This clearly angular structure, of approximately the size of A.1, has two possible
entrances. There are no erected stones. The heights of the walls show great variation.
The area next to the western corner differs from the ground elsewhere inside A.4 in
being divided into small zones at different heightlevel. There are elevated areas towards
structures A.1 and A.5. Two lines of stones run in the south-north direction, one runs
east-west.
Structure A.5
Smaller than A.4 and A.1, lying to the northwest of A.4, this structure differs from
the previously described in having its longest walls in the northwest-southeast direction.
This gives it its greatest extension in the direction of the slope, and so the ground inside
the structure is not flat, but on the one hand follows the slope, getting successively
higher to the northwest, and on the other hand also has one distinct line of more abrupt
change of level. There is one possible entrance through the northwestern wall and a
possible passage through the southeastern wall, towards A.19. The northern and western
corners show tendencies towards roundness. A bent line of erected stones is placed by
the southern corner of the structure. The structure has been subjected to looting.
Structure A.6
This quite irregular structure differs from the previous in having boulders spread all
over its interior ground. The spreading of the stones shows no sign of any regularity,
with few exceptions. There is one possible passage towards the elevated area of the
structure, between A.1 and A.4. This possible passage does not consist of an opening in,
or a gap between walls, but is merely marked by stones lying on the ground. The walls
towards northeast and northwest are constructed of larger stones than are the others.
The structure is probably damaged by the arroyo, which could mean that the structure
predates the arroyo. Close to the arroyo there is a differentiation of the groundlevel.
Structure A.7
This is a diffuse area, and the limits of this structure are quite dubious. The shape is
angular and the structure has two entrances towards A.4. The walls are low and often
seemingly ending into nothing. In the northern part of the structure a construction is
directed from the northeastern wall towards the centre of the structure. This
construction differs from the previously described Bridges, in being filled with just
soil, the walls consisting of thin, raised stones. A possible explanation of the present
appearance of this structure could be that the groundlevel has been considerably
heightened by sediment from the river-arm to the northeast.
Structure A.8
This structure is rather obscure. The shape is angular and the western area is divided
into distinct horizontal levels, similar to terraces. The structure has had an entrance to
A.15. The eastern part of the structure partly consists of erected stones and boulders,
separating this part of the structure from the rest.
131
Structure A.9
This structure has a distinctive angular shape. Possible entrances are placed through
three corners of the structure. The southeastern wall has a very distinct entrance.
Erected stones are placed in the interior of the structure, although they show no signs of
marking the Casa Ambrosetti-type of an inner rectangle. Rather they are located to the
southern and western corners of the structure. A circular construction is situated near
the centre of the structure. The circle consists of smaller stones than does the walls, the
average size being about 30-40 cm:s. The circle has a diameter of approximately 5m, it
has an opening to the east. The northwestern wall of the mainstructure is collapsed,
except for a small part. The northeastern wall shows great variation, partly being well
preserved and partly being destroyed. This could have something to do with a possible
entrance through this wall. The southeastern wall is low and in parts diffuse.
Structure A.10
This is a small angular structure with lower groundlevel than the surroundings. It has
possible entrances through its northwestern and southeastern walls. There are traces of
looting.
Structure A.11
This is a very small structure, with two sharp corners and two rounded. Possible
entrance through the northwestern wall, no sign of communication with A.10. The
ground inside the structure is partly destroyed by a large looting-pit. The level of the
ground is much higher than inside A.10.
Structure A.12
Only a part of this structure is included in the survey as it extends far to the northeast
and priority was given for areas to the southeast and southwest. The structure is diffuse
in a similar manner as structure A.8. The part of the structure included in the survey
consists mainly of lines of stones, one possibly connected to an entrance to structure
A.13. Towards A.13, the ground is sloping downwards.
Structure A.13
This medium size structure has an irregular northwestern wall, connected to A.12.
The structure has a large number of possible entrances. To the north, a possible passage
seems to be marked by, at least, one line of erected stones. Possibly a second passage is
situated near east of the first. A line of low stones divides the structure into two halves.
Structure A.14
This large structure is clearly angular in shape. It has five possible entrances, as well
as a passage through the northern corner. It has some resemblance to the lrge
rectangular structure of the Casa Ambrosetti-type of unit (eg unit 1 below). To the
southeast of an opening in the northwestern wall, there is a semicircular elevation of the
ground. Two lines of erected stones are placed in the interior (a third might be covered
by material fallen down from the walls).
Structure A.15
An angular, medium-size structure. It has a possible, but very indistinct, passage to
the north (A.8), and possible entrances to the northwest and southeast. A line of erected
stones marks a higher groundlevel in the northwestern part.
132
Structure A.16
This is a small, but rather complex structure. It is, groundlevel-wise, divided into
three zones, one of them shaped like a semicircle. The lowest part of the structure is
connected to a possible entrance to structure A.15. The entrance to structure A.17 share
some features with passages.
Structure A.17
This rather large structure has a possible entrance through its southern corner. The
opening towards A.13 has the character of a passage. There is a distinct change of
groundlevel to the southeast, marked by a line of erected stones. A second line of
erected stones is partly parallel to the northeastern wall. By the southwestern wall a
construction, including two large boulders, is situated.
Structure A.18
This angular structure has three possible entrances, two through the long sides of the
structure, and one near by the southern corner. There is a line of erected stones running
in the southeast-northwest direction. The southeastern wall is thin and partly made up by
erected stones.
Structure A.19
This is a small structure situated between structures A.4 and A.5, as a kind of
intermediate area. It has one possible passage to A.5. The northern corner consists of a
bridge.
13.7.2 The complex of structures in sector VIII
Complex B, Figure 13.3
This complex is situated at the mountain-slopes to the southwest of the alluvial-cone.
The slope here is steep, the difference of altitude from the lowest structure in this survey,
to the highest, being about 38m. To the north a gully might have damaged parts of the
structures. As a rule, the structures in the southern parts of the area are partly covered
by collapsed material. The area is divided into eight terrace-levels. Minor slopes are
situated between the terraces, where in some places smaller terraces are visible.
233
The
excavated parts of the complex are situated at terrace-levels 2 and 5 (units 9 and 5).
Structure B.1
This is a rather small structure, diffuse but angular in shape. Possible passage to
structure B.2. The southern part of the structure is probably covered by material fallen
down from the precipice.
Structure B.2
Angular in shape and situated to the north of B.1, this rather small structure shows
signs of an inner division. By the northeastern corner two undistinct walls cut off a
section of the structure. There is one possible passage to B.1, and a possible entrance to
B.4.

233
SUSANA SJDIN, Sector VIII. Part 4, this report.
133
Structure B.3
Angular in shape, with no distinct connections to any other structure. The northern
part possibly damaged by the gully.
Structure B.4
This is a large area, limited to the south only by the mountain-ridge and to the north
by the gully. Possible passage to B.8 and entrances to B.2, B.9 and B.10. The border
towards B.6 is somewhat diffuse, however, a division of the area into two structures
have been motivated by a fragment of a wall. The structure includes erected stones.
Structure B.5
This is a very small, rather quadratic structure. It has no visible communication with
any other structure.
Structure B.6
Angular in shape, this structure has an indistinct border to B.4. It has a possible
passage to the north and an entrance to structure B.7.
Structure B.7
Similar to structur B.5, although this structure has an entrance, to B.6.
Structure B.8
Rather undistinct, parts probably covered by material from the slopes. Angular shape.
Possible passage to B.4. There is one mortar-stone.
Structure B.9
Possibly rectangular in shape, although the southern parts are rather diffuse. Possible
entrances to B.4 and B.10.
Structure B.10
This structure differs from the rest in being extended in the east-west direction. To
the north it is limited by the gully. Possible entrances to B.4 and B.12.
Structure B.11
Diffuse, but separated from B.9, B.12 and B.13 by fragments of walls. Parts of the
structure are covered by material from the slopes. It has a possible entrance to B.12, as
well as a possible passage or entrance to the same structure.
Structure B.12
Angular with possible entrances to B.10 and B.11. Possible passage or entrance to
B.11. A mortar-stone is situated near the western wall, and also erected stones.
Structure B.13
Partly covered by material from the slopes. The visible parts of the walls show no
signs of any entrances or passages to other structures. The limits of this structure
towards B.11 are unclear and there is a possibility of the existence of an intermediate
structure between B.11 and B.13.
Structure B.14
This angular structure includes erected stones. No entrances or passages are visible.
The wall towards B.16 is double, which might indicate a passage to B.10. The
southwestern part is diffuse.
134
Structures B.15 and B.16
The terrace on which structures B.15 and B.16 are situated (T.6) narrows to the
south, giving the structures quite asymmetrical, though angular, shapes. A fragment of a
wall has motivated the division into two structures. By the same fragmentary wall a
mortar-stone is located. From the northern wall of stucture B.16 a slightly bent wall is
pointed towards the centre of the structure, and ends abruptly after four meters.
Structure B.17
This terrace (T.7) narrows in contrast to the former to the north. This makes
structure B.17 expand by its southern end. The wall towards structure B.19 is bent,
giving the structure a slightly rounded shape, although the rest of the walls are straight.
No signs of any entrances or passages.
Structure B.18
Small and angular, this structure has no visible communication with other structures,
with possible exeption for structure B.10, as there is a gap between the western wall of
B.18 and the eastern wall of B.20.
Structure B.19
Small with undistinct limits to the south, structure B.19 has a distinct entrance to
structure B.20. The eastern wall is bent and from that wall another wall is pointed,
almost perpendicularly, towards the centre of the structure.
Structure B.20
This structure expands by its northern end and is limited by the gully to the north. It
has an entrance to structure B.19.
13.7.3 Unit 12
Figure 13.4
This unit is situated in the southwestern part of sector IV. It consists, mainly, of three
structures, one of them divided into two substructures. An intermediate area will also be
treated as a structure (12.3).
Structure 12.1
This is a large rectangular structure, of a type which is often part of the kind of unit
termed Casa Ambrosetti. Lines of erected stones run along the southeastern and
southwestern sides. Lines along the northwestern and northeastern sides might be
covered by collapsed material, probably from the walls. Possible entrances to 12.2,
through the southwestern wall and towards the intermediate area. Also a possible
passage towards the intermediate area, and oriented towards an opening in structure
12.4. The thickness of the walls varies. A looting-pit was found near the northeastern
wall.
Structure 12.2
Small and semicircular, this structure is of a type also associated to the Casa
Ambrosetti-type of unit. The rounded walls are in two layers, like outer-and inner-
walls, with a filling of soil between. Only one possible entrance, towards 12.1.
135
Structure 12.3
This is the intermediate area between structures 12.1 and 12.4. The area shows
indistinct signs of boundaries to the northeast and southwest. The groundlevel here is
higher than that of 12.1, while lower than the groundlevel in 12.4.
Structure 12.4
This is a large and rounded structure. The nearly circular wall consists mainly of
erected stones, which makes it differ in character from the stonepaved walls of structure
12.1. To the south a part of the wall differs from the rest, looking more similar to the
wall of 12.1. A wall consisting of boulders divides the structure into two parts
(substructures).
The northern part of the structure is diffuse, the walls being made up of mainly
boulders and showing no distinct shape (possibly damaged by the arroyo). There are
three possibe entrances through the rounded wall, one of them towards the intermediate
area, and orientated towards a possible passage in the wall of 12.1.
13.7.4 Unit 1
Figure 13.5
Unit 1 is situated in sector III, southeast of complex A. The ground is in this area,
compared to the area of complex A, rather flat, with less variation of altitude, although
the general inclination of the alluvial-cone is not broken here. The unit consists of three
structures (possibly a fourth, south of 1.1 and not included in the survey).
Structure 1.1
This structure is large and angular. It includes three lines of erected stones, a fourth
might be covered by material fallen down from the northwestern wall. The structure has
three possible entrances, one through the southwestern wall and one towards each of the
two smaller structures. Northwest of the entrance through the southwestern wall a
possible bridge is situated. The structure is of a type, often associated with the Casa
Ambrosetti.
Structure 1.2
Small and including both angular and rounded shapes, this structure, to the northwest
of 1.1, has partly massive, thick walls and partly thinner walls. It has one entrance, to
1.1.
Structure 1.3
This small structure, northeast of 1.1, has a more rounded shape. It has an entrance to
structure 1.1.


136
13.8 Analyses of the field-data
13.8.1 The functionalistic/materialistic perspective
13.8.1.1 Complex A
As dwellings (Type A) structures A.3, A.10 and A.11 are proposed, the interpretation
based on size of the structures. Structure A.9 diverges in type from all other structures,
not only in the complex, but in this study as a whole. The circular construction inside
A.9 might have functioned as a corral, used when an intensified control over the llamas
was desired. For structure A.18, no special function can be ascribed.
Algarrobo (Prosopis alba, P. nigra), growing today in El Pichao, is a possible
fodder.
234
Some areas inside the complex could possibly have been used for the growing
of this fodder. Also a production of vegetable human food is here assumed to have taken
place in parts of the complex. Possible cultivation-areas (Type B) are structures A.7, A.8
and perhaps A.4, and A.6. The lines of stones inside A.12, might be traces of an
irrigations-system, and this would mean that A.12 have had functions connected to
cultivation.
The precence of passages is here interpreted as indicating that the structure has been
used in connection with the keeping of domestic animals (Type C). This does not mean
that structures including passages, here: structures A.1, A.2, A.5, A.13, A.14 and A.17
(possibly also A.6, A.15 and A.16), exclusively, or even mainly have had this function.
The domestic animals in question can with little doubt be assumed to have been llama.
Animals kept today in the village of El Pichao is mainly sheep, goat and pig, although an
extensive llama herding exists. This is fully in line with the general development of a
decline in importance for llama-keeping in favor of the keeping of imported spieces.
235

The presence of mortar-stones in structures 1 and 5 suggests that these structures
have functioned as activity-areas (Type D), besides their connection to the keeping of
domesticated animals.
In the southwestern part of the complex a number of structures (A.15, A.16 and
A.17) are interpreted as having essentially or partly been used for transport and
communication (Type E), this function might also be proposed for A.19. This functional
proposal is represented in Figure 13.7.
13.8.1.2 Complex B
For the function as dwellings (Type A), structures B.5, B.7, B.16, B.18, B.19 and
B.20 are suggested, interpretation built on the size of the structures.
Structures B.3 B.14 and B.17 are not bound to any specific function by the presence
of choosen elements, a possible function might have been as cultivation areas (Type B).
Possible passages are, preferentially, located to the lower (eastern) parts of the area.
As in the case of complex A, passages are here interpreted as indicating the keeping of
domesticated animals (Type C). And just as in the former case the structures in question
(B.1, B.2, B.4, B.6, and B.9, structures B.7 and B.19 show similar features, but are

234
MELODY SHIMADA & IZUMI SHIMADA,Prehistoric Llama breeding and herding on the north coast
of Peru, American antiquity, vol 50, jan. 1985, p.15
235
MELODY SHIMADA & IZUMI SHIMADA, op cit, p.3
137
estimated as being too small to be included in the type) might well have other functiones
besides their connection to the keeping of domesticated animals.
Structures containing mortar-stones (B.8, B.12 and B.15) are proposed to have been
activity-areas (Type D), at least partly connected to the treatment of vegetables.
In the northern part of the complex, structures B.6 and B.10 are proposed to form an
internal transport and communication system for the area (Type E).
In the southern parts of the area stuctures B.1, B.11 and B.13 are obscured by
material to such an extent that proposals according to possible functions are not
possible. This functional proposal is represented in Figure 13.8.
13.8.1.3 Units 1 and 12
Units 1 and 12 are situated not far apart and show smilarities in types and
combinations of structures why they are here treated together.
At least two types of structures can be distinguished. One large angular type, and one
smaller, rounded or partly rounded type. Structures 1.1 and 12.1 belong to the former
type, while structures 1.2, 1.3 and 12.2 are included in the latter type. As the character
of the wall is not one of the choosen elements, the rather special wall of 12.2 is not
enough to suggest a separation of this structure from the type which includes 1.2 and
1.3.
The small size and the absence of elements associated to any special activity suggests
a function as dwellings (Type A) for the smaller type of structures. Structures 1.1 and
12.1 might be interpreted as cultivation-areas (Type B), alternatively pasture for
domesticated animals (Type C) and activity-areas (Type D). The shape and size of the
structures, as well as the presence of erected stones, are features they share with
structure A.14 of complex A. The proposal will therefore be that they have had functions
connected to the keeping of domesticated animals (Type C), although they both lack the
type of entrance which motivated the interpretation of structure A.14 (the passage). But
this function has probably not been the only one, they might for example have functioned
as activity-, or cultivation-areas as well.
The diverging characters of structures 12.3 and 12.4 make the interpretation of their
functions rather difficult. It might be doubted that structure 12.4 is contemporary to the
rest of unit 12, but that this is the case is indicated by the relation between entrances of
structures 12.1 and 12.4, as well as by the partly similar walls of structures 12.2 and
12.4. The presence of mortar-stones in 12.4 suggests a function connected to the
treatment of seeds or other parts of vegetables, this does not explain the functional use
of a division into two substructures. But it should be mentioned that the wall dividing the
structure is low and partly has the character of piles of stone, rather than a regular wall.
It might thus be connected to some activity, rather than, in fact, separating two
substructures. Structure 12.3 might have had the function of a passage used for the
transporting of domesticated animals in and out of 12.1. This functional proposal is
represented in fig 13.9.
13.8.1.4 A functionalistic/materialistic comparison between complexes and
units
Tables 13.1-3
The three areas (complex A, complex B and units 1 and 12) have a lot in common
regarding types of elements. Some significative differences are notable, anyhow. Bridges
only occur in complex A. With possibly one exeption, the same is valid for shiftings of
138
groundlevel. Erected stones are present in about half of the structures of complex A and
units 1 and 12, while being far less common in complex B.
According to the interpretation above complex A contained far more cultivation-areas
than complex B, which is supported by the fact that irrigation probably have been a
difficult task on the steep hillside. This could mean that while complex A has had a
certain degree of selfsufficiency, complex B has been more dependent, has had more
specialized functions and has been more of a component of a system. In units 1 and 12
there have been possibilities of treating, and possibly also cultivating vegetables. Some
degree of selfsufficiency might have been the case here, as well as in complex A.
13.8.2 The social, symbolical perspective
13.8.2.1 A comparison between the three groups of structures
On a macro-level a comparison between the material on complex A and the material
on complex B gives at hand both similarities and differences. While sharing some basic
features, like the general size and shape of structures, complex B shows a much higher
degree of regularity, and a lower degree of divergent elements, like circles. None of
those differences could be explained by the fact that different methods of measuring have
been used. The regularity and restriction of the lines and shapes of an area is here
interpreted as an indication of domination over nature, as well as a marking of a power-
position. By showing their sovereignity over nature and their ability to manipulate,
people also give a signal of their power, to other people. The regularity of complex B,
together with its location, in an elevated position on the mountain-slope, gives the
impression of a concentration of power to this part of the site. It also gives the
impression of a general plan for the construction of complex B, not a slowly growing
colonization of the area. By the often straight lines and angles of complex B, the area
inside the complex is cut off from the surroundings and is, to a greater extent than in the
case of complex A, artificial. Only in complex B we have structures without entrances
and thus completely cut off from the surroundings. The complex B might well have been
the residence of a local elite.
The complex A, then, with its lower degree of restriction and regularity, will be
interpreted as having possessed less power. In contrast to complex B, complex A shows
signs of having been constructed in portions over a long timespan, without any general
planning. This impression, of a rather slow accumulation of constructions, is in line with
a bit-by-bit expansion of the settlement to cope with needs for larger living-, work-, or
cultivation-areas. This leads me to conclude that complex A has been of importance
mainly for the production and provision of food and other materials, its power-position
has been weak.
Units 1 and 12 shows a quite different macro-pattern. The units are situated not far
apart, but there are no clear evidence of a continuity of the settlement over the
intermediate area. The units consist of just a few structures. This leads me to ascribe a
certain independence to those units in relation to the areas previously described. This
type of unit might be termed household-units, supposed to have housed just a single
household. Unit 12 differs from unit 1 by the large rounded structure (12.4) situated
north of the large rectangular structure (12.1). The unit also includes an intermediate
area between those structures (12.3). The large rounded structure of unit 12 is complex.
139
It includes a wall, consisting of a low wall and boulders. North of this wall the structure
seems to disintergrate. Here it gets more and more difficult to tell the artificial from the
natural. While structures 12.1 and 12.2 are associated with culture (and strict lines), 12.4
seems more associated with nature. Following the former discussion (on complexes A
and B) this gives the structures quite different statuses and might reflect evaluations of
the activities performed in the different structures.
13.8.2.2 A comparison between different parts of complex A
An attempt to distinguish a social pattern inside complex A by comparing the content
of elements inside structures on opposite sides of a chosen line give no significant result
by placing the line in the northwest-southeast direction (Figure 13.10 and table 13.4).
The same result is reached by placing the line northeast-southwest (Figure 13.11, table
13.5). For bridges and mortar-stones some differences in number do occur, but the total
number of those elements inside the complex is estimated as being too small, to allow
any conclusions to be drawn upon them alone. A further attempt to find a spatial
differentiation inside complex A can be made by defining complex structures as
structures containing more than 2 types of the chosen elements. This gives a result
similar to the former attempt as the complex structures are spread all over the complex
A, and do not seem to be more frequent in any particular part (Figure 13.12, table 13.6).
This leads me to conclude that no social pattern inside complex A can be traced by
using the chosen elements. On a visual basis however it can be mentioned that the
southeastern part of the complex (A.14, A.17, A.18) shows tendencies towards more
regularity and possibly a planned construction.
13.9 Discussion and conclusions
13.9.1 Discussion
This have been an attempt to treat a material in two rather different ways. During the
work it has however become clear that even if the angles from which one may look at a
material and the aspects one may be interested in are innumerable, the material in itself,
or the number of ways in which it might be meningfully manipulated is limited. I have
tried to polarize two approaches in order to make visible some practical aspects of the
often very theoretical discussions on archaeological method and theory. This is of course
a very subjective way of treating the problem, as I myself defines the approaches.
Anyhow, the two approaches have not been directly identified with any existing
schools or researchers. Here I will first mention some theoretical aspects of the two
approaches and also give some examples of standpoints from the contemporary debate in
archaeology, as a background to a discussion on which conclusion one might draw from
the studies in this paper.
Amongst the more important ingredients of the functionalistic/material-istic-
perspective is the belief in a certain method by which statements about the past (deduced
from a general theory) might be tested and knowledge gained. In this paper it has, by
reasons previously described, not been possible to include an example of this part of the
process. Anyway, this discussion would be pointless without taking into account also
140
this part of the perspective. Partly the aim of the methodology associated with the
functionalistic/materialistic-perspective is to eliminate (or at least minimize) the
importance of who performs the act of science. The procedure is thought to render
unimportant the (personal) beliefs and opinions kept by the individual archaeologist.
How an hypotesis is created is not important, but how it is tested
236
. The testing is made
by confronting it with material of another category than that which it was proposed to
explain. Some major criticism of the New Archaeology focuses at this point:
-Data are constituted within theories, and thus cannot be used for independent testing of
theories.
237

-Interpretation cannot be avoided by the use of a certain methodology.
238

This might be seen as a part of a general criticism of the positivistic and popperianistic
influenced directions which have had strong positions in the social sciences during the
mid 20th-century. But rather than adopting the views of the philosophical critics
belonging to the dicipline of theory of science (eg. Kuhn, Feyerabend, Hanson and
others), the critics dealt with here (eg. Hodder, Shanks and Tilley) have been influenced
by directions within the social sciences and humanities, like (post-) structuralism, critical
theory, marxism and hermeneutics in an attempt of creating an alternative approach.
Thus they are not mere critics. Although different authors have defined their approaches
in somewhat different ways, and it thus might not be possible to speak of one
alternative approach, some basic assumptions are shared:
The material culture is seen as meningfully constituted, as a carrier of mening. At the
same time it (the material culture of past societies, or that which remains of it) is an
object on which we project the present, or aspects of the present. It is thus not a simple
matter of detecting the symbolic pattern of the material culture. The process must
involve a code-breaking and a translation. As a metaphor, text-analysis is frequently
used.
The text-metaphor is for example used by Linda E. Patrik when she derives the New
Archaeology and the Postprocessual Archaeology from two different ways of perciving
the archaeological record. The postprocessual archaeologists understand the record as
analogous to a text, created by purpose and choice. The new archaeologists, on the
other hand, regards the record as a sort of fossil remainder of an extinct society. Here
causal laws and processes are responsible for the formation of the archaeological
record.
239

Some major criticism focuses on the relativistic aspect of Postprocessual
Archaeology:
-If the views of the Postprocessual Archaeology were to be adopted it would be
impossible to distinguish scientific archaeology from propaganda and pure fiction.
240, 241


236
LEWIS R BINFORD (citing Hempel), Archeological perspectives. New perspectives on archaeology,
Chicago, 1968, p.17
237
IAN HODDER, Beyond processual archaeology, Perspective on archaeological theory and method,
1984, p.52
238
MICHAEL SHANKS AND CHRISTOPHER TILLEY, Archaeolgy into the 1990s. Norwegian
archaeological Review, vol. 22, no 1/1989, p.2
239
LINDA E PATRIK Is there an Archaeological record?. pp. 33-40, Advances in archaeological
method and theory, vol. 8/1985, pp. 33-40
240
BRUCE G TRIGGER, Comments on Archaeology into the 1990s,Norwegian archaeological Review,
vol. 22, no 1/1989, p. 29
141
-The practice of archaeology becomes the exercise of the preference, the will or
whim, of the researcher, rather than the diciplined acquisition of knowledge
242

When reading the debate, one sometimes gets the impression that only two
possibilities exist: Either one hang on to the strive for objectivety and the searching of
ways to judge and test hypoteses and their validity in some absolute sence. Or one
takes the consequence of the problems connected to any claim for an objective method
of evaluation and accepts a past-as-wished-for (Renfrews expression
243
).
13.9.2 Conclusions according to the two approaches
I will now discuss what conclusion one might draw from the application of the two
approaches used in this paper on the material on room-structures in El Pichao.
13.9.2.1 The functionalistic/materialistic approach
When using this approach it was assumed that all traces of constructions on the site
area of El Pichao have once been functional parts of some sort of system. The idea is to
put forward a functional explanation to that which can be observed on the site area. The
validity of the proposed explanation is then thought to be judged by testing against some
other category of material. This is considered to be an independent testing. For practical
reasons some assumptions were necessary:
-By the terminology used, walls were supposed to have functioned as walls, not for
example as pathways.
-Presence of mortars, was assumed to be connected to treatment of parts of vegetables,
crushing of quartz and alike, and was taken as an indication of cultivation.
-Contemporaneity was assumed for all units and complexes. (The picture might in fact
be much more complicated, as a time-depth might exist inside the units. If, for instance,
the complex A is built on an older terrace-system, that would explain the presence of
shifts of ground-level within some of its structures.)
-Basic assumptions were made: The inhabitants were supposed to have been humans,
not extraterrestials. It was further assumed that the needs of the society and its
inhabitants were much the same as that of any other society.
The picture which will arise is that of a society (or system) working in, or striving for,
equilibrium (or harmony, in a functional sense). There is a lack of ability to cope with
features of a society not arised by mere functional causes. There is an apparent danger
that traces of the nonfunctional aspects of a society - for example conflicts - will be
treated as where they parts of a functional system, and thus will not be properly
understood. This results in an inflexibility, as the way of testing proposals nearly
presupposes that the explanation to be sought is a functional one. In the case of complex

241
COLIN A RENFREW, Comments on Archaeology into the 1990s,Norwegian archaeological
Review, vol. 22, no 1/1989, p. 34
242
COLIN A RENFREW, op cit, p. 36
243
COLIN A RENFREW, op cit, p. 36
142
B a proposal like that of the social/symbolical-perspective (which included
considerations about how the people of the past might have experienced their reality)
might well be rejected because of lack of testability. And in the long run, I believe, there
is a risk the questions about nonfunctional aspects of a society, originally rejected
because of the problems connected to testability, might be regarded as unimportant.
13.9.2.2 The social/symbolical approach
When using this approach it was admitted that assumptions were made which might
set /the interpretation off/ in a cerain direction. This means that whatever the result of
the study might be, it gives a picture of the past, which is in fact just one in a number of
possible pictures. In the study, the differences in structure of the units and complexes
were interpreted as due to a social differentiation. Attention was, for example, not payed
to the possibility that the cause of the more restricted and regular character of complex
B, was that this kind of structure is necessary for constructions on the hillside. The
combination of a fragmentary and incomplete material and pretentious interpretations
might have as a consequence that simple explanations will be overlooked. At the same
time I think that the kind of questions, treated here by the social/symbolical approach,
cannot be ignored, as they today are part of the theoretical discussion, and thus also part
of the researchers awareness.
By stating that any picture of the past is just one of several possible pictures, I do not
mean that alternative pictures necessarily exclude each other. They deal with different
aspects of the past, and might be equally true.
Just as in the case of the functionalistic/materialistic-study, the social/symbolical-study
in this paper is incomplete. The social interpretation, based on the material on room-
structures, must be shown to be valid also for other categories of material. This of
course might be seen as analogous to the testing of hypotheses when using the
functionalistic/materialistic-approach. But the procedure does usually not have the
character of an absolute testing of the proposal.
244

13.9.2.3 Comments
By the functionalistic/materialistic-perspective, El Pichao is treated as an example of
something. The basic needs of the inhabitants of this society were identical to the needs
of thousands and millions of inhabitants of other societies all over the world. And thus,
the purpose of the constructions and structures were the same as everywere (at least
where the development had reached a corresponding level). The societies and
constructions do differ between societies, this is because the environment, climate and
topography, varies between areas. In the background an idea of some kind of an ideal, or
a standard society, can be traced.
When introducing other factors into the analysis, as in the social/symbolical-study in
this paper, the picture gets more complex. As different factors interact, no matter if a
standard society in a vacuum would always develop in the same way, the society will
develop in a direction which renders it unique. It cannot simply be interpreted as striving
for the standard solution, but prevented from reaching it by special circumstances,
because the circumstances, inside and outside the society, interacting with each other,
creates a structure which might well not have the goal of reaching this standard
solution.

244
See for example: MICHAEL SHANKS and CHRISTOPHER TILLEY, Reconstructing archaeology,
Cambridge 1987, pp. 167-171
143
13.10 Summary
Field data on room-structures at the archaeological site of El Pichao in northwestern
Argentine has been treated using two rather different approaches, one termed
functionalistic/materialistic and the other termed social/symbolical. The data used
were taken from surveys carried out at the site in 1989 and 1990. The approaches are
discussed both generally, as perspectives, and specially, as approaches to, and ways of
treating, a specific material.
References
AMBROSETTI, JUAN B, La antigua ciudad de Quilmes. Boletin del Instituto Geografico Argentino ,
XVIII, Buenos Aires 1897.
BINFORD, LEWIS R, Archeological perspectives. New perspectives on archaeology, Chicago, 1968.
BINFORD, LEWIS R, Meaning, inference and the material record. Ranking, resource and exchange,
Cambridge university press, Cambridge 1982.
BINFORD, LEWIS R, In pursuit of the past, London 1983.
BOMAN, ERIC, Antiquits de la region andine de la Rpublique Argentine et du dsert d'Atacama, I-
II. Paris 1908.
BRUCH, CARLOS, Exploraciones arquelogicas en las provincias de Tucumn y Catamarmarca, vol
5. Buenos Aires 1911.
CORNELL, PER, Prospection at El Pichao in 1989. El Pichao 1989.
FLANNERY, KENT, Culture history v. culture process: a debate in American archaeology. Scientific
American, vol. 217/1967, pp. 119-122.
HODDER, IAN, Beyond processual archaeology, Perspective on archaeological theory and method,
1984.
HODDER, IAN Postprocessual archaeology. Advances in archaeological method and theory, ed.
Michael B. Schiffer, New York, vol. 8, 1985.
HODDER, IAN, Reading the past. Cambridge, 1986.
NUEZ REGUEIRO, VICTOR A, Considerations on the periodizations of Northwest Argentina.
Advances in Andean archaeology, The Hague 1978, pp. 453-484.
PATRIK, LINDA E., Is there an Archaeological record?, Advances in archaeological method and
theory, vol. 8/1985, pp. 33-40.
RENFREW, COLIN A., Comments on Archaeology into the 1990s,Norwegian archaeological Review,
vol. 22, no 1/1989.
SHANKS, MICHAEL & CHRISTOPHER TILLEY, Archaeolgy into the 1990s. Norwegian
archaeological Review, vol. 22, no 1/1989.
SHANKS, MICHAEL & CHRISTOPHER TILLEY, Reconstructing archaeology, Cambridge 1987.
SHIMADA, MELODY & IZUMI SHIMADA,Prehistoric Llama breeding and herding on the north
coast of Peru, American antiquity, vol 50, jan. 1985.
TRIGGER, BRUCE G, Comments on Archaeology into the 1990s,Norwegian archaeological Review,
vol. 22, no 1/1989.
145

14. The village of El Pichao today
Martha Ortiz de Malmierca, Department of archaeology, University of Stockholm

The actual El Pichao village is situated at parallel 26-27, meridian 67 in the Calchaqui
Valleys, on the right side of the river which bears the same name.
At km 1016 of the national road nr 40, that runs on south-north direction parallel to
the Santa Maria river, lies the village of Colalao del Valle. From here a 7 km long local
road is the connection with El Pichao.
This area that lies 10 km south of Salta and north of Catamarca is Tucumns part of
the Calchaqui Valleys.
The Pichao river is a tributary to the Santa Maria river, the big collector of the
region. Its volume varies during the diffrent seasons of the year. During the dry season
the volume is minimal but it increases during the summer rains. An important part of it is
absorbed by the permeable sediments of its alluvial fan.
The Xerophite vegetation of bushes and cactaceae is characteristic of this arid, stony
soil. The most important element of its phytography is the teasel (opuntingata), that
grows during a long period of time,some of them can live up to 100 years and become
several meters high. Other vegetable species that can be found are cactaceae,
thicocereus pasacana, larrea, gourliaca spinosa and the algarrobo (prosopis). The last
one is the tree par excellence in the area and is usually called "tree" by the locals. It has a
fruit from which breadstuffs can be extracted and may even be used to make spirituous
beverages.
Administratively, El Pichao belongs to the municipality of Colalao del Valle. Colalao
and its influence area has approximately 350 hectares under irrigation. Several types of
cultivation are found which are directly related to the area's production features.
245

Fodder, alfa-alfa and barley, are cultivated for bovine and ovine cattle. Fruits,
peaches, apples and walnuts, are the most important production areas. Walnuts, in
particular, is the income source of the El Pichao inhabitants. Some farms have several
hectares and a maximum production of a thousand kilos of walnuts a year. The trees
produce 50 kg of nuts per harvest, these are collected once a year in the begining of the
autum.
El Pichao has drinkable water and electricity but no collective transport. It has a
health center but no establishment selling foodstuffs.
It is a community of small farmers with an agrarian structure resulting from the
desintegration of the haciendas and the subdivision of the earth among the ex-
"mitimayos"; both were economic patterns existing during colonial times. Today their

245
MOIRA LILJESTRM, personal conversation concerning 1988's rapport on the Tucumns University
Aid and Developement Project, Colalao del Valle group.
146
work is not only dedicated to subsistence agriculture, but even to the comercialization of
the products.
246

Youth emigration towards urban centres in search of better employment possibilities
is a common fact in rural areas in the NW of Argentina. This is one of the clearest
indicators of the stagnation of the prodution stucture of the area.
247

Low populations density, characteristic in Argentina, is even more enphasized in the
NW. The problem worsers with growing emigration to the dynamic centres of the
country -Buenos Aires and the pampean area.
It is also important to point out that the peasants subjection to the landowners
domination, which has been continuous during the last hundred years, is as a cause of
the poverty situation in the area. Racedo 1988.
248
Today they continue with the colonial
model; they change a burder for the right to use the land.
This situation, observed at El Pichao, is even worse in neighbouring communities
such as Talapazo.
249

The legality of land titles abduced by the big landowners does not appear clearly
proven. The majority of the settlers are in dispute over the possession of the land and
have refuse to pay since the 1970's. Rosa Soria de Caro, health officer and Talapazo
inhabitant is one of the peoples leaders in this struggle.
Several projects are being realized in the area to assist the inhabitants initiatives, and
to generate activities that promote developement. The National Universities are
involved, working with technical aid and community promotion.
The University of Tucumn started through the Department of University Extension
an Aid and Developement Project that operates in all the province. The professional
team in Colalao del Valle is formed by graduates from agronomy, architecture, nursery,
medicin, psicology and social sciences.
250

Another of the projects is E.C.I.R.A. (which stands for Inter-disciplinary Compared
Studies of the Andine Region). It has its site in Amaicha del Valle but covers a large
area which includes part of Colalao del Valle.
251
The project is a result of an agreement
elaborated with the community of Amaicha del Valle and signed by the University of
Buenos Aires, the Faculty of Philosophy and the M.L.A.L. (Movimiento Laici per
l'America Latina). It aims to support the principal activity of the area, agriculture,
through aid programes, experiments and investigation.
252


246
REBORATTI, "Migraciones de travailleurs andes-piemont" in L'organisation del espace dans les
andes argentines, C.N.R.S. Revue de geographie alpine, Paris,1988,T LXXVI.
247
FURLANI DE CIVIT, GUITERRES DE MANCHON, SCHILAN DE BECETTE, BARRIOS DE
VILLANUEVA, "Depeument et qualit de la vie dans l'oest argentine", o.p., 1988.
248
RACEDO, JOSEFINA, Crtica de la vida cotidiana en comunidades campesinas- Doa Rosa una
mujer del noroeste argentino. Ed. Cinco, Buenos Aires, 1988, p. 194.
249
The same family that claims the property of all Talapazo is "owner" as well of the Quilmes ruins.
Tucumn province is by law obliged to pay a huge amount of money for the expropiation.op. cit. p
198.
250
After a three months post-graduate course, the interdisciplinary team works fifteen months in a
village giving social and technical aid to the community. It is financed from private and provincial
funds. The work is being devloped in six villages In Colalao del Valle the residents are building
more classrooms for the school and together with the students a collective orchard and a henhouse.
They started activities for the handicapped and are working on the developement of appropriated
technologies such as solar fruit driers, solar water heating, windmills, etc. This rapport is a product
of an interview with the residents of the project in Colalao del Valle done by the architect Omar
Varela during of summer 1989.
251
Norte Andino boletn rural semestral, ECIRA, nr 2, january 1989.
252
Interview with the agronomist Fernando Korstanje incharge of the Amaicha Project.
147
In this article we are going to discuss the scientists projection on the community of
the area where they work and the preservation of the archeological fields.
Following the idea that all scientific activity should be inserted in the community the
members of the project in the pilot campaign from summer 1989 met the inhabitants to
explain the presence of investigators in the area and also why so many of them where
foreigners. Two meetings were held, one in Colalao where we resided and one in El
Pichao. On both ocassions the people was very open and wanted to help and inform
about the archeological sites that they knew. Many of them had worked in the
reconstruction of the Quilmes ruins realized during the military dictatorship.
Despite the national legislation for protection of archeological sites (Law nr. 9080
from 1913) and the provincial law from 1974, the problem with the plunder of
archeological sites remains.
This phenomenom, that carries the regional name of "huaquerismo", has repeatedly
been denounced by archeologists, in the case of N.W. Argentina by Rex Gonzalez and
Gloria Loyola, 1982.
253

The Archeology Institute of the Universty of Tucumn has, as one of the goals of its
investigation plan, to preserve the archeological patrimony and the projection of these
goals to the community. To develope the concience in the community so that they watch
over the archeological sites, to facilitate communication with the professionals and to
avoid or mitigate destruction and looting of the archeological sites.
254

References
FURLANI DE CIVIT, GUITERRES DE MANCHON, SCHILAN DE BECETTE, BARRIOS DE VILLANUEVA,
"Depeument et qualit de la vie dans l'oest argentine", o.p., 1988.
GONZLEZ, A R & GLORIA LOYOLA, "Rescue Archeology Papers, The First New World Conference
on Rescue Archeology", Washington, 1982.
Norte Andino boletn rural semestral, ECIRA, nr 2, january 1989.
NEZ REGUEIRO, VICTOR, "Estudio de la incidencia de la dinmica entre poblaciones que habitaron
las tierras bajas sobre el desarrollo histrico y cultural del noroeste argentino".1988.
RACEDO, JOSEFINA, Crtica de la vida cotidiana en comunidades campesinas- Doa Rosa una mujer
del noroeste argentino. Buenos Aires, 1988.
REBORATTI, "Migraciones de travailleurs andes-piemont" in L'organisation del espace dans les andes
argentines, C.N.R.S. Revue de geographie alpine, Paris,1988,T LXXVI.

253
ALBERTO REX GONZLEZ, GLORIA LOYOLA, "Rescue Archeology Papers, The First New World
Conference on Rescue Archeology", Washinton, 1982.
254
VICTOR NEZ REGUEIRO, "Estudio de la incidencia de la dinmica entre poblaciones que
habitaron las tierras bajas sobre el desarrollo histrico y cultural del noroeste argentino".1988, p 64.
148
Figura 2:1 Distribucin de sitios Aguada
1. Coyo Oriente 51. Andalgal 101. Tebenquiche II
2. El Diablo 52. Pilciao 102. Punta Colorada
3. Brealito II 53. Villavil 103. Los Morteros
4. Vaqueras 54. Corral Quemado 104. La Florida
5. La Angostura 55. La Florida 105. Tinogasta
6. La Represa 56. Las Faldas 106. Montura de Gigante
7. Tacuil 57. Condorhuasi 107. Costa de Reyes
8. Angastaco 58. La Cinaga 108. Santa Cruz
9. San Rafael 59. Guiyische 109. Pituil
10. San Lucas 60. Yacoutula 110. Cerrito Negro
11. San Carlos 61. La Toma 111. Campanas
12. La Banda 62. La Aguada (Dto Beln) 112. Chaarmuyo
13. Rupachico 63. Simbolar 113. Angulos
14. El Arbolar 64. Shincal 114. Carrizal Alto
15. El Pichao 65. Londres 115. Valle Hermoso
16. Talapazo 66. Beln 116. La Troya
17. Amaicha 67. Las Garrochas 117. Los Troyanos
18. Molino del Puesto 68. Campo Cerro Colorado 118. Las Eras Viejas
19. Caspinchango 69. Cuesta de Zapata 119. Vinchina
20. Santa Mara 70. Allpataucas 120. Bella Vista
21. Andalhual 71. Lorohuasi (Dto San Blas 121. El Galfn
22. Punta de Balasto de los Sauces) 122. El Toro
23. Campo del Arenal 72. Lomas Coloradas 123. Famatina
24. Aconquija 73. Encalta 124. Tilimuqui
25. La Calera 74. Baado del Pantano 125. Saogasta
26. Escaba 75. Salicas 126. Guandacol
27. Ynimas 76. San Blas 127. Volpiansky
28. Huasapampa 77. Los Robles 128. Los Pozos
29. El Rincn 78. Schaqui 129. Pachimoco
30. Pucar 79. Yacoutula 130. Niquivil
31. Singuil 80. Suriyaco 131. Barrealito
32. Los Varela 81. Tuyubil 132. Amakeya
33. Los Castillos 82. Aimogasta 133. Corral de la Via
34. La Aguada (Dpt Ambato) 83. Los Molinos 134. Fuerte Quemado
35. La Rinconada 84. Chaqui
36. Piedra Blanca 85. Sijn
37. Rodeo Grande 86. Mutqun
38. La Merced 87. Pomn
39. Pomancillo 88. Tuscamayo
40. Catamarca 89. Pajanco
41. Quebrada de los Angeles 90. El Retiro
42. Caminera Chilecito 91. Huaco
43. Agua Colorada 92. Sanagasta
44. Huillapima 93. Los Sauces
45. Capayn 94. Pucar del Medio
46. El Vallecito 95. El Cantadero
47. La Tunita 96. La Puerta
48. Icao 97. Palo Blanco
49. Huasn 98. Saujil
50. Chaquiago 99. Lorohuasi (Dto Tinogasta)
100. Guanchn

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