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Metallurgical traditions under Inka rule: a technological study of metals and technical ceramics from the Aconcagua Valley, Central Chile

Plaza, MT; Martinón-Torres, M; (2015) Metallurgical traditions under Inka rule: a technological study of metals and technical ceramics from the Aconcagua Valley, Central Chile. Journal of Archaeological Science , 54 pp. 86-98. 10.1016/j.jas.2014.11.029. Green open access

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Abstract

The spread of the Inka state in the Aconcagua Valley (Central Chile) is thought to have been culturally mediated, avoiding military coercion, and thus leading to different forms of cultural acceptance, resistance or hybridisation. However, there has been no previous attempt to investigate the extent to which these interactions are reflected in the use of metals and metallurgical technologies. Here we present analytical work on metallic artefacts and technical ceramics from Cerro La Cruz and Los Nogales, two Valley sites with evidence dated to the Late Period (ca. AD 1400–1540). The analyses included SEM–EDS, optical microscopy, petrography, XRD and FTIR. The results suggest that the sites represent different technological traditions. At Cerro La Cruz, the style of the metal objects and the lack of tin bronzes reflect continuity with an ancient metallurgical tradition with bases in the Diaguita Culture, rather than a wholesale adoption of an Inka metallurgical tradition. In Los Nogales, the presence of tin bronze and the use of perforated crucibles and other technical ceramics lined with bone ash is consistent with a tradition closely related to the Inka expansion and north-western Argentina, perhaps reflecting a stronger receptivity towards the new technologies. This disparity supports the idea that the Inka domination in the Valley was not forceful, and suggests a closer relationship between the state and some local groups, not previously identified.

Type: Article
Title: Metallurgical traditions under Inka rule: a technological study of metals and technical ceramics from the Aconcagua Valley, Central Chile
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.11.029
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.11.029
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Keywords: Inka, Central Chile, Late Period, Copper metallurgy, Crucibles, Metallography, SEM-EDS, Petrography, FTIR, XRD
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1464462
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