Evidence of Early Rock Art on the Coast of the Atacama Desert (25° S)
José Castelleti, Avto Goguitchaichvili, Corina Solís, María Rodríguez Ceja & Juan Morales • español
Abstract. AMS dating of cave art located in the Taltal district, on the coast of the Atacama desert in Chile, produced dates of 7882 ± 160 BP (7022-6509 BC 68%, 7172-6412 BC 95%), placing it in the Early/Middle Archaic period. This finding is further supported by archaeomagnetic dates on samples from the same panel, which produced three time intervals all consistent with the AMS dates: 9132-9065 BC, 6492-6426 BC, and 5203-5114 BC (65% confidence). Techno-economic analysis of the cave paintings suggests the Taltal area was an important Archaic settlement cluster, inhabited by different groups who were fully adapted to the coastal bioregion and who shared a common symbolic identity. The color red, produced from hematite, clays, and probably local shrubs such as churco, played a crucial part in the realization of animal metaphors and socially shared marine scenes as well as in the construction and interpretation of space.
Keywords: Pictographs, Absolute dating, Archaic red color tradition, Atacama desert coast.
Castelleti, J., A. Goguitchaichvili, C. Solís, M. Rodríguez Ceja & J. Morales. 2015. Evidencia de tempranas manifestaciones rupestres en la costa del desierto de Atacama (25° S). Arqueología Iberoamericana 28: 16-21. http://www.laiesken.net/arqueologia/archivo/2015/28/3.
Publication date: 12 October 2015.
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