Studying a Social Field in the South-Central Andes with portable X-Ray Florescence

April 15, 2015. University of Calgary Room ES 162. 7:30pm

Emily Stovel, Department of Anthropology, Ripon College, Wisconsin

Southern Bolivia, northern Chile and northwestern Argentina were co-occupied in prehistory by a range of communities. In order to explore the ways ceramics were used to express and consolidate relationships across this large geographic expanse, we developed a multi-disciplinary, multi-national team of scholars which uses multiple lines of archaeometric evidence to characterize various ceramic styles. This paper details our research protocol and some of our case studies as examples of how we aim to understand changes in ceramic production and consumption at a regional level. Our principal means of data collection so far is through portable X-Ray Fluorescent instruments at a series of North and South American museums. These data permit broad understanding of the chemical profiles of well-known styles and provide hypotheses for subsequent stages of research.