WashU Affiliated Authors: Sarah I. Baitzel (Dept. of Archaeology), Bronwen L. Konecky (Dept. of Earth & Planetary Sciences), Jarunetr Sae-Lim (Dept. of Earth & Planetary Sciences)
Abstract: Past and present high-altitude pastoralists are often considered remote and marginal to complex societies and socioeconomic systems. Seasonal transhumance and long-distance caravanning cause herders to make their temporary homes in inter-nodal high-altitude regions, “spaces between” that fuel and funnel people, resources, and ideas between nodes of economic and political activity. This study presents the results from excavations at the Yayamari site (4850 masl) located in the Sibinacocha valley of the Cordillera Vilcanota between the Cusco and Lake Titicaca regions, two major centers of populations and power in the Andes during the 2nd millennium a.d. We complement our analysis of the ephemeral material record of pastoral architecture and artifact assemblages from Yayamari with regional environmental and culture-historical information. We propose that Yayamari juxtaposes centuries-long, far-ranging cultural and economic affiliations with the mundane activities of intermittent pastoral home-making in a high-altitude setting rich in natural resources and supernatural meaning.
Citation: Sarah I. Baitzel, Martin Polo y La Borda, Bronwen L. Konecky, Jarunetr Sae-Lim & Arturo F. Rivera Infante (2022) Pastoral Paleoclimate Palimpsests of the South-Central Andes: High-Altitude Herder Dwellings in the 2nd Millennium a.d., Journal of Field Archaeology, 47:5, 341-359, DOI: 10.1080/00934690.2022.2072161