Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Tulán-52: a Late Archaic ceremonial centre at the dawn of the Neolithisation process in the Atacama Desert

  • Lautaro Núñez (a1) and Catherine Perlès (a2)
Abstract

Excavations at the Late Archaic site of Tulán-52 (3450–2250 BC) in the Atacama Desert of Chile revealed what was initially considered to be a very early semi-sedentary settlement. New investigations into these earlier excavations, however, show evidence for structural and organisational characteristics that overlap with those found at the nearby ceremonial site of Tulán-54, dated to around two millennia later. The reinterpretation of Tulán-52 suggests that early monumentalism in the Puna de Atacama may reflect the emergence of social complexity among late hunter-gatherers—a development that led to, rather than resulted from, the process of Neolithisation.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence (Email: catherine.perles@mae.u-paris10.fr)
References
Hide All
Adán, L. & Urbina, S.. 2007. Arquitectura formativa en San Pedro de Atacama. Estudios Atacameños 34: 730.
Agüero, C. & Uribe, M.. 2011. Las sociedas Formativas de San Pedro de Atacama: asentamiento, cronologia y proceso. Estudios Atacameños 42: 5378. https://doi.org/10.4067/S0718-10432011000200004
Aldenderfer, M. 1991. Continuity and change in ceremonial structures at late preceramic Asana, southern Perú. Latin American Antiquity 2: 227258. https://doi.org/10.2307/972170
Artusson, M., Earle, T. & Brown, J.. 2016. The construction of monumental landscapes in low density societies: new evidence from the Early Neolithic of Southern Scandinavia (4000–3300 BC) in comparative perspective. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 41: 118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaa.2015.11.005
Barrowclough, D.A. & Malone, C. (ed.). 2007. Cult in context. Reconsidering ritual in archaeology. Oxford: Oxbow.
Belfer-Cohen, A. & Goring-Morris, N.. 2010. The Initial Neolithic in the Near East: why it is so difficult to deal with the PPNA. Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society 40: 149166.
Belfer-Cohen, A. & Goring-Morris, N. 2011. Becoming farmers: the inside story. Current Anthropology 52 (supplement 4): S209S220 https://doi.org/10.1086/658861
Blanton, R.E., Feinman, G.M., Kowalevski, S.A. & Peregrine, P.N.. 1996. A dual-processual theory for the evolution of Mesoamerican civilisation. Current Anthropology 37: 114. https://doi.org/10.1086/204471
Carballo, D.M., Roscoe, P. & Feinman, G.A.. 2014. Cooperation and collective action in the cultural evolution of complex societies. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 21: 98133. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10816-012-9147-2
Cartajena, I. 2009. Explorando la variabilidad morfométrica del conjunto de camélidos pequeños durante el Arcaico Tardío y el Formativo Temprano, Norte de Chile. Revista del Museo de Antropología 2: 199212.
Cartajena, I 2013. Faunal assemblages from the Middle Holocene: environmental and cultural variability in the western slope of the Puna de Atacama. Quaternary International 307: 3137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2013.03.008
Cartajena, I., Núñez, L. & Grosjean, M.. 2007. Camelid domestication on the western slope of the Puna de Atacama, northern Chile. Anthropozoologica 42: 155173.
Cohen, D.J. 2011. The beginnings of agriculture in China. Current Anthropology 52 (supplement 4): S273S293. https://doi.org/10.1086/659965
de Souza, P., Cartajena, I., Núñez, L. & Carrasco, C.. 2010. Cazadores-recolectores del arcaico tardio y desarrolos de complejidad social en la puna de Atacama: las evidencias del sitio Tulán-52 (norte árido de Chile). Revista Werken 13: 91118.
Dillehay, T. 2011. La arquitectura en los espacios transitorios de la tradición Payján. Boletín de Arqueología PUCP 15: 145163.
Dunbar, R.I.M. 2013. What makes the Neolithic so special? Neo-Lithics 2(13): 2529.
Ehrenreich, R.M., Crumley, C.L. & Levy, J.E. (ed.). 1995. Heterarchy and the analysis of complex societies (Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 6). Arlington (VA): American Anthropological Association.
Feinman, G. 1995. The emergence of inequality: a focus on theory and process, in T.D. Price & G.M. Feinman (ed.) Foundations of social inequality: 225280. New York: Plenum.https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-1289-3_10
Feinman, G 2013. The emergence of social complexity: why more than population size matters, in D.M. Carballo (ed.) Cooperation and collective action. Archaeological perspectives: 3356. Boulder (CO): University Press of Colorado.
Feinman, G 2016. Variation and change in Archaic states: ritual as a mechanism of sociopolitical integration, in J.M.A. Murphy (ed.) Ritual and Archaic states: 122. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.
Gebauer, A.D. & Price, T.D.. 1992. Transition to agriculture in prehistory (Monographs in World Archaeology 4) . Madison (WI): Prehistory.
Geyh, M.A., Grosjean, M., Núñez, L. & Schotterer, U.. 1999. Radiocarbon reservoir effect and the timing of the Late Glacial/Early Holocene humid phase in the Atacama Desert (northern Chile). Quaternary Research 52: 143144. https://doi.org/10.1006/qres.1999.2060
Grosjean, M., Núñez, L., Cartajena, I. & Messerli, B.. 1997. Mid-Holocene climate and culture change in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. Quaternary Research 48: 239246.https://doi.org/10.1006/qres.1997.1917
Grosjean, M., Cartajena, I., Geyh, M.A. & Núñez, L.. 2003. From proxy data to paleoclimate interpretation: the Mid Holocene paradox of the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 194: 247258. https://doi.org/10.1006/qres.1997.1917
Grosjean, M., Núñez, L. & Cartajena, I.. 2005. Paleoindian occupation of the Atacama Desert, northern Chile. Journal of Quaternary Science 20(7–8): 643653. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0031-0182(03)00280-3
Grosjean, M., Santoro, C.M., Thompson, L.G., Núñez, L. & Standen, V.G.. 2007. Mid-Holocene climate and culture change in the south Central Andes, in D.G. Anderson, K.A. Maasch & D.H. Sandweiss (ed.) Climate change and cultural dynamics: a global perspective on Mid-Holocene transitions: 51115. San Diego (CA): Academic. https://doi.org/10.1002/jqs.969
Hadad, R. 2014. L’architecture d’un pouvoir sans prestige: regards croisés à partir du Néolithique précéramique A et des Pueblos du Southwest, in F. Hurlet, I. Rivoal & I. Sidéra (ed.) Le prestige. Autour des formes de différenciation sociale: 207220. Paris: de Boccard.
Hastorf, C.A. 2008. The Formative period in the Titicaca Basin, in H.S. Silverman & W.H. Isbell (ed.) Handbook of South American archaeology: 545561. New York: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-74907-5_28
Hogg, A.G., Hua, Q., Blackwell, P.G., Niu, M., Buck, C.E., Guilderson, T.P., Heaton, T.J., Palmer, J.G., Reimer, P.J., Reimer, R.W., Turney, C.S. & Zimmerman, S.R.. 2013. SHCal13 southern hemisphere calibration, 0–50,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 55: 18891903. https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16783
Kaner, S. 2007. Cult in context in Jomon Japan, in D.A. Barrowclough & C. Malone (ed.) Cult in context. Reconsidering ritual in archaeology: 234241. Oxford: Oxbow.
Kelly, R.L. 1995. The foraging spectrum. Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Institution.
Latorre, C., Betancourt, J.L., Rylander, K.A., Quade, J. & Matthei, O.. 2003. A vegetation history from the arid prepuna of northern Chile (22–23°S) over the last 13 500 years. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 194: 223246. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0031-0182(03)00279-7
Latorre, C., Betancourt, J.L., Rech, J.A., Quade, J., Holmgren, C., Placzek, C., Maldonado, A., Vuille, M. & Rylander, K.A.. 2005. Late Quaternary history of the Atacama Desert, in S. Smith & P. Hesse (ed.) 23°S: the archaeology and environmental history of the southern deserts: 7090. Canberra: National Museum of Canberra.
Lavallée, D. 2000. The first South Americans. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press.
Marquet, P.A., Santoro, C.M., Latorre, C., Standen, V.G., Abades, S.R., Rivadeina, M.M., Arriaza, B. & Hochberg, M.. 2012. Emergence of social complexity among coastal hunter-gatherers in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 109: 1475414760. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1116724109
Nuñez, L. 1981. Asentamiento de cazadores tardios de la puna de Atacama: Hacia el sedentarismo. Chungará 8: 137168.
Núñez, L. & Santoro, C.M.. 2011. El tránsito archaico-formativo en la circumpuna y valles occidentales del centro sur andino: hacia los cambios ‘neolitícos’. Chungura, Revista de Anthropología Chilena 43 (Número especial 1): 487730.
Núñez, L., Grosjean, M. & Cartajena, I.. 1999. Un ecorefugio oportunístico en la puna de Atacama durante eventos áridos del Holocene Medio. Estudios Atacameños 17: 91125.
Núñez, L., Grosjean, M. & Cartajena, I. 2002. Human occupations and climate change in the Puna de Atacama, Chile. Science 298: 821824. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1076449
Núñez, L., Cartajena, I., Carrasco, C. & de Souza, P.. 2005. El templete de Tulán y sus relaciones formativas panandinas (norte de Chile). Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Études Andines 34: 299320. https://doi.org/10.4000/bifea.4858
Núñez, L., Cartajena, I., Carrasco, C., de Souza, P. & Grosjean, M.. 2006a. Emergencia de comunidades pastorales formativas en el sureste de la Puna de Atacama. Estudios Atacameños 32: 93117.
Núñez, L., Cartajena, I., Carrasco, C., de Souza, P. & Grosjean, M. 2006b. Patrones, cronología y distribución del arte ruprestre arcaico tardío y formativo temprano en la cuenca de Atacama, in D. Fiore & M. Podestá (ed.) Tramas en la piedra. Producción y usos del arte rupestre: 191–204. Buenos Aires: World Archaeological Congress, Sociedad Argentina de Antropología.
Núñez, L, McRostie, V. & Cartajena, I.. 2009. Consideraciones sobre la recolección vegetal y la horticultura durante el Formativo temprano en el sureste de la cuenca de Atacama. Darwiniana 47(1): 5675.
Núñez, L., Grosjean, M. & Cartajena, I.. 2010. Sequential analysis of human occupation patterns and resource use in the Atacama desert. Chungura, Revista de Anthropología Chilena 42: 363391.
Núñez, L, Cartajena, I. & Grosjean, M.. 2013. Archaeological silence and ecorefuges: arid events in the Puna of Atacama during the Middle Holocene. Quaternary International 307: 513. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2013.04.028
Núñez, L., Cartajena, I., Carrasco, C., López Mendoza, P., de Souza, P., Rivera, F., Santander, B.D. & Loyola, R.. 2017a. The temple of Tulán-54: Early Formative ceremonial architecture in the Atacama Desert. Antiquity 91: 901915. https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2017.87
Núñez, L., Cartajena, I., Carrasco, C., López, P., de Souza, P., Rivera, F. & Santander, B.D.. 2017b. Presencia de un centro ceremonial formativo temprano en la circumpuna de Atacama. Chungara, Revista de Antropología Chilena 49: 333.
Núñez, L., Loyola, R., Cartajena, I., López, P., Santander, B., Maldonaldo, A., de Souza, P. & Carrasco, C.. 2018. Miscanti-1: human occupation during the arid Mid-Holocene event in the high-altitude lakes of the Atacama Desert, South America. Quaternary Science Reviews 181: 109122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.12.010
Price, T.D. & Brown, J.A. (ed.). 1985. Prehistoric hunter-gatherers: the emergence of cultural complexity. London: Academic.
Rech, J.A., Pigati, J.S., Quade, J. & Betancourt, J.L. 2003. Re-evaluation of mid-Holocene deposits at Quebrada Pupirica, northern Chile. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 194: 207222. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0031-0182(03)00278-5
Richardin, P., Herault, C. & Mussard, S.. 2017. Unpublished Ms. Rapport d’étude au C2RMF et datation par le carbone 14 d’un petit condor en bois recouvert d’or.
Schmidt, K. 2012. A Stone Age sanctuary in south-eastern Anatolia. Munich: C.H. Beck.
Stordeur, D. 2015. Le village de Jerf el Ahmar (Syrie, 9500-8700 avant J.-C.): L’architecure, miroir d’une société néolithique complexe. Paris: CNRS éditions.
Twiss, K.C. 2008. Transformation in an early agricultural society: feasting in southern Levantine pre-pottery Neolithic. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 27: 418442. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaa.2008.06.002
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed