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13-17 May 2013
Tucson, Arizona
US/Arizona timezone
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Dendroarchaeological dates of prehistoric contexts in the Bolivian Altiplano

Presented by Dr. Mariano MORALES on 16 May 2013 from 14:20 to 14:40
Type: Oral Presentation
Track: New World dendroarchaeology


Recent research in the Bolivian Altiplano of the Central Andes has yielded a network of Polylepis tarapacana chronologies that go back to the 13th century. This wood was regularly used by local populations in pre-Columbian times as raw material for beams, lintels, hooks and other architectural features in houses, chambers, and sepulchers. This study evaluated the potential of P. tarapacana samples to provide high resolution dates of significant archaeological features and/or events during the pre-Columbian era. This trial study was based on a chronology of chullpas (burial towers and storage chambers) in the southern Andean Altiplano. Using the 786-yr. long regional reference chronology of P. tarapacana, calendar years were assigned to woody pieces from pre-Hispanic chullpas. The dendroarchaeological results are consistent with contextual evidence and radiocarbon dates from other woody samples, suggesting that P. tarapacana has a high potential for providing annually-resolved tree-ring dates for archaeological contexts in the Altiplano.


Location: DoubleTree
Room: Salon B

Primary authors

  • Dr. Mariano MORALES Dep. Dendrocronología e Historia Ambiental. IANIGLA CCT CONICET, Mendoza


  • Dr. Axel NIELSEN Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano. CONICET. Buenos Aires
  • Dr. Ricardo VILLALBA Dep. Dendrocronología e Historia Ambiental. IANIGLA CCT CONICET, Mendoza.