Mining and Quarrying in the Ancient Andes focuses on the primary extraction of a variety of materials that, in many cases, were used by cultures like the Inca, Wari and Tiwanaku in well-studied sites.The book delves into the broader mining practices that link diverse materials for a fascinating tour of the social and economic life of the prehispanic period, and of ancient technologies, some of which are still in use."From stone for building to metal ores for ceremonial display, extracting mineral resources from the earth played a central role in ancient Andean civilizations.Despite this, the sites that supported these activities have rarely been a source of interest to archaeologists, and comparative analysis between mines and quarries and their features has been exceedingly rare.
To measure the hydration band, a small slice of material is typically cut from an artifact.
This sample is ground down to about 30 micrometers thick and mounted on a petrographic slide.
The hydration rind is then measured under a high-power microscope outfitted with some method for measuring distance, typically in tenths of micrometers.
Once an archeologist can control for the geochemical signature of the obsidian (e.g., the "source") and temperature (usually approximated using an "effective hydration temperature" or EHT coefficient), he or she may be able to date the artifact using the obsidian hydration technique.
Water vapor pressure may also affect the rate of obsidian hydration.
- Pigment extraction from Chile to southern Peru from the early Holocene through the Early Intermediate Period.