Overview

The regional significance of Quispisisa obsidian is evident from consumption patterns; it was transported to sites over 100 km from the source in the Early Holocene and by 500 BCE it was reaching sites nearly 1000 km distant from the source.  Research into the procurement of Quispisisa obsidian at its source promises to shed light on the timing, scale, and organization of the mining of this important material, while the settlement system and anthropogenic landscape of the surrounding area provides an optimal case study in the long-term occupation of a regionally important highland valley.

For more detail on our preliminary work, see our recent article in Latin American Antiquity.

 

Distant view of source
Fieldwork in 2012 is possible thanks to grants from the National Geographic Committee on Research and Exploration and the Brennan Foundation.  Preliminary fieldwork, beginning in 2007, was possible thanks to support from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, the Archaeological Research Facility at U.C. Berkeley, and the Stanford University Branner Earth Sciences Library.