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Book: The Archaeology of Circulation, Exchange and Human Migration

Chapter: 6. Geochemical Characterization of Obsidian Networks at Chavín de Huántar, Peru

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.22562


The Archaeology of Circulation, Exchange and Human Migration marshals an array of techniques and evidence, including microsatellite DNA analysis, trace element chemistry, isotopic analysis of artifacts and human remains, and GIS in addressing a long-standing issue that recently re-emerged as a foundational problem of anthropological archaeology: the mobility of people, animals, and objects in the distant and recent past. In 11 case studies that range geographically from China to Easter Island and in time from remote prehistory to European colonialism, the authors apply a remarkable variety of techniques and approaches in evaluating archaeological evidence for human and animal movements and the exchange of artifacts and materials, and the impacts these insights bring to present understandings of demography, social interactions, and group identity. This is a timely contribution to the recent debate over the role of science in anthropology, and will assist in placing archaeological science on more even footing with traditional modes of anthropological inquiry. The contributions are broad, accessible, clearly presented, and introduce cutting-edge uses of archaeometric methods in solving anthropological problems. The book’s content and structure will make it desirable for graduate and upper-division undergraduate courses and seminars on archaeological science, material culture studies, archaeological theory, and the history of the discipline.

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