The marine subsistence economy of the prehistoric people of northern Chile was heavily reliant on fiber technology for the components of nets, lines, and tethers. Despite the significance and the remarkable preservation of fiber artifacts along the arid Atacama coastline, these components have received little direct attention. This case study of fiber artifacts from the Caleta Vitor archaeological complex is the first broad overview of techniques, material usage/preference, and fiber-processing conventions at a northern Chilean Archaic period site. The data presented in this paper indicate gradual change in material preferences over time, shifting from locally available vegetal fiber, which dominates the Archaic period, with small amounts of camelid fiber, to the predominance of camelid fiber in the Late Formative period. This change coincides with the appearance of more complex weaving techniques indicating participation in the previously established textile tradition proposed by Ulloa (2008) as stretching from the Azapa Valley to the Loa River.
|Journal||Latin American Antiquity|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|