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Revista del Museo de Antropología

versión impresa ISSN 1852-060Xversión On-line ISSN 1852-4826


COLOCA, Federico. The Tawantinsuyu and lapidary mining in the North-Western Argentina. Inca evidence related to the exploitation of turquoise in the basin of Ratones, Puna of Salta. Rev. Mus. Antropol. [online]. 2020, vol.13, n.1, pp.51-56. ISSN 1852-060X.

Abstract This work analizes and discusses the archaeological evidences linked to the lapidary exploitation of turquoise from the sites Cueva Inca Viejo and Abra de Minas, located in the basin of Ratones, Puna of Salta. Recent research has shown that Cerro Inca Viejo constitutes the first documented source of pre-Hispanic extraction of this mineral for the North-western Argentina. Although the extraction could have begun in pre-Inca times, the Incas would have intensified this activity. Likewise, it is stated that the Tawantinsuyu developed in the area an organization to carry out an efficient large-scale mining. This organization involved the installation of a settlement such as Abra de Minas and the establishment of work areas close to the extractive wells, as well as the construction of ceremonial architecture. In this sense, it is highlight the presence of registry linked to ritual practices it would be related to propitiations of festivities realized for the Inca Empire, in which hospitality and guested were highlighted, as part of a strategy associated with a symbolic domination over the populations local, and possibly on the groups that were transferred to work in the mines.

Palabras clave : Lapidary mining; Turquoise; Incas; Basin of Ratones; Puna of Salta.

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