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La zaranda de ideas

On-line version ISSN 1853-1296


VILLAFANEZ, Emilio Alejandro. Archaeology, paths and landscape in the Balcosna Valley. Zaranda ideas [online]. 2012, vol.8, n.2, pp.119-136. ISSN 1853-1296.

This paper aims to present the first systematic archaeological investigations conducted in the Balcosna Valley, Catamarca Province, NW Argentina. This valley located in the end of the foothills of the Yungas, has not extensively been mentioned in the archaeological literature. Therefore, our main objectives were understanding and interpreting the social construction of landscape in the valley. This is to say, which was the role it played regionally, in connection with the available information of the surrounding valleys. Methodologically, we conducted surveys following the paths that still exist in the valley, along with the implementation of stratigraphic test pits to delimit the different contexts of use of the identified structures. The results presented here are more than promising since we have recorded a great variety and number of archaeological sites of various shapes and sizes, together with complex systems of terraced fields and reservoirs for water storage. Thus, we interpret this valley as a place where the landscape was in constant re-creation. People who lived there probably had a permanent settlement which in turn conformed a network system interconnected with paths that are used today and, possibly, in the past.

Keywords : Landscape; Space; Paths; Yungas; Surveys.

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