4.6. Other Tertiary obsidian in the Colca valley

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Other Barroso group deposits in the region include Pampa Finaya on the north side of the Colca River. In the course of his archaeological survey Steven Wernke (2003: 36, 39) surveyed Pampa Finaya and, unlike in the Chivay source area, obsidian was not found on the perimeter of this Barroso flow where it contacts Tacaza layers. However, Wernke identified an obsidian source to the west on Cerro Caracachi, a distinctive knob-shaped peak at the head of Quebrada Huancallpucy that is at a contact zone between a layer described by INGEMMET as an porphyritic intrusive material (T-po). This source was exposed in a distinct stratigraphic context and that the obsidian appeared to be of low quality for knapping as compared with the Chivay type.


Figure 4-23. Geological map units with Uyo Uyo sampling locations. See Figure 4-14 for legend. Selected archaeological sites in the main Colca Valley shown in blue.

On 30 Nov. 2003, I visited the area of Cerro Masita and Cerro Caracachi on the suggestion by Wernke (2003, pers. comm.) in order to collect geological samples, to determine whether higher quality obsidian is encountered on this dome, and to compare the deposits with what had been observed at the Chivay source (see Appendix B4). I approached Cerro Masita was approached from the road in the drainage north-west of Ichupampa and only observed small pieces of low quality obsidian near the summit of Caracachi (documented by Wernke) and on the eastern flanks of Masita. Analysis by at Missouri University Research Reactor (Glascock, 2005 pers. comm.) established that this material belongs to the "Uyo Uyo" chemical group first recognized in samples provided by Sarah Brooks (1998: 443-445). In 1993 Brooks collected modified and unmodified nodules from the site of "Uyo Uyo" near Coporaque that were analyzed at MURR in 1995. Brooks (1998: 443-445) writes that the geological origin of these nodules was not determined, but the presumption was that the source lay uphill from the site of Uyo Uyo, as there were many unmodified nodules at the site, an observation that was confirmed by these hikes. No large nodules were encountered, however, and it appears that the Chivay source east of Chivay remains the sole source of high quality obsidian in large nodule form in the Colca valley.