6.1. Introduction to data presentation

The results of systematic survey in the Upper Colca study area are presented in this chapter with an analysis of the distributions of sites, features, and artifacts that were encountered in the course of the 2003 field season. Using methods detailed in the preceding chapter, materials from six survey blocks were mapped, collected, and analyzed in the vicinity of the Chivay obsidian source. This systematic survey work was complemented by test excavations at three sites, and the results and analysis of the testing program are presented subsequently, in Chapter 7. The research strategy included three principal survey areas (Blocks 1, 2, and 3) and a smaller separate tract (block 6) and in these four areas intensive, systematic survey was conducted that amounted to 33 km2. In addition, specific areas of interest in two extensive reconnaissance areas (Blocks 4 and 5), were evaluated in a region that measured 239 km2.

In this chapter, the data from three intensive survey blocks are presented. As the 20 km x 30 km project area consisted of the three separate blocks with different ecological conditions, and distinct social and economic histories, the project was, in some ways, three separate surveys. Prehistoric activities were distinct in the three major ecological zones: (1) the quarry area, (2) the high puna, and (3) the upper valley zone. In order to integrate these survey areas towards the common goal of documenting changes in the production and circulation of Chivay obsidian on a regional scale, the results of survey work will be presented here following prehistoric chronology, rather than spatially in terms of survey blocks. In other words, the execution of the survey work was largely guided by the geographic and logistical realities of working in three distinct zones linked by reconnaissance areas, but in terms of interpretation, the focus here is on large scale change through time in the vicinity of the Chivay source by considering all three zones simultaneously for each major time period.

The survey data is considered here in three temporal periods that were introduced in Chapter 3 - Archaic Foragers (10,000-3,300 BCE), Early Agropastoralists (3,300 BCE-AD 400), and Late Prehispanic (AD 400- 1532) - and within each period the evidence geographically by survey block. One consequence of considering all survey blocks by time period is that the variability within the study region at any given time is brought to the fore. The larger trends, and the variability, evident in each time period are explored here through a combination that includes: (1) summaries of raw data; (2) summaries of generalized data; (3) groupings by site, loci, and artifact type; (4) comparisons by environmental criteria; and, (5) specific descriptions for particular sites, loci, and artifacts.

These summaries were largely derived from quantitative information produced by the mobile GIS field methods described in Chapter 5, combined with lab analysis results that were linked to spatial provenience. This chapter begins with an introduction of cartographic conventions used in this chapter. Subsequently, specific evidence for variability of obsidian throughout the source area is explored, and finally the survey results are chronologically by moving through time from the Archaic evidence to the Inka period. These data are complemented by evidence from test excavations and lab analysis that are reviewed in Chapter 7.