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Book Chapter

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Publication Title

Kala Uyuni: An Early Political Center in the Southern Lake Titicaca Basin


Ayrampu Qontu, named after a nearby hill, or qontu in Aymara, where a particular cactus called ayrampu grows, is the westernmost sector of the Kala Uyuni site. This area was selected for excavation based on the high density of Early and Middle Formative period ceramics encountered by Bandy (2001a) in his survey of the Taraco Peninsula. The density and utilitarian character of the ceramics led Bandy to conclude that this sector represented a Chiripaperiod residential area. Recovery of a Chiripaperiod household has been a longstanding goal of the Taraco Archaeological Project, and we hoped excavation of this area might reveal such remains. While such a structure failed to materialize, we excavated nearly two meters of stratified, well-preserved midden that, based on the ceramic assemblage, dates between the Early and Late Chiripa phases.


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