Title

Comment on Arnold et al. "Drought and the Collapse of the Tiwanaku Civilization: New Evidence from Lake Orurillo, Peru" [Quat. Sci. Rev. 251 (2021): 106693]

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-20-2021

Department

Anthropology, Archaeology

Language

English

Publication Title

Quaternary Science Reviews

Abstract

This paper revives a fascinating debate: did a drought start before, during, or after the collapse of the Andean polity of Tiwanaku? Here we present an alternate age model that highlights the real issue: the data from Lake Orurillo, no matter the age model, are too imprecise to address the question. The authors neglect the significance of four-century error ranges (95% probability) for a drought that lasted a single century, according to their estimates. They are content to treat an imprecise correlation between drought and collapse as a causal relationship. Future efforts will require much greater attention to refining both paleoclimate and cultural chronologies, which is a necessary first step in understanding complex episodes of human–environment interaction.

Comments

For more information on the published version, visit Science Direct's Website.

DOI

10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.107004

Full text currently unavailable.

COinS