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]
Quaternary Science Reviews
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.
Marsh, Erik J., Daniel Contreras, Maria C. Bruno, Alexei Vranich, and Andrew P. Roddick. "Comment on Arnold et al. "Drought and th Collapse of the Tiwanaku Civilization: New Evidence fro Lake Orurillo, Peru" [Quat. Sci. Rev. 251 (2021): 106693]." Quaternary Science Reviews 269 (2021): 107004. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277379121002110