EARLY FUNERARY COMPLEXITY ON CHILE'S NORTHERN COAST. ORIGIN, DEVELOPMENT, FUNCTIONALITY AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL RELEVANCE

ROTHHAMMER, F.

Abstract

This essay discusses hypotheses about the biological origin and the embalming techniques developed by Archaic Chinchorro maritime hunter-gatherers. Recent publications on this subject are critically analyzed and used as a starting point to put forward related hypotheses. Based on recent evidence, it is not possible to claim that the Chinchorro are direct descendants of Early Archaic Acha fishermen and reject a priori that they underwent possible miscegenation with neighboring groups ca. 7,000 BP. On the other hand, there is not sufficient evidence available to postulate that the embalming technique developed by the Chinchorro has a highland and / or tropical forest origin. Models proposed to explain the onset of embalming do not accommodate the fact that only some bodies underwent this process. This casts doubt on the idea that the Chinchorro were an egalitarian society and precludes discussion of the possible existence of social strata. The special characteristics of the interventions on the dead bodies could have allowed family members to extend the social death of their deceased relatives, moving them to small coves where they established their temporary residence on the coast. It is likely that the discontinuation of the practice of embalming was related to the arrival in the coastal valleys of highland groups, which introduced different lifestyles, including the first agricultural practices. The fact that the embalming techniques denote the emergence of early artistic activities of ideological nature, not directly related to the struggle for survival, is one of the most outstanding cultural features of the Chinchorro.

Más información

Título según WOS: EARLY FUNERARY COMPLEXITY ON CHILE'S NORTHERN COAST. ORIGIN, DEVELOPMENT, FUNCTIONALITY AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL RELEVANCE
Título de la Revista: CHUNGARA-REVISTA DE ANTROPOLOGIA CHILENA
Volumen: 46
Número: 1
Editorial: Universidad de Tarapacá
Fecha de publicación: 2014
Página de inicio: 145
Página final: 151
Idioma: Spanish
Notas: ISI