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Spondylus und Strombus: Die Rolle zweier Paraphernalien im Übergang vom Archaikum zum Formativum im nördlichen Peru. : Spondylus and Strombus: The role of two paraphernalia in the transition from the Archaic to the Formativum in northern Peru

Knossalla, Norbert Prof. Dr. Jürgen Golte ; Prof. Dr. Debora Gerstenberger

Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin Universitätsbibliothek 2015

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  • Título:
    Spondylus und Strombus: Die Rolle zweier Paraphernalien im Übergang vom Archaikum zum Formativum im nördlichen Peru. : Spondylus and Strombus: The role of two paraphernalia in the transition from the Archaic to the Formativum in northern Peru
  • Autor: Knossalla, Norbert
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Golte ; Prof. Dr. Debora Gerstenberger
  • Assuntos: Ddc:980 ; 980 General History Of South America ; 980 Geschichte Südamerikas ; 985 General History Of South America; Peru ; Ddc:985 ; 985 Geschichte Perus ; History ; Archaeology ; Spondylus ; Strombus ; Andes ; Peru
  • Descrição: Subject of this research are the pacific spiny oyster Spondylus and marine snails of the genus Strombus, both constituting paraphernalia over a long temporal sequence of several millennia in the Andean region. This evidence is confirmed by archaeological findings as well as by numerous colonial notations and transmitted myths from prehispanic times. Due to the fact that research turned more attention to the animals quite in the last decades, only few studies do exist concerning the role of these mollusks in the northern Peruvian Andes, especially in late archaic and formative times (around 2400 – 100 B.C.). Discussed themes mostly comprehended questions about the origin and procurement of the animals as well as aspects of trade, trade routes and exchange mechanisms. Disregarding the fact that both mollusks frequently are not exactly specified, early archaeological research dealing with the role of Spondylus and Strombus in Peru predominantly rely on single text passages of chosen chroniclers and/or exemplified archaeological findings and are often spatially limited. As a result, the use of Spondylus and Strombus was pointed out as inalterable in space as well as in time, and that a more detailed examination of the data did not take place at large. Therefore, this paper first starts with a listing of all species of Spondylus and Strombus that can or could be considered for the respective area, followed by a compilation of hints of both mollusks, extracted from publications of early records. These references are arranged in categories according to their contexts, beginning with deducible and possible definitions gathered from different dictionaries, as well as contextual and explanatory notes from early records. In this aspect, every text passage is examined and commented within its context and the evaluated results are recorded in tables. Taking into all notes, it was possible to classify and arrange the contents into different categories with subcategories that first comprise general questions relating to procurement, trade, trade routes, manufacture and production, employment of labor in Cusco, tambos and storage, shipping, toponymy, personal names and indications for the use of Spondylus as a sort of currency. Additionally, and in particular with regard to Spondylus, the valuation and usage of the mollusks as jewelry or adornment, together with references to women are pointed out. The next step examines Spondylus in sacral contexts that cover different kinds of offerings, possible designated offering priests, sanctuaries, idols as well as relations with fortune-telling, confession, spell of love and medical application. In view of these categories, the situation for Strombus and finished products manufactured of the marine snails shows a different picture. All the indications concerning Strombus or possibly Strombus display a less complex picture and show that fighting-conchs mainly have been used as musical instruments, apparently played by official persons and for different purposes and occasions. The second focus of this work comprises archaeological findings and records of Spondylus and Strombus pertaining to late archaic and formative times. Included are on one hand objects with iconographic depictions of the mollusks, containing representations in stone, ceramic, bone, metal, gourd, textiles and shell. Along with these items, in some extent originating from illegal excavations without or poor documentation, this work examines also findings and records of scientific archaeological investigations which can be classified into the categories of burial findings, depots, scattering on ground floors, possible workshops and stray finds. These categories can be divided in further subdivisions that are relating e.g. to material, location or purpose of use. In this context it has to be pointed out that overlaps occur and a clear differentiation is not always possible. The presentation of all the items is carried out in form of catalogues with subsequent analysis and listing in tables. It was intended to provide a compilation as much as possible comprehensively but a claim for completeness cannot be demanded. Although archaeological and literary contexts are of different nature and chronological depth, it is possible to establish numerous parallels. With regard to Spondylus there is a predominant use as ornament or jewelry and in contexts of grave furniture, offering and in ritual contexts. At the same time, a certain reference to female persons is apparent. However, and in opposition to the widely held belief that Spondylus is synonymous with the term “mullu”, this equation cannot be accepted as tenable. The term together with the Spanish expression “chaquira” rather stands as a synonym for “pearls” that could also be of different kinds and materials and were primarily worn as chains. Referring to Strombus a similar situation can be pointed out and shows that the large marine snails evidently were used for the most part as musical instruments and obviously restricted to designated persons of higher standing, perhaps endowed with certain privileges or of official character. These persons mainly are male individuals with the exception of findings that partly could be discovered in grave-contexts. All in all, a high valuation of both mollusks can be stated, not only in later times but also for early periods. This is the case in early written documents and also visible in archaeological records concerning late archaic and formative ages. On the other hand, no indications could be found for example, that Spondylus could have served as a bioindicator in order to predict a forthcoming ENSO phenomenon. Neither do the results reveal any hint of the practice that Spondylus could have served as a possible hallucinogenic drug for shamans by means of a softened intake of the toxins through drinking urine. At the end, this work aimed at a compilation of literary, archaeological and iconographic contexts as extensive as possible to submit altogether to certain questions. It is also obvious that a claim for completeness cannot be stated. With simultaneous consideration of all the questions that keep unanswered and that have emerged newly, this work should provide an incentive to further explorations on the basis of a combined and as much as possible exhaustive data base.
  • Editor: Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin Universitätsbibliothek
  • Data de publicação: 2015
  • Idioma: Alemão

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