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Colors and dyes of archaeological textiles from Tarapacá in the Atacama Desert (South Central Andes)

Authors
  • Sepúlveda, Marcela1
  • Lemp Urzúa, Cecilia2
  • Cárcamo-Vega, José3
  • Casanova-Gónzalez, Edgar4
  • Gutiérrez, Sebastián5
  • Maynez-Rojas, Miguel Ángel6
  • Ballester, Benjamín3
  • Ruvalcaba-Sil, José Luis6
  • 1 Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile & UMR 8096 (CNRS-Paris 1), Francia. Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Macul, Chile , Macul (Chile)
  • 2 Universidad Austral de Chile, Sede Puerto Montt, Los Pinos S/N, Puerto Montt, Chile , Puerto Montt (Chile)
  • 3 Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica, Chile , Arica (Chile)
  • 4 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Circuito de la Investigación s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, Mexico City, 04510, Mexico , Mexico City (Mexico)
  • 5 Universidad de Tarapacá, Cardenal Caro 348, Arica, Chile , Arica (Chile)
  • 6 Laboratorio Nacional de Ciencias Para La Investigación Y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Circuito de la Investigación s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, Mexico City, 04510, Mexico , Mexico City (Mexico)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Heritage Science
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
May 28, 2021
Volume
9
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s40494-021-00538-9
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

This work concerns the study of colors and dyes identified on archaeological textiles from the Atacama Desert. The different garments and ornaments come from the excavation of two important pre-Columbian cemeteries of the Tarapacá region: Tarapacá-40 attributed to the Formative period (1100 BC–660 AD) and Pica-8 to the Late Intermediate period (900–1450 AD). For the first time, a multi-analytical approach with non-invasive techniques using FORS and SERS was applied on samples of less than 2 cm of length for physicochemical characterization of the raw materials and the dyes employed in the textile production of northern Chile. The fibers are from animal origin. Blue, green, and yellow are identified as indigo, but we cannot discard a mixture with other dyes to vary hue and shade; while carminic acid and alizarin—to a lesser extent—are found on red, orange, and brown samples. This research provides new elements for the discussion about the textile technology developed in this desertic region, its changes, and continuities along the history. Our results are compared to recent findings on neighboring regions from South-Central Andes, to improve the current knowledge and discuss the existence of dyeing textile cultural traditions.

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