This project focuses on two regions in the Peruvian Andes:
Northwestern Titicaca Basin- In the summer of 2015 lake core sequences were collected from the northwestern part of the Lake Titicaca Basin in which substantial archaeological surveys have recently been completed. The first research aim is methodological: establishing whether newly defined biochemical markers in lake sediment can serve as reliable proxies for human population levels over time. The second research aim is to use the results to achieve a better understanding of the complex causality of human-land interactions in the Andes by examining several chronological sequences together: precipitation history, human demography and settlement patterns, episodes of field construction, and reliance on camelid husbandry. This project seeks to bridge the gap between paleoclimate records and human social change.
Northern Peru's Chicama Valley- The aim of this interdisciplinary project is to identify abrupt climate events associated with the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and examine its impacts on past agroecological infrastructure. Several lake core sequences from the Cajamarca highlands have been collected and are currently being examined for oxygen isotopes as well as glacial sediment fluxes. We are working to evaluate moisture-balance history and tie it to prehispanic agricultural changes.
Mark Abbott (University of Pittsburgh)
Pedro Tapia (Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru)
Lonnie Thompson (Ohio State University)
Elizabeth Arkush (University of Pittsburgh)
Josef Werne (University of Pittsburgh)
Ben Vining (University of Arkansas)
Daniel Contreras (University of Maryland)
A successful day of fieldwork in the NW Titicaca Basin