Archaeology of high-altitude lacustrine socio-ecosystems in the central Andes

Event Date:
Start at 12:00 AM
July 28, 2021

The Andes Cordillera stretches along thousands of kilometers in western South America, covering vast portions of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. It is characterized in particular (i) by a diversity of ecosystems spreading over several ecological levels that can reach almost 7,000 meters above sea level and (ii) by the presence of hundreds of lagunas and lakes ranging from micro to macro lake ecosystems. Lacustrine drainage basins are part of the most dynamic landscapes of the Andean Cordillera because the imbalance in the hydrological scale produces variation in lake levels that can cause flooding or droughts over short and periods. For archaeology, periodic changes represent a research opportunity, as they have frequently contributed to the preservation of paleo-landscapes. A part of the Andes Cordillera’s lake territories today submerged, including ancient shores, can be studied through techniques and methods of inland water archaeology. In this lecture, I propose to present the results of the excavation operations carried out from 2012 to 2018 in the “rain gauge of the Andes”: Lake Titicaca.

SPEAKER BIO : Christophe Delaere is an archaeologist specialising in inland water archaeology and Andean prehistory. He has been leading the Lake Titicaca underwater research project since 2012. He obtained his PhD in History, Art History and Archaeology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology . He is currently a research associate at the Centre de Recherches en Archéologie et Patrimoine, Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.