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Temporal Inflection Points in Decorated Pottery: a Bayesian Refinement of the Late Formative Chronology in the Southern Lake Titicaca Basin, Bolivia

Citation

Hastorf, Christine et al. (2019), Temporal Inflection Points in Decorated Pottery: a Bayesian Refinement of the Late Formative Chronology in the Southern Lake Titicaca Basin, Bolivia, UC Berkeley, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.6078/D1QD66

Abstract

The Late Formative Period immediately precedes the emergence of Tiwanaku, one of the earliest South American states, yet is one of the most poorly understood periods in the southern Lake Titicaca Basin (Bolivia). In this paper, we refine this period’s ceramic chronology with large sets of dates from eight sites, focusing on temporal inflection points in decorated ceramic styles. These points, estimated here by Bayesian models, index specific moments of change: (1) cal AD 140 (110–170, 68% probability) – first deposition of Kalasasaya red-rimmed and zonally-incised styles, (2) cal AD 210 (170–240, 68% probability) – final deposition of Kalasasaya zonally-incised vessels, (3) cal AD 420 (390–440, 68% probability) – final deposition of Kalasasaya red-rimmed vessels, and (4) cal AD 590 (550–630, 68% probability) – first deposition of Tiwanaku Redwares. These four modeled boundaries anchor an updated Late Formative chronology, which includes the Initial Late Formative phase, a newly identified decorative hiatus between the Middle and Late Formative periods. The models place Qeya and transitional vessels between inflection points 3 and 4 based on regionally consistent stratigraphic sequences. This more precise chronology will enable researchers to explore the trajectories of other contemporary shifts during this crucial period in Lake Titicaca Basin’s prehistory.