The Tulan-54 site (ca. 3400 to 2370 cal. AP) represents an exceptional site to approach the study of ritual activities during the Early Formative in the South-Central Andean area. Located in the Antofagasta Region, in northern Chile, the remains of lithic industry, fauna and ceramics, associated with human infant burials at it’s main structure; together with the remnants of activities developed in the surrounding areas, have served as the basis for addressing the complexity of ritual activities in the area. These activities are associated with economic, social and technological changes, initiated by hunter-gatherer groups more than a thousand years before and whose greater development, probably corresponds to the efficient management of South American camelids. In the present paper, the results of the zooarchaeological and taphonomic analyses are presented, in a search for a better understanding of the ritual activities that gave rise to the dense deposits that covered the ceremonial site structures until it’s final abandonment, a thousand years after it’s construction.


Boris David Santander Pizarro is a Professor at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado (Chile) and Research Associate at the Institut Català de Paleoecología I Evolució Social (Catalunya, Spain).  The main interest of his research is the relationship between human and faunal communities at south-central Andes (South America), using a methodological approach that includes zooarchaeology, taphonomy and bone technology. Dr Santander Pizarro’s PhD research was focused on a taphonomic approach to faunal remains at the early formative ceremonial site of Tulan-54, in northern Chile. Currently, he is part of a project focused on the earliest human occupations in northern Chile during the Pleistocene/Early Holocene transition. 


About Archaeology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of archaeological research and ideas amongst UQ archaeology students and staff. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment. It is hoped that anyone interested in current archaeological directions, both within and outside the School and University, will be able to attend and contribute to the series.