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June 2002-January 2005Interactive Dig at Tiwanaku
Donna Yates and the find of the week

Dan Aylward, Kate Davis, Megan Peppel, and Liviu Stirbat excavate west of the Akapana.

Photos courtesy Alexei Vranich. Click on images for larger versions.
by Jose Maria Lopez Bejarano

Akapana Pyramid: July 13, 2004

We began excavating west of the Akapana to confirm the presence of certain anomalies detected by the ground-penetrating radar during the 2002 field season. The results of the geographical survey had led us to believe that a plaza existed very close to the Akapana pyramid, and we thought there was a series of large structures in the western sector. However, what we are finding now makes it seem more probable that this was a domestic zone.

The area we are excavating has hearths and well-made floors where we are finding mostly faunal remains and utilitarian domestic ceramics. There are also stone foundations where adobe walls were constructed on various levels, separating the domestic from the ceremonial.

Donna Yates found a figurine (see picture below) in her unit this week. What makes this artifact special is that it is an Amazonian piece found in a domestic context high in the altiplano. It was most likely part of a bowl. We've identified it as Amazonian, because it has eyes shaped like coffee beans.

We believe this artifact was once part of a bowl used in a domestic context. [image]

We know that Donna's unit is domestic, because she has found manos (used for grinding grain and food production), animal bones, hearths, and a floor. She commented that "it's crazy to find a domestic context in the monumental core." What is even crazier is to find an Amazonian artifact there!

We will continue testing the geophysical anomalies for the rest of this season.

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© 2004 Archaeological Institute of America

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