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  • Nuria Sanz

    Bernardo T. Arriaza

    Vivien G. Standen

    Editors

    Arica 2014

    A Comparative Perspective. The archaeology of the earliest

    human mummification

  • Published in 2014 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France, the UNESCO Office in Mexico, Presidente Masaryk 526, Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo, 11550 Ciudad de Mxico,

    D.F., Mxico, and Universidad de Tarapac, Arica, Arica and Parinacota, Chile.

    UNESCO 2014

    ISBN 978-92-3-100020-1

    This publication is available in Open Access under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC-BY-SA 3.0 IGO) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/igo/). By

    using the content of this publication, the users accept to be bound by the terms of use of the UNESCO Open Access Repository

    (http://www.unesco.org/open-access/terms-use-ccbysa-en).

    The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the

    delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

    The ideas and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors; they are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization.

    Editors: Nuria Sanz, Bernardo T. Arriaza, Vivien G. Standen Cover photo: Ral Rocha

    Cover design: Octavio Lagos and Manuel Alarcn Graphic design: Andros Impresores

    Illustrations: Photos and images presented in the texts are the copyrights of the authors unless otherwise indicated.

    Printed by: Andros Impresores

    Printed in Chile

    Published in 2014 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France, the UNESCO Office in Mexico, Presidente Masaryk 526, Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo, 11550 Ciudad de Mxico, D.F., Mexico, and Universidad de Tarapac, Arica, Arica and Parinacota, Chile. UNESCO 2014 ISBN 978-92-3-100020-1

    This publication is available in Open Access under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC-BY-SA 3.0 IGO) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/igo/). By using the content of this publication, the users accept to be bound by the terms of use of the UNESCO Open Access Repository (http://www.unesco.org/open-access/terms-use-ccbysa-en). The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The ideas and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors; they are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization. Editors: Nuria Sanz, Bernardo T. Arriaza, Vivien G. Standen Cover photo: Ral Rocha Cover design: Octavio Lagos and Manuel Alarcn Graphic design: Andros Impresores Illustrations: Photos and images presented in the texts are the copyrights of the authors unless otherwise indicated. Printed by: Andros Impresores Printed in Chile

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/igo/http://creativecommons.Byusingthecontentofthispublicationhttp://creativecommons.Byusingthecontentofthispublicationhttp://www.unesco.org/open-access/terms-use-ccbysa-en
  • THE CHINCHORRO CULTURE:A Comparative Perspective.

    The archaeology of the earliest human mummification

  • 5

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    Foreword UNESCO

    Some of the earliest evidence for the phenomenon of mortuary behavior and funerary rites appears in the archaeological record with the species Homo neanderthalensis in the sites of Kebara Cave in Israel, and, more notable the site of Shanidar Cave in Iraq. Shanidar 4, which has been dated to around 70 kya, is colloquially known as the flower burial, as the site has yielded the skeletal remains of a male in his late 30s or early 40s, alongside several concentrated clumps of pollen. Upon the emergence of Homo sapien sapiens, evidence for burial rituals has become more abundant. These behaviors, which transcend cultural boundaries, are distinctly human and as such, are representative of several distinctively human behavioral characteristics such as the human propensity to search for transcendence. One example of this behavior is the process of deliberate mummification, which first emerged with the Chinchorro Culture in Chiles Camarones Valley, is evidenced to have occurred across all continents. It is most widely known for the Egyptian process, which is conceived of as preparation for the afterlife. The mummification process, along with its representation of human world view, also speaks to the human curiosity which propels anatomical discovery.

    In 1998 Council of National Monuments submitted the Archaeological Sites of the Chinchorro Culture for nomination to the Tentative List of the World Heritage Center of UNESCO. The nomination was justified on the terms of selection criteria iii: to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared. These pages provide a clear testimony to the Outstanding Universal Value of Chiles Chinchorro Culture, while presenting case studies that forge the comparative analysis of the culture, which is notable for its gradual implementation of complex funerary rituals, which included preparing the remains of the dead through a sophisticated process of artificial mummification which was developed 3000 years earlier than the mummification technique of Egypt. This tradition lasted 4000 years. The Chinchorro Culture is also notable for their exceptional adapting to a coastal setting. For thousands of years the Chinchorro developed and kept alive their culture in one of the worlds most arid deserts.

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    The book which the reader holds in hand features several case studies from all over the world which present the results reached through the field work and investigations of national and international experts. The results of these investigations discuss the singularity of the Chinchorro Culture and other archaeological sites in the Pacific. It features contributions from 11 national and international experts representing 7 countries and 10 institutions. These pages support the elements for the formulation of the Outstanding Universal Value of Chiles Chinchorro Culture and provide in depth information, discussions and examinations of research, otherwise not available between one book binding. Here the reader will find information treating the Chinchorro human mummification processes and examples from other cultures and discourses of the raw materials used,which will allow the reader to contextualize these funerary rites. Further contextualization is provided in examination of the climatic conditions of the Archaic Period, when hunters began to exploit the extreme Pacific coastal environments.

    UNESCO wishes to express its sincerest gratitude to the University of Tarapac in Arica, Chile and the National Monuments Council of Chile for their dedication to the investigation and conservation of the Chinchorro culture and for their outstanding support of this endeavor. UNESCO also wishes to thank the national and international researchers who have made contributions to this volume for their efficacy in promoting the cultural heritage of the Chinchorro culture and for demonstrating a remarkable capacity for thinking within the parameters of the Conventions criteria and for building the bridges between scientific investigations and the World Heritage approach.

    Nuria SanzHead and Representative of the UNESCO Office in Mexico, General Coordinator of the HEADS World Heritage Thematic Programme of UNESCO

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    Foreword Perspectives from Chile

    The University of Tarapac (Arica, Chile) and the National Monuments Council of Chile would like to acknowledge the privilege and the pleasure of presenting this book, entitled The Chinchorro Culture: A Comparative Perspective. The archaeology of the earliest human mummification.

    As a regional state university, the University of Tarapac places a strong emphasis on the study, preservation, and promotion of Chiles cultural heritage. Specifically, since the 1960s, it has been inextricably linked, academically and scientifically, to the Chinchorro culture. To this end, it has conducted research, disseminated knowledge, and facilitated the local and national community the necessary inputs for the conservation of the Chinchorro culture. The present book is solid evidence of that fact. The university is delighted that scholars from Chile, Brazil, Peru, Canada, and France have shared their expertise and knowledge in Arica, in order to discuss issues related to the Chinchorro in a crosscultural manner.

    The Chinchorro began settling this area 9 to 10 thousand years ago by populating the fringes of the Atacama Desert, one of the most inhospitable regions in the world. As such, this culture represents one of the earliest components of archaeological evidence in a kaleidoscope of subsequent cultural groups.

    Chinchorro stud