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Archaeology of high-altitude lacustrine socio-ecosystems and evolution of the global climatic signal in the central Andes (Bolivia, Peru)

Thursday 20th May, 4 PM CET

Christophe Delaere (Ph.D)

ABSTRACT: 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 by a diversity of ecosystems spreading over several ecological levels that can reach almost 7,000 meters above sea level and 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 (e.g., season) and long (e.g., climate crisis) periods. For archaeology, periodic transformations of lake socio-ecosystems 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. The underwater material remains of the lake socio-ecosystems therefore represent a valuable source of information, as it enables the evolution of the global climatic signal over time to be evaluated in relation to the anthropogenic signal.