ICAZ

International Council
for Archaeozoology

Grupo Zooarqueología de Camélidos

 The Camelid Working Group, known as the Grupo Zooarqueología de Camélidos (GZC), was created in 1993 and officially recognized by ICAZ in 1995. The GZC is currently coordinated by Guillermo L. Mengoni Goñalons (wmengoni@yahoo.com.ar), Daniel E. Olivera (deolivera@gmail.com), and Hugo D. Yacobaccio (hdyacobaccio@gmail.com).

The theme of the GZC centers on the study of the interaction between human societies and South American camelids (SAC) through time, in the Andes and also extra-Andean regions. The scope goes from predation to pastoralism and herding. The aims of the working group are to promote common lines of research, foster the exchange of information, and establish regional databases. The GZC is open to all researchers who wish to actively contribute.

Research on South American camelids (SAC) has grown enormously during the last two decades. Ethnoarchaeology, ethnography, archaeology, taphonomy, economic anatomy, osteometry, fiber analysis, densitometry, isotope analysis and genetic studies are among the subjects that have recently been explored, motivated by an interest in both wild (guanaco and vicuña) and domesticated (llama and alpaca) camelids.

The group has held three international workshops (see GZC Workshops) in 1994, 1998, 2003. They were published as books (see list below). The last book published is still available. It is titled El Uso de los Camélidos a Través del Tiempo ("The Use of Camelids Through Time"), edited by G. L. Mengoni Goñalons, D. E. Olivera, and H. D. Yacobaccio (2001), Ediciones del Tridente, Buenos Aires. All papers are in Spanish. Those interested in acquiring this volume, please contact Guillermo Mengoni Goñalons, Daniel Olivera, or Hugo Yacobaccio (e-mail addresses are posted at the top of this page).

More recently the GZC has participated in the organization of symposiums held at zooarchaeological meetings- in 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014.

GZC Symposiums about SAC

The presentations made on SAC at a symposium organized for the I Congreso Nacional de Zooarqueología Argentina (2008) were included in the book “Zooarqueología a principios del siglo XXI: aporte teóricos, metodológicos y casos de estudio (“Zooarchaeology at the beginnings of the XXIth Century: theoretical and methodological contributions”) edited by M. De Nigris, P. Fernández, M. Giardina, M. Gutiérrez, A. Gil, A. Izeta, G. Neme and H. D. Yacobaccio (2010), Ediciones del Espinillo, Buenos Aires. The articles cover different research subjects, such as osteometry, stable isotopes, palaeoparasitology, fibre, dung, pollen and contextual analysis.

Recently a symposium on South American Camelids was organized during the II Congreso Nacional de Zooarqueología Argentina (IICNZA) that took place between 10-14th May 2011 at the Facultad de Ciencias Sociales of the Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires at Olavarría, Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Its theme was "Camélidos Sudamericanos: diversidad, espacio y tiempo" and was coordinated by Guillermo L. Mengoni Goñalons and Hugo D. Yacobaccio from the Instituto de Arqueología, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, UBA and CONICET.

A total of 20 oral presentations were made on methodological approaches to diversity that included: osteometry (L.M. del Papa, L. J. M. De Santis and J. Togo; L. Fraschina, P. Lobbia, A. Marozzi, M. Mondini, A. S. Muñoz and A. Preto), osteopathology (G.A. Flensborg and C. A. Kaufmann), skeletal morphology (G. L. L’Heureux); feces (N.J. Velázquez y L.S. Burry). Another set of presentations was dedicated to hunter-gatherers and transitional societies (M. C. Álvarez y A. P. Alcaráz; G. López; F. Santiago, B. Colasurdo and M. Salemme) and to Formative and Late Period andean societies (M. A. Benavente and I. Cartajena; I. Cartajena, P. López y L. Núñez; M. Dantas, G. G. Figueroa and A. Laguens; M. De Nigris and N. Ratto; N. Goepfert; E. Moreno and M. Quesada; J. Grant and E. DeMarrais; R. Labarca Encina and E. Calás Pérsico; S. M. L. López Campeny; Juan Maryañski; P. H. Mercolli and A. E. Nielsen; P. A. Valda).

Another symposium was recently organized during the III Congreso Nacional de Zooarqueología Argentina (IIICNZA) that took place between September 9-13, 2013. The meeting was convened by the Instituto Interdisciplinario Tilcara of the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) and held at the picturesque town of Tilcara, Quebrada de Humahuaca (Jujuy province), Argentina.

The theme of the symposium was "South American Camelids: past and present from an integrated perspective" (Camélidos sudamericanos: pasado y presente desde una perspectiva integradora) and was coordinated by Pablo H. Mercolli, Daniel E. Olivera, Guillermo L. Mengoni Goñalons and Hugo D. Yacobaccio from the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, UBA. The presentations were organized in two sessions: (1) Hunting and the appearance of domesticated forms, and (2) pre and post-Hispanic husbandry and present management.

A total of eleven oral presentations were made that included the discussion of case studies based on several zooarchaeological indicators (osteometrics, isotopes, fiber, etc.) from the Puna of NW Argentina centered on early and middle Holocene occupations (A. Marozzi, M. Mondini, E. L. Pintar & M. C. Reigadas); early agropastoral societies (J. Grant & D. Olivera); Late period pastoral contexts (C. Samec & H.D. Yacobaccio). There were also presentations on Late period occupations of the eastern valleys of NW Argentina (M. Ahumada & E. Moreno); camelid variability at a Formative site at Quebrada de Humahuaca (P. Valda) and camelid management at Late Period sites of Quebrada de Humahuaca (P. Mercolli). Other subjects included were: osteometrics and guanaco size variability (G. L. L' Heureux & J. Cornaglia Fernández); fiber analysis and camelid classification (M. C. Reigadas); diet and environmental variability of Central-West Argentina (A. F. Gil, G. A. Neme, A. Ugan, C. Otaola, M. Giardina & T. Michieli); guanaco hunting and fur trade in Southern Patagonia (G.L. Mengoni Goñalons); vicuña ecology, management and sustainability (Y. Arzamendia; V.Rojo; J.. Baldo).

A full session on South American Camelids (SAC) was recently organized by Katherine Moore and Guillermo L. Mengoni Goñalons during the 12th International Conference of Archaeozoology (ICAZ) held at San Rafael (Argentina) from September 22-27, 2014. The session was titled “South American Camelids: Zooarchaeology of Co-evolution” and had the GZC members Daniel Olivera and Hugo Yacobaccio as discussants.

A total of twelve presentations were made covering different aspects of SAC research from early hunters to historic times and from Peru to Tierra del Fuego. They included “Early domesticated camelid dispersal and breeding at the Pacopampa site, Northern Highlands of Peru” by K. Uzawa, M.Takigami, M. Oldñes, D. Aleman, J. P. Villanueva and Y.Seki; “New insights into Andean camelid herding based on a multi-isotopic and diachronic approach” by E. Dufour and N. Goepfert; “Camelids and complex pre-Hispanic cultures: 4000 years of an anthropozoological relation in Northern Peru” by N. Goepfert; “Hunting vicuña and guanaco at high altitude in the prehistory of the Central Andes” by K. Moore; “Camelids, selection practices, and identity on the Tiwanaku Frontier, Peru” by S. deFrance; “The nature of discarding and ritual practices among complex hunters gatherers and early herders in the western slope of the Atacama puna (ca. 5200-2300 years cal. B.P.)” by I. Cartajena, P. López, B. Santander, L. Núñez and B. Rivera; “Adaptación humana y procesos de cambio en el uso de los camélidos a lo largo del Holoceno, Puna de Salta, Argentina” by G. López; “Radiogenic strontium isotopes and strategies of breeding and circulation of camelids in the Ambato valley (Catamarca, Argentina)” by M. Dantas and K. Knudson; “Herder’s prehispanic strategies at Quebrada de Humahuaca, Province of Jujuy, Argentina” by P. Mercolli; “Caracterización morfométrica de la categoría “guanaco andino” (Lama guanicoe) en el Centro-Oeste Argentino” by A. Gasco and M. Cardillo; “Lama guanicoe and humans: 12,000 years of coevolution” by L. L´Heureux; “Fur trade and guanaco hunting in Patagonia during historic times” by G. L. Mengoni Goñalons.

SAC were also present at other ICAZ sessions and at a workshop on camelid osteology and osteometrics that was organized by Mariana Mondini and Katherine Moore, indicating the importance and relevance that these ungulates have for archaeozoological studies in South America. The GZC also met at the ICAZ Conference after a full day dedicated to SAC.

The future of the working group is promising having in mind the future archaeozoological meetings that will be held in South America: IV Congreso Nacional de Zooarqueología Argentina in 2016 at Ushuaia (Argentina) and IV Encuentro Latinoamericano de Zooarqueología (IV ELAZ) in 2018 at Río Gallegos (Argentina).

GZC Workshops:

  • I GZC Workshop: "Theoretical and methodological perspectives for the archaeological study of Andean camelids". Tilcara, Jujuy, Argentina, April 1994.
  • II GZC Workshop: "The utilization of camelids through time". Horco Molle, Tucumán, Argentina, October 1998.
  • III GZC Workshop: "The Management of South American Camelids".Tilcara, Jujuy, Argentina, August 2003.

GZC Round tables and Symposiums:

  • Round table: "Zooarqueología de Camélidos Sudamericanos", I Congreso Nacional de Zooarqueología Argentina (ICNZA), Malargue, Mendoza, Argentina, September 2008.
  • Symposium: "Camélidos Sudamericanos: diversidad, espacio y tiempo", II Congreso Nacional de Zooarqueología Argentina (IICNZA), Olavarría (Buenos Aires) Argentina. May 2011.
  • Symposium: "Camélidos sudamericanos: pasado y presente desde una perspectiva integradora" III Congreso Nacional de Zooarqueología Argentina (IICNZA), Tilcara (Jujuy), Argentina. September, 2013
  • Symposium: "South American Camelids: Zooarchaeology of Co-evolution", 12th International Conference of Archaeozoology (ICAZ) held at San Rafael (Mendoza), Argentina, September, 2014.

GZC Special Publications:

  • Elkin, D.C., C. Madero, G.L. Mengoni Goñalons, D.E. Olivera, M.C. Reigadas, and H.D. Yacobaccio, eds. (1994) Zooarqueología de Camélidos: Perspectivas Teóricas y Metodológicas, 1. GZC, Buenos Aires.
  • Elkin, D.C., C. Madero, G.L. Mengoni Goñalons, D.E. Olivera, M.C. Reigadas, and H.D. Yacobaccio, eds. (1996) Zooarqueología de Camélidos: Perspectivas Teóricas y Metodológicas 2. GZC, Buenos Aires.
  • Yacobaccio, H.D., C.M. Madero and M. P. Malmierca (1998) Etnoarqueología de Pastores Surandinos. GZC, Buenos Aires.
  • Mengoni Goñalons, G.L., D.E. Olivera, and H.D. Yacobaccio, eds. (2001) Zooarqueología de Camélidos: El Uso de los Camélidos a Través del Tiempo ("The Use of Camelids Through Time"). Ediciones del Tridente, Buenos Aires.

Information reported by Dr. Guillermo L. Mengoni Goñalons, GZC Liaison to ICAZ (updated October 27, 2016)