Investigación Subacuática en las Lagunas de Yahuarcocha: Echeverría and Athens

Echeverría-Almeida, José, and John Stephen Athens. “Investigación Subacuática En Las Lagunas de Yahuarcocha, San Pablo, Mojanda, Provincia de Imbabura, Ecuador.” Revista de Arqueología Americana, no. 34 (2016).

Echeverría-Almeida and Athens underwater survey of the Laguna Yahuarcocha (Lake of Blood) builds on earlier subaquatic research performed in the lake in the early 2000s. Besides concluding that the lake is on the verge of an ecological collapse because of waste-water runoff and sedimentation, the authors were able to date the presence of domesticated corn (zea mays) to around 6,400 to 6,200 BP, helping determine the start of prehistoric agriculture. The authors were able to date a series of volcanic eruptions, including the Quilotoa explosion around 676 BP (137), and discovered Carangui pottery fragments dating from the sixteenth century, which provide context for ethnohistorians trying to better understand pre-Incan history.

The authors also discovered a series of adults and adolescent skeletons that may have been dumped in the lake during the infamous massacre at the lake at the end of the Incan wars (134). This adds to evidence from a 1948 excavation in which human remains and “montones de cráneos” were found when part of the lake was drained for a road project, according to a separate report published in 2007 by Echeverría-Almeida (“Arqueología de Una Batalla La Laguna de Yahuarcocha,” Arqueología Ecuatoriana, June 12, 2007).

Cover Image: Laguna Yahuarcocha, Photograph by G.A.D. Ibarra

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