Date: 22 Oct 2012

Discussion: Mineral Resources and Prehispanic Mining

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Abstract

My discussion primarily addresses the second half of this book (Chaps. 7–14) that presents case studies of pre-Hispanic mining, the process of extracting a wide range of minerals from the earth, commonly metallic ores for smelting and decorative purposes. Richard Burger comments on the first half that relates more closely to quarrying, a type of mining that in archaeology commonly refers to the extraction of dimension, or architectural, stones for construction and decorative purposes and noncrystalline and microcrytalline minerals and rocks for tool making. My comments are thematically organized and written from the vantage of personal knowledge and experience garnered over 3 decades on diverse aspects of the integrated process of pre-Hispanic mining and metallurgy in the Andes, particularly on the north coast of Peru.