Historical Archaeology

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 79–101 | Cite as

Contours of Labor and History: A Diachronic Perspective on Andean Mineral Production and the Making of Landscapes in Porco, Bolivia

  • Mary Van Buren
  • Brendan J. M. Weaver


The first Spanish silver mines in South America were located in Porco, Bolivia, and while these were rapidly eclipsed by the spectacular output from nearby Potosí, Porco has remained an important mining center until the present. The long-term history of mineral production is embodied in the landscape, which bears evidence of a diverse set of labor practices and technologies deployed at different scales to process ore. A decade of archaeological research at Porco demonstrates the role this landscape has played in mediating the relationship between indigenous workers and the broader political and economic forces that prevailed under the Inka, Spanish, and Republican regimes.


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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Van Buren
    • 1
  • Brendan J. M. Weaver
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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