Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilNuméros en texte intégral107-2Note de rechercheThe analysis of Eric von Rosen’s ...

Note de recherche

The analysis of Eric von Rosen’s archaeological collection (Etnografiska museet, Sweden): the contribution of the Swedish Chaco-Cordillera Expedition to the study of mining and metallurgy in the Puna of Jujuy, Argentina

L’analyse de la collection archéologique d’Eric von Rosen (Etnografiska museet, Suède) : la contribution de l’expédition suédoise Chaco-Cordillera à l’étude de l’exploitation minière et de la métallurgie dans la Puna de Jujuy, Argentine
El análisis de la colección arqueológica de Eric von Rosen (Etnografiska museet, Suecia): la contribución de la Expedición Sueca Chaco-Cordillerana al estudio de la minería y metalurgia de la Puna de Jujuy, Argentina
María Florencia Becerra
p. 179-208

Résumés

Cette note de recherche présente l’expédition suédoise Chaco-Cordillera dans le nord de l’Argentine et le sud de la Bolivie (1901-1902), puis analyse les objets archéologiques qu’elle a collectés. Depuis le travail d’Eric von Rosen en 1902-1903, aucune autre étude approfondie de la collection n’avait été réalisée à ce jour, alors que ces objets permettent d’éclairer différents aspects du passé précolombien des Andes et des basses terres. Fondée sur les publications des membres de l’expédition et sur leur documentation personnelle inédite, ainsi que sur l’examen de la collection elle-même, cette note offre de nouvelles données sur cette collection. Ces matériaux et les interprétations que les chercheurs suédois en ont proposées représentent en effet une contribution précieuse à la compréhension des activités minières et métallurgiques de la Puna de Jujuy (Argentine) pendant la période précolombienne tardive (1200-1550 apr. J.-C.).

Haut de page

Notes de la rédaction

Manuscrit reçu en septembre 2020, accepté pour publication en juillet 2021.

Texte intégral

Acknowledgements – This research was possible thanks to the grant Programa de Movilidad UBAINT Docentes-Convocatoria 2019 from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, which allowed me to have a research and teaching stay in the Department of Historical Studies of the University of Gothenburg under Dr Per Cornell’s direction. The processing of the data obtained was partially funded by the project PICT2017-0732 from the Fondo para la Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (FONCYT), Argentina. I would like to thank Mathias Fock for allowing me to access von Rosen’s personal archive (Riksarkivet, Stockholm) and include information and pictures from his archive in this paper. I am also very grateful to the University of Gothenburg and the National Museums of World Culture for the authorization to access their archives. During this research I have received the collaboration of many people I would like to thank: Silvana Campanini, for encouraging me to apply for the UBAINT grant; Per Cornell and Adriana Muñoz, for kindly receiving me in Gothenburg and introducing me to the archives and bibliography. Also, to Anna Fahlén, Adam Norberg, Ann-Sofie Stjernlöf, Magnus Johansson and, especially, Anna Schottländer for their essential help during the study of the collection; to Beatriz Ventura for suggesting the possibility of studying this collection. She, Carlos Angiorama and Adriana Muñoz read this manuscript and made useful comments. I am also grateful to Josefina Pérez Pieroni for her expert opinion on the pottery; Christer Lindberg for solving my doubts about the expedition and archives; Henrik Lindskoug, who generously translated part of Nordenkiöld’s notebook and answered all my questions; and Svend A. Buus for his unpublished study of the Casabindo materials. I also want to thank Manuela Fischer (Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin) for her help regarding Max Uhle’s and Wilhelm Herrmann’s collections, and Diego Villar for the information about Herrmann’s expeditions. Also thanks to Liliana Gassa, for translating Nordenskiöld’s paper about salt mining and Lucas Massaccesi, Rocio Tanzola and the anonymous peer-reviewers for their reading of and suggestions for this manuscript. None of them, however, is responsible for this text.

1On 25 March 1901, part of the Swedish research expedition led by Baron Nils Erland Nordenskiöld left Stockholm to arrive in Buenos Aires on 27 April and begin their journey to the North of Argentina and South of Bolivia. This expedition, called the Swedish Chaco-Cordillera Expedition, would last a little more than a year (Figure 1). On their return to Sweden, Count Eric von Rosen, the member in charge of carrying out the archaeological and ethnographical research (Rosen 1904; Figure 2), donated a collection of his findings to the Ethnographical section of the Riksmuseet in Stockholm, which nowadays is the Etnografiska Museet (Ethnographical Museum) and belongs to the Statens Museer för Världskultur (National Museums of World Culture).

Fig. 1 – Route of the Swedish Chaco-Cordillera Expedition in the North of Argentina, based on the maps published by von Rosen and Nordenskiöld. Some of the archaeological sites’ locations are approximate (basemap: Instituto Geográfico Nacional, Argentina)

Fig. 1 – Route of the Swedish Chaco-Cordillera Expedition in the North of Argentina, based on the maps published by von Rosen and Nordenskiöld. Some of the archaeological sites’ locations are approximate (basemap: Instituto Geográfico Nacional, Argentina)

Fig. 2 – Eric von Rosen taken in Salta at the beginning of the expedition (von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm)

Fig. 2 – Eric von Rosen taken in Salta at the beginning of the expedition (von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm)
  • 1 There is an unpublished description of the Casabindo archaeological material of the collection car (...)

2This expedition has previously been analysed in terms of its general contribution to Northwestern Argentinean archaeology and the development of academic bonds between Swedish and Argentinean scholars; to the understanding of Andean and lowlands’ relationships during pre-Columbian times; to the cultural encounter between European and indigenous populations in an unequal position of power; and even to the development of high mountain archaeology (see the volume edited by Albeck and Ruiz 2003). The members of the expedition themselves have also been subjects of study (Lindberg 1995; Cornell and Arenas 2016; Gustavsson 2018). Nevertheless, and despite the great number of objects recovered during the expedition and its huge potential, no later investigation was carried out on the collection itself.1 Among these pieces, there are metal objects and artefacts related to mining that were of interest for our research. For the past decade, we have been investigating the development of mining and metallurgy in the Puna of Jujuy, part of the Andean high plateau, based on the study of museum collections (Becerra, Angiorama, and Plaza Calonge 2020), the analysis of historical documentation (Becerra 2014) and new fieldwork led by Carlos Angiorama in the region (Angiorama and Becerra 2010, 2014).

3In this paper, we present the Swedish Chaco-Cordillera Expedition and its members through their own publications, the personal archives of Nordenskiöld, von Rosen and Robert E. Fries, and previous investigations about their research and biographies. The aim of this introduction is to understand the context of production of the archaeological collection formed during the expedition and the studies and interpretations these researchers formulated about it. After this section, we will briefly describe the collection itself, offering unpublished data about the materials recovered by the expedition in different sites of Argentina and Bolivia. We will focus especially on the metal objects, minerals and the tools for mining activities, based on the inventory von Rosen wrote for the Ethnographical Museum, the publications about the expedition and our own observations and record of part of the collection. In dialogue with contemporary researchers and later findings in the Puna of Jujuy, Argentina, we will show how von Rosen’s collection contributed to improve our comprehension of the metallurgy and mining activities developed in this region during the pre-Columbian Late Period (AD 1200-1550). In doing so, we will also contribute to the history of the archaeological investigations in the area.

The Swedish Chaco-Cordillera Expedition, 1901-1902

4During the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century, many European scientific expeditions were made to exotic and distant places in the world, and in particular to Latin America, partially in order to increase European museum collections (see, e.g., Podgorny 2002). This was also made possible by the existing diplomatic relationships between newly independent Latin America states and the European former colonial powers (Françozo and Ordoñez 2019). The Swedish Chaco-Cordillera Expedition, like many previous and later expeditions, was planned to study wild and still little-known regions in the North of Argentina and South of Bolivia. These had been visited by other researchers (but not by so many) and, because of that, had been “already proven to be of high yielding of objects” (Ordoñez 2019, p. 85). In Nordenskiöld’s own words,

[the] varied scenery, innumerable fossils of Pleistocene mammals, memorials of a prehistoric culture, and Indians—who had had little contact with civilization—were the inducements that enticed myself and companions to start for the spur of the Andes towards El gran chaco. (Nordenskiöld 1903a, p. 511)

5The previous travellers and researchers provided important information to plan the new expedition. For example, Nordenskiöld (1903a, p. 511) highlighted that “our knowledge of the geography and geology of these regions is all based on the results of [Carl Brackebusch’s] travels.” In fact, in his personal archive, there is a copy of the physiographic map the German geologist published in 1893. What is more, in the notebook of another member of the expedition, there is a list of “literature” about the region, in which many of Brackebusch’s articles are referenced (Fries 1901-1902). Another scholar who provided important archaeological information about these regions was Max Uhle. Nordenskiöld would maintain correspondence with him years later (Uhle 1916-1920; Lindskoug and Gustavsson 2014).

6The Swedish expeditioners obtained official collaboration from the General Swedish and Norwegian Consulate in Buenos Aires, and from Argentinean and Bolivian authorities, which made the trip much easier for them (Christophersen 1901; Rosen 1957 [1919]), as well as from local personalities and ecclesiastical authorities (De Granval 1901; Toscano 1902).

7The company was formed then by the above-mentioned Baron Nordenskiöld—son and cousin of the prestigious explorers Adolf Erik and Otto Nordenskjöld respectively—, head of this expedition and in charge of zoology; Robert E. Fries—son and grandson of well-known botanists—responsible for botanical studies; Count Eric von Rosen, ethnographer and archaeologist; and ornithologist Gustaf von Hofsten, a childhood friend of von Rosen’s. The group was representative of the Swedish aristocracy and all of the members were young (from 19 to 25 years of age), eager to follow the path of their ancestors and be involved in great adventures (Lindberg 1995; Arenas and Giraudo 2003). Von Rosen would describe his feelings prior to the journey in the first chapter of the book he wrote about the expedition years later, saying that he was about to live the dream adventures of his childhood. Indeed he included a picture of himself when he was a child dressed as an American Indian with a feather adornment on his head (Rosen 1957 [1919], p. 7). In this search for adventures “typical of boys,” von Rosen would remember how they survived and overcame the dangers, obtaining a rich loot, like the “young Vikings” they were. However, this was not the only motivation for the count: they wanted to be useful to Sweden by contributing scientific research and collections. Nordenskiöld and Fries came from families known for achieving important goals in science, and they were expected to follow that path. Lindberg (1995) points out that this desire was even stronger after the death of Nordenskiöld’s father in Sweden while the expedition was taking place. The voyage would now be an opportunity to add even more renown and pride to his family name. After this journey, Nordenskiöld would travel on four more occasions to South America, mainly for ethnographical studies. As the director of the Ethnography Section at the Museum of Gothenburg from 1913 to 1932, he motivated Latin American studies and inspired a generation of Swedish and other European researchers who highly contributed to South American archaeology, such as Stig Rydén, Henry Wassen and Alfred Métraux (Muñoz 2003; Núñez Regueiro and Tartusi 2003).

8In the case of von Rosen (1957 [1919]), he was aware that part of the reason that he was included in the expedition was his substantial financial support for the trip. Nevertheless, he prepared himself for the requested tasks for almost a year with an important researcher in ethnography at the time in Sweden, Hjalmar Stolpe, head of the Ethnographical Section of the Riksmuseet, who taught him about ethnography and the modern methods used in archaeological expeditions. Despite some conflicts and complaints during the expedition (Lindberg 1995; Cornell and Arenas 2016), von Rosen fulfilled the expectations regarding the recovery of great ethnographical and archaeological collections. In relation to the latter, the methodology in archaeology at the time—at least in Northwestern Argentina—had a strong orientation towards natural sciences and taxonomy, and was focused mainly on the excavation of funerary contexts (Cornell and Arenas 2016). Von Rosen’s practice in the field and laboratory was in accordance with those characteristics. His publications show the careful classification of the objects recovered and the analysis he performed on the different materials soon after his arrival in order to identify composition or determine types of raw materials employed in pigments, manufacture of beads and other lithic or mineral objects. He also included in his texts his discussion with contemporary Argentinean and international researchers, along with his impressions and stories about the travels.

9Eric Boman, a Swede in his thirties who had been living in Argentina for more than a decade and was knowledgeable about roads, archaeological sites and language, was also part of the expedition (Cornell and Arenas 2016). He joined the company at the beginning of the journey (May 1901-February 1902) in order to collaborate in fieldwork and transportation of materials. Owing to his experience in the Swedish expedition, a year later he was invited to participate as an official member in the French mission of Georges de Créqui-Montfort and Eugène Sénéchal de la Grange to the North of Argentina and the Bolivian high plateau. Boman published his work in two volumes after four years of research in Paris in 1908. He continued carrying out archaeological research in Argentina and, from 1915 to his death in 1924, he had a position in the National Museum of Natural History in Buenos Aires (Gustavsson 2018).

10The first destination of the expeditioners (Nordenskiöld, Fries and Boman) was the northern extremity of Sierra Santa Barbara in eastern Jujuy, where they identified several residential and burial areas (Figure 1 and Table 1; Nordenskiöld 1904). The basecamp was a farm called Quinta. On 25 September they met von Rosen and von Hofsten in Salta and on 6 October they started their trip to the highlands of Salta and Jujuy (Figures 3 and 4). On the way to their Puna basecamp in Moreno village, they identified two archaeological sites, Pucará and Ojo de Agua (Morohuasi), where they carried out excavations. In the Puna, von Rosen and Nordenskiöld examined an important dwelling-place in Casabindo where they also identified burials in caves (Figure 5). In the meantime, Fries, von Hofsten and Boman visited San Antonio de los Cobres and the Cerro Órgano. The Nevado of Chañi (5895 masl) was climbed first by von Rosen, and then by Fries and von Hofsten, who on the summit found the remains of two altars “for sacrifice or signalling,” dated from pre-Columbian times (Nordenskiöld 1903a, p. 518). In the surroundings of Salinas Grandes, an important salt flat in the region, they detected other archaeological sites in Lipan, Saladillo and Huancar. Other sites visited by the explorers were the cave of Huachichocana (excavated by Nordenskiöld and von Hosften) and Cangrejillos, the latter in the north of the Puna. After the Puna of Jujuy, they visited the valley of Tarija, Bolivia, known for its palaeontological findings. There, von Rosen identified an archaeological site called Tolomosa. Without any architectural remains or undisturbed cultural layers, he was nevertheless able to recover a great quantity of cultural objects (Rosen 1957 [1919]). On 24 February 1902, the expedition continued its route from Tarija to the Bolivian Chaco, where the explorers contacted the Chiriguanos, Chorotes, Tobas and Matacos indigenous populations and obtained ethnographical data. On 17 May, the group arrived in Salta and, on 27 June, they landed in Sweden (Nordenskiöld 1903a).

Fig. 3 – The expedition. Robert E. Fries is the man in the white suit and, behind him, Gustaf von Hofsten is wearing a poncho. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm

Fig. 3 – The expedition. Robert E. Fries is the man in the white suit and, behind him, Gustaf von Hofsten is wearing a poncho. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm

Fig. 4 – The Puna landscape near Salinas Grandes. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm

Fig. 4 – The Puna landscape near Salinas Grandes. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm

Fig. 5 – A burial cave in Casabindo with a stone wall. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm

Fig. 5 – A burial cave in Casabindo with a stone wall. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm

The collection

11Von Rosen’s collection for the Riksmuseet comprises more than 7,000 ethnographical and archaeological objects, products of the Swedish expedition. After his arrival from Argentina and Bolivia, he compiled the inventory of these materials. His donation of this “important collection” from “little-known areas” was recorded in the “Secretary’s Annual Report 1902-1903” of the Kungliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademien Årsbok (1902, p. 53, 55), while his work and the “extensive descriptive catalogue” was acknowledged the following year (1903, p. 99-100). Von Rosen also prepared the Ethnography and Archaeology section of the Chaco-Cordillera expedition’s exhibition, which was displayed in a house called Daneliuska, located at 22 Birger Jarlsgatan, Östermalm, Stockholm. Although we do not know why that house was chosen for the exhibition, we do know that von Rosen owned a building just next to this house from 1900 to 1918 and that Daneliuska’s landlord was a Stockholm city councillor at that time (Building Inventory 1985, 1998). In von Rosen’s book (1921) about the ethnographical work he made during the expedition, he included a picture of this exhibition. We found another one in his personal archive (Figure 6). According to the shape of the windows seen in von Rosen’s pictures, it seems that the exhibition was situated on the ground floor.

Fig. 6 – The exhibition in Daneliuska in 1902, Stockholm. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm

Fig. 6 – The exhibition in Daneliuska in 1902, Stockholm. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm
  • 2 From numbers 1 to 1,000, von Rosen catalogued the ethnographical collection from Chorotes (1-402), (...)

12The collection has 6,325 archaeological pieces (inventory numbers 1,001 to 7,3242). Most of them were collected by von Rosen himself, but others were recovered by Nordenskiöld and Boman in sites where von Rosen had not excavated, either because he was working in parallel on another site or because he had not yet joined the expedition (Figure 1). The inventory von Rosen wrote includes a piece number, a short description, sometimes a drawing of the object and the provenience—generally at site level—and, less frequently, the grave number. Although von Rosen’s and Nordenskiöld’s publications referred to most of the findings, not all of them were mentioned. Moreover, they did not offer many details about context, so the inventory allows a better insight into the many materials and their associations.

13In Table 1, we summarize the characteristics of the collection, detailing types of materials and sites of provenience according to the catalogue and our own observations and records. We have only studied a small part of this great collection (N = 135), so we are not aware of whether there are any mistakes in the descriptions of the objects. Nevertheless, to obtain the numbers shown in Table 1 we have worked with the online museum database,3 the original inventory and its transcription. Moreover, we have compared the quantities mentioned by von Rosen in his publications with the ones in the catalogue, and they have all matched. According to museum records, from the 6,325 pieces, 270 are missing from the deposit.

Tab. 1 – Types of materials and archaeological sites of provenience from von Rosen’s collection according to the museum inventory and our own observations

Sites pottery leather lithics/minerals wood malachological metal organic* bone pigment ND sediment textile Total
Arroyo del Medio 5   1   10     5     1   22
Arroyo Seco 5   1   1     5   1     13
La Manga, Agua Blanca 16   5   1     3   1     26
Palo a Pique 42   1   13     14   3     73
San Francisco river     23                   23
Santa Bárbara 2                       2
Santa Clara 7   3   2     1         13
Totorilla 5                 1     6
Saladillo 10   37   1 2   2         52
Eastern Jujuy 82 0 34 0 27 0 0 28 0 6 1 0 178
Aduana de Sal, Huancas     1                   1
Cangrejillos 1   27                   28
Casabindo 31 26 81 56 2 13 22 36       7 274
Chañi     57                   57
Guachichocana 1           1 1         3
Huancar     27                   27
Lipan     37                   37
Moreno 1   225     1   2         229
Moreno chico     1                   1
Puna of Jujuy     607         3         610
Puna region 34 26 1063 56 2 14 23 42 0 0 0 7 1267
Tilcara and Humahuaca 12                       12
Jujuy 3   1                   4
Ojo de Agua/Morohuasi, Quebrada del Toro 55   43 68 1 11 17 23 5     1 224
Gólgota, Quebrada del Toro 1             2         3
Pucará, Valle de Lerma 20   6         1 1 2     30
Valleys and ravines, Salta and Jujuy 91 0 49 68 1 11 17 26 6 2 0 1 273
Tolomosa 39   4437   14 63             4553
San Luis between Tarija and Chaco     2                   2
Tarija department 39 0 4439 0 14 63 0 0 0 0 0 0 4555
Total 256 26 5623 124 45 89 40 98 6 8 1 8 6325

*Organic includes pumpkin objects, baskets, corns and excrement.

14Tolomosa is the site where von Rosen collected most of the pieces, almost 6,000 of them, but only 4,553 artefacts were donated to the Riksmuseet. The rest were incorporated into his own private collection in his residence, Rockelstad, and into other public and private collections (Rosen 1957 [1919]). The second most representative sites in the collection are, with far fewer objects recovered, Casabindo (N = 274) and Moreno (N = 229) in the Puna area—although there are 1,267 from Puna in general—and Ojo de Agua/Morohuasi in the Quebrada del Toro (N = 224).

15Lithic materials are predominant in the collection, especially stone and mineral arrow-heads and lance-tips (N = 4,429). In the lithics/minerals category, we included the 102 mineral beads found mostly in Tolomosa (N = 84) and the rest in Cangrejillos, Casabindo, Ojo de Agua, Lipan, Saladillo and Jujuy. According to von Rosen’s characterization (1957 [1919], p. 278), almost all of the Tolomosa beads were made of sodalite and turquoise. Other types of minerals and rocks are also present, such as hematite, cubes of limonite and fragments of galena, as well as “distaff guards” or spindle whorls (N = 601) made mostly of chlorite schist and collected in Tolomosa (Rosen 1924).

16Pottery is the second material in quantity in the collection. In the case of Tolomosa, there are only 29 “tolerably undamaged pieces” because of their fragility and the above-mentioned post-depositional processes of the site (Rosen 1924). From the Puna region, most of the pieces come from the funerary contexts of Casabindo. Owing to its very dry climatic conditions, the bodies, leather and wooden objects were preserved. The leather pieces include one adult and three children’s sandals but mostly small “bags,” some of them containing red, green, black or yellow powder pigments (Figure 7). Von Rosen records that the red powder was iron oxide; the green one malaquite or atacamite (copper carbonate or chloride); the black one soot; and the yellow one vegetal pigment (Rosen 1957 [1919], p. 94). We are not sure whether he performed chemical analyses on the powders or just a macroscopic identification.

Fig. 7 – Leather bag found in Casabindo with green minerals inside (1903.03.6854). Von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm

Fig. 7 – Leather bag found in Casabindo with green minerals inside (1903.03.6854). Von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm

17In the collection there are 89 pieces of metal, which range from complete objects to prills and smelted fragments (Table 2). Even though these pieces are not so numerous, especially in the Puna region (N = 14), they offer interesting data about metallurgical practices in the area that we will approach in the next section.

Tab. 2 – Types of metal objects, fragments and other associated evidence of metallurgy from von Rosen’s collection and their sites of provenience

sites awl bar bell bracelet chisel disc fragment knife needle pendant plaque prill/ingot ring sheet smelted fragment topu tweezers Total
Casabindo 2   2   1 1 4 1     1 1           13
Moreno   1                               1
Puna region 2 1 2 0 1 1 4 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 14
Ojo de Agua 2       7             1         1 11
Tolomosa 3 10 3 2 4   1 1 1 1   3 3 20 7 3 2 64
Saladillo                       1 1         2
Total 7 11 5 2 12 1 5 2 1 1 1 6 4 20 7 3 3 91

Studying mining and metallurgy in the Puna of Jujuy region through the collection

18The Puna of Jujuy region, in the Northwest of Argentina, is rich in mineral deposits, including gold, silver, copper and tin mines: four metals employed during pre-Columbian times in the Andes for manufacturing metal objects (Angiorama and Becerra 2010). The archaeological evidence shows that even though the weather conditions—at over 3000 masl—are cold and arid, they have permitted the development of agriculture and the grazing of llamas. The region was inhabited since at least 8,000 BC by hunter-gatherers and, at the time of European arrival in the middle of the 16th century, this territory was inhabited by complex societies who had been conquered by the Inca Empire around AD 1450 and were located in large settlements usually closely related to areas prepared for agriculture (Ottonello and Krapovickas 1973; Angiorama 2011; Albeck 2019). In the Casabindo area, near the present-day homonymous village, there were large conglomerates where von Rosen and Nordenskiöld performed their excavations. The latter would join von Rosen “whenever his zoological work did not altogether claim him.” There they found “remarkable ancient remains, consisting of a large number of ruins of huts and stone fences, agricultural terraces, and burial caves” (Rosen 1924, p. 1; Figure 5).

19By the time these explorers visited the Puna, not much archaeological research had been carried out there, and no more would take place until the 1940s. Max Uhle had worked in the area at the end of 1893, visiting Casabindo, which he called Pueblo Viejo (ancient village), in the ravine or Quebrada of Tucute, and Taranta (Fischer 2010; Nastri 2010). In his books, von Rosen (1957 [1919]; 1924, p. 1) mentioned that Uhle obtained “very good results” in his excavations in Casabindo and that was the reason why von Rosen had great hopes before starting to work there. Uhle’s collection from this area—currently in the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin—comprises more than 200 artefacts, including miniature sandals, textiles and leather objects, spindle whorls, and so on. These kinds of objects suggest that he also excavated funerary contexts. According to the database of this collection, some pieces from Taranta were sold to Uhle by a local, Avertrano Castrillo. It is probable that not all the artefacts came from the same context (Boman 1908). Among these pieces, there are metal objects from Tucute, Taranta and Casabindo (Table 3). However, no metallurgy production evidence was found or recorded by this researcher.

Tab. 3 – Information about the metal objects recovered in Puna of Jujuy sites before von Rosen’s publication about the study of the collection. EM: Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin

Reference Object Site Composition*
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11278 Band Taranta Silver
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11277 Bracelet Taranta Silver
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11290 Chisel Taranta Copper
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11279 Disc Taranta Copper
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11282, in Ambrosetti (2011 [1904]), p. 51 Axe Taranta Copper
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11289 Topo Taranta Copper
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11288 Topo Taranta Silver
Max Uhle Expedition. EM: VA 11346 Bell Pueblo Viejo Copper
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11341, in Boman (1908), p. 616 Knife Pueblo Viejo Copper
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11342 Knife Pueblo Viejo Copper
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11343 Knife Pueblo Viejo Copper
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11432 Knife Pueblo Viejo Copper
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11347 Knife Pueblo Viejo Copper
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11344 Plaque Pueblo Viejo Copper
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11345 Plaque Pueblo Viejo Copper
Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11340 Plaque Casabindo Copper
Ambrosetti (1902), p. 85-86. Max Uhle Expedition EM: VA 11339 Axe Casabindo Copper
Ambrosetti (1902) p. 260-261 Chisel Casabindo Copper
Ambrosetti (1902), p. 257 Disc Casabindo Copper
Ambrosetti (1902), p. 257 Disc Casabindo Copper
Ambrosetti (1902), p. 86 Topo Casabindo
Ambrosetti (2011 [1904]), p. 72-74 Colonial topo Casabindo
Ambrosetti (2011 [1904]), p. 77-78 Bracelet Casabindo Copper
Lehmann-Nitsche (1904), p. 99 Chisel Casabindo Copper
Boman (1908) Bell Queta Copper
Boman (1908) Knife Queta Copper
Boman (1908) Needle Rinconada Copper
Boman (1908), p. 641-655 Bell Rinconada Copper
Boman (1908), p. 641-655 Chisel Rinconada Copper
Boman (1908), p. 657 Chisel Rinconada Copper
Boman (1908) Knife Rinconada Copper
Boman (1908), p. 869 Spoon/pendant Rinconada Cu 96.62%w; Sn 3.04%w; Fe 0.34%w; Pb 0.07%w
Boman (1908), p. 641-655 Small basin Rinconada Silver
Boman (1918) Ring Salinas Grandes Copper
Boman (1918) Ring Salinas Grandes Copper
Boman (1918) Bracelet Salinas Grandes Copper
Boman (1918) Diadem Salinas Grandes Gold
Boman (1908), p. 869 Tumi (knife) Sansana Cu 95.97%w; Sn 3.65%w; Fe 0.31%w; Pb 0.13%w

*With the exception of the spoon and knife that Boman (1908) analysed, the composition of the rest of the objects refers to the possible main element.

  • 4 Thanks to Manuela Fischer we know that there are four metal artefacts in the Ethnologisches Museum (...)

20By the time the Swedish expedition was taking place, local investigations with information about metal artefacts from the Puna were being published. Juan Bautista Ambrosetti, one of the fathers of Argentinean archaeology, wrote a paper in 1902 with archaeological data about the Jujuy province and, two years later, a book about metallurgy (2011 [1904]). There, he considered Uhle’s findings and his own work in the area of the Puna of Jujuy. That same year, Roberto Lehmann-Nitsche (1904) published a catalogue of antiques from the Jujuy province where he detailed the results of two expeditions carried out by Wilhelm Gerling in 1894 and 1896-1897 to the Puna of Jujuy, commissioned by the director of the Museo de La Plata, Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Gerling’s collection included artefacts and human corpses from Casabindo’s graves. These three publications were frequently referred to in the Swedish expeditioners’ work, in order to compare their own findings or discuss them. Even though von Rosen wrote his archaeological book more than 15 years after his arrival, there were no other publications from the Puna region that mentioned metallurgy or mining evidence different to that detailed above4 (Table 3).

21Nordenskiöld did not refer to Puna of Jujuy metallurgy in his writings immediately after the expedition, except for a literary mention (1903b, p. 36) where he described a fantasy he had while von Rosen was excavating in Casabindo. In his dream, he went back to the past and saw the ancient inhabitants from Casabindo alive, with their animals and goods, and “women with copper adornments and malachite beads.” Although in his fieldwork notebook he considered the findings made in the graves in Casabindo and Guachichocana, metals were not mentioned (Nordenskiöld 1901-1902). Years later, in his exhaustive study on the metal objects found in the ancient territory of the Inca Empire, Nordenskiöld (1921) gathered the information published at the time about types of objects and composition, adding his own research and analysis on museum collection materials and his own findings in the field. In this analysis, he included the metal objects found by von Rosen in Casabindo and Tolomosa which had compositional data, but did not add any interpretation about them in particular. In terms of ore provenience, based on geological bibliography, he pointed out the presence of cassiterite mines in the Puna region as the possible origin for the tin employed in metallurgical activities in Argentina.

22Boman (1908) also described the metal objects he found in different sites of the Puna of Jujuy during the French mission and the results of the analysis he performed on some of them (Table 3). Nevertheless, he was sceptical about the possibility of the local manufacture of such artefacts. In fact, he said that the inhabitants of the Puna would not have developed the art of copper metallurgy and that it was more probable that the few metal objects found in the ruins and graves in the Puna came from Bolivia, Peru or the “Diaguita or Calchaquí valleys” in the North of Argentina (present-day Catamarca, Tucumán and Salta provinces). On the contrary, Boman highlighted the development of gold mining during pre-Columbian times in the region, offering a useful map with the location of possible ancient mines. He partially explained, however, the lack of numerous gold ornaments in the archaeological graves as a result of the treasure hunters who modified most of the old burials in the region (Boman 1908).

  • 5 We know that at least the ingot found in Tolomosa was analysed in Stockholm, as confirmed by the r (...)

23Von Rosen (1957 [1919], 1924) agrees with Boman on the paucity of objects made of precious metals. In Casabindo, he did not find any gold artefacts and only one made of silver. In fact, based on our own record, from the total 204 pre-Columbian metal objects that were recovered in the region at the time, only 36 were made of gold, silver or their alloys (Becerra, Angiorama, and Plaza Calonge 2020). Copper was the main component of metal adornments and tools found by the expedition, such as bronze chisels with wooden rope employed for working wood and other hard materials. Von Rosen’s compositional analyses, carried out in Stockholm in December 1902 (Figure 8),5 were the first ones performed on metal objects from this region, although they were published years later, after Boman (1908) had published the ones he had made.

Fig. 8 – Report on the compositional analysis performed on an ingot found in Tolomosa, Tarija, Bolivia (1903.03.5553). Von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm

Fig. 8 – Report on the compositional analysis performed on an ingot found in Tolomosa, Tarija, Bolivia (1903.03.5553). Von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm

24According to the collection inventory, 4 of the 13 metal objects from Casabindo were found together in a grave for multiple adult individuals and an infant in an urn (No. 3), along with 84 more artefacts: the leather sandals and bags with pigments already described; possible Inca and colonial pottery; wooden objects, such as spoons and spindle whorls; and three skulls. Unfortunately, with the exception of the infant belongings, the rest of the offerings could not be associated to any particular corpse due to post-depositional processes (Rosen 1957 [1919]). The set of metal objects recovered in this grave is very interesting: a chisel, a copper rectangular plaque, a little silver concave disc and an iron knife. The latter is one of the pieces of evidence that von Rosen used to establish that the graves were still in use during colonial times. The copper plaque is decorated with the shape of two birds on the upper side (Figure 9a) and was interpreted by this researcher as a hanging ornament. Unfortunately, it is currently lost so we could not add any more details of this object. From the published picture, we can state that it is very similar to the one found by Uhle in the same area (Table 3; VA 11340). It is important to highlight that this kind of plaque is considered to have most probably been manufactured in the Calchaquí Valleys during Late pre-Columbian times. The other two decorated discs from Casabindo published by Ambrosetti (1902) (Table 3) were possibly of the same origin. These plaques and discs were in circulation during the Inca period (González 1992; Cruz 2009-2011; Ventura and Scambato 2013). The silver concave disc also found in grave No. 3 has a central small perforation (Figure 9b). In later fieldworks in a nearby site known as Doncellas, a concave plate and three discs with central perforations, all made of silver, were also found (Rolandi 1974) (Figures 9c and d). More recent studies point out that these types of metal objects could have been worn as head adornments (tincurpas) or earmuffs, important metal insignia of the Andean Inca hierarchy (Horta 2008).

Fig. 9 – a. Illustration of the copper plaque found in Casabindo. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm. b. Silver concave disc found in grave No. 3 in Casabindo (1903.03.6876). Von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm. c and d. Silver concave discs found in Farallones Norte, Doncellas (Rolandi 1974; 3115, Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano, Buenos Aires)

Fig. 9 – a. Illustration of the copper plaque found in Casabindo. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm. b. Silver concave disc found in grave No. 3 in Casabindo (1903.03.6876). Von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm. c and d. Silver concave discs found in Farallones Norte, Doncellas (Rolandi 1974; 3115, Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano, Buenos Aires)

25Among the metal artefacts found in Casabindo, there are two bells. One of them, recovered by von Rosen “from a dwelling-site deposit,” is made of bronze (Table 4; Rosen 1957 [1919], p. 30). It is currently lost but there is an illustration of it (Figure 10a). The stone clapper with leather and sinews is still available for consultation in the museum deposit (Figure 10b). Boman (1908) would find two similar bells in Rinconada and Queta. The second bell is different in shape and has two holes (Figures 10c and d). When von Rosen described it in his book, he explained that it was the first one of this kind found in the Puna of Jujuy and that they were more common in the Calchaquí Valleys.

Tab. 4 – Information about the metal objects, fragments and ingot found by von Rosen in Puna of Jujuy sites.

ID Object Site Context Composition
1903.03.5808 Bar Moreno   Cu 99.93%w; Sn 0.07%w*
1903.03.6817 Knife Casabindo grave 3 iron and wood
1903.03.6874 Chisel Casabindo grave 3 copper as main element
1903.03.6875 Plaque** Casabindo grave 3 copper as main element
1903.03.6876 Disc Casabindo grave 3 silver as main element
1903.03.7012 Clapper Casabindo   stone, leather and sinews
1903.03.7013 Bell** Casabindo   Cu 99.36%w; Sn 0.64%w
1903.03.7014 Bell Casabindo   copper as main element
1903.03.7015 Awl Casabindo   copper as main element
1903.03.7016 Awl Casabindo   copper as main element
1903.03.7017 Fragment Casabindo   copper as main element
1903.03.7018 Fragment Casabindo   copper as main element
1903.03.7019 Fragment Casabindo   copper as main element
1903.03.7020 Fragment Casabindo   copper as main element
1903.03.7021 Ingot Casabindo   Cu 93.17%w; Zn, Fe & Si 6.85%w

*In von Rosen’s publications, this bar or tin was incorrectly assigned to Tolomosa but it was found in Moreno according to the museum catalogue and ID.

**These two objects are currently lost.

Fig. 10 – Two different types of bells found in Casabindo. a. Illustration of the small bell, currently lost, with its clapper (1903.03.7012 and 7013). b. Picture of the stone clapper with leather and sinews. c and d. Picture and illustration of a fragment of a bell with two holes (1903.03.7014). Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm and von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm

Fig. 10 – Two different types of bells found in Casabindo. a. Illustration of the small bell, currently lost, with its clapper (1903.03.7012 and 7013). b. Picture of the stone clapper with leather and sinews. c and d. Picture and illustration of a fragment of a bell with two holes (1903.03.7014). Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm and von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm

26It is important to highlight that von Rosen offered a different interpretation about the possibility of local metallurgy in the Puna region. Based on an ingot he found in a “cultural layer” in Casabindo (Figure 11), he proposed that it was possible that its inhabitants had smelted copper there. He performed a compositional analysis on that object, which was mainly made of copper (93.17%) (Table 4). According to our records, the piece weighs 481.5 g, it measures approximately 10 × 7 cm and it is almost 2 cm thick. Although von Rosen did not mention them in his publications, in the collection there are also four metal fragments from Casabindo that could have functioned as metal reservoirs.

Fig. 11 – Copper ingot found in Casabindo (1903.03.7021). Von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm

Fig. 11 – Copper ingot found in Casabindo (1903.03.7021). Von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm

27Other interesting unpublished findings von Rosen recovered from Casabindo were eight pieces of galena, which weigh from 12 to 41 g. Unfortunately, there is no indication about the context where he found such minerals. The presence of those fragments, however, could suggest the possibility of galena smelting to obtain silver, as it was recorded for colonial times in the region (Angiorama and Becerra 2017).

28Copper minerals were also employed as beads and ground to be used as pigments or offerings in the leather bags already described. No references to extraction activities were made by von Rosen, except for salt mining, based on Nordenskiöld’s previous work (1902), where he studied the lithic instruments employed for such a task. Nordenskiöld (1903a, p. 516) explained that “in prehistoric times salt-mining must have been carried on here [in the Salinas], judging from the large, heavy, broad-headed stone axes found on the shores.” Boman (1908) agreed with this statement and did a practical experiment successfully using one of those stone axes to extract salt. In the inventory of the collection, we counted 35 stone axes which belong to Puna sites (Huancar, Saladillo, Lipan and the Puna of Jujuy in general). However, von Rosen (1957 [1919]) explained that they had found around 60 of them. Moreover, Boman (1908, p. 559) said that during the Swedish expedition they found 18 stone axes and that he found 46 more during the French mission. In Nordenskiöld’s study of these tools (1902), he analysed 25 and, according to his observations, only 19 would have been employed for salt extraction, while the others were considered as possible weapons.

29The three members of the expedition agreed that salt was a very important resource for the pre-Columbian population and that it was employed for exchange with other products present in the valleys and lowlands and not available in the Puna. In 1918, Boman studied the body of a boy who was sacrificed near the Salinas, preserved as a mummy, dressed in a typical Andean textile and showing a variety of adornments made of copper and gold (Table 3). Besom (2010) considered this sacrifice as part of the Inca ritual called Qhapaq Hucha, as a symbolic way of incorporating into the empire the region where the salt flat is located, highlighting the relevance of this resource.

Final considerations

30Soon after his arrival, Nordenskiöld wrote a paper about his journey and highlighted what he called “the chief results of the expedition.” Among these, there were the excavations of dwelling-places in the Puna of Jujuy and Tarija Valley, and the study of “the limits of the power of the Incas towards the south-east,” as well as the identification of “the pre-Columbian place of sacrifice, or signalling station, on the summit of Nevado de Chañi.” In line with the aim of this paper, he stressed “the indigitation of pre-Columbian salt-mining in Salina Grande in Puna de Jujuy, an industry which has probably been an important factor in the trading between the various peoples” (Nordenskiöld 1903a, p. 525). This interpretation was shared by Boman and von Rosen as well. Pre-Columbian gold mining would catch Boman’s attention during the following expedition in the Puna, but he did not consider the possibility that Puna inhabitants had cast metal objects. In fact, this idea of Puna inhabitants as miners but not metallurgists would persist until recent times, although since the 1940s some evidence of possible local metallurgy has been found in the region, most of it, unfortunately, not published in detail and, because of that, not sufficiently considered. Nevertheless, von Rosen’s findings suggested the possibility of local metallurgy for the first time. Although in the collection there are some metal objects more likely to have been obtained by means of exchange or gifts framed in the Inca conquest political strategies (currently under study), the copper ingot and fragments, as well as the galena pieces, could indicate probable smelting or local metal manufacturing activities. By the time the expedition took place, it was common to excavate funerary contexts and frequently discard materials that were not good enough for museum exhibition; however, von Rosen’s collection also comprises broken artefacts and raw materials which, like the above-mentioned possible metal reservoirs and minerals, offer a great insight into past production activities.

31Another important contribution of the Swedish expedition is related to the compositional analysis carried out on metals and other materials. Together with Boman’s compositional analysis published in 1908, von Rosen’s were the first and only data of metal objects’ composition recovered in the Puna until the 1970s. Moreover, the identification of the minerals employed for manufacturing beads or producing pigments was also pioneering in the field. The following generation of Argentinean archaeologists would rely only on colour for the characterization of these materials, misidentifying minerals and underestimating the variety of raw materials employed (Becerra et al. 2021).

32Von Rosen’s and Boman’s interest in applying chemical techniques for metal composition characterization was also shared by the leader of the expedition. In his later work about metallurgy, Nordenskiöld (1921, p. 107) repeatedly insisted on the need for more analysis on metal objects, especially on those which have been recovered from systematic excavations “with exact details about the circumstances of the finds.”

33The Swedish Chaco-Cordillera Expedition was neither the first nor the last to travel through the landscapes of the Andean highlands and piedmont in the North of Argentina and South of Bolivia. However, it was a transforming experience for its members and, for some of them, the starting point of their promising scientific careers, developing important bonds between researchers from each country that would last until the present day. Moreover, it was a significant milestone in the history of Northwestern Argentinean archaeology in general, and of the Puna of Jujuy in particular, which generated new and important knowledge about pre-Columbian societies in the regions under study. It also guided later expeditions such as the French mission of Georges de Créqui-Montfort and Eugène Sénéchal de la Grange in 1903 and the expeditions made by Wilhelm Herrmann (1905, 1908). Von Rosen’s collection of more than 6,000 archaeological objects from different sites, contexts and materials, as described in this paper, is a rich source for revising the work of these researchers in the light of the new methodologies, interpretations and theories, complementing recent investigations about Andean and lowlands’ pre-Columbian life. This paper is an example of that potential.

Haut de page

Bibliographie

Albeck M. Esther
2019  “Investigaciones arqueológicas e históricas en Casabindo,” Revista del Museo de La Plata, 4 (1), p. 144-182.

Albeck M. Esther and Marta Ruiz (eds.)
2003  “Seminario Internacional. Un país más allá de las nubes. A 100 años de la expedición sueca de Erland Nordenskiöld,” Pacarina, 3, p. 5-344.

Ambrosetti J. Bautista
1902  “Antigüedades Calchaquíes. Datos arqueológicos sobre la provincia de Jujuy (República Argentina),” Anales de la Sociedad Científica Argentina, 53, p. 3-97.

Ambrosetti J. Bautista
2011 [1904]  El Bronce en la región Calchaquí, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires.

Angiorama Carlos
2011  “La ocupación del espacio en el sur de Pozuelos (Jujuy, Argentina) durante tiempos prehispánicos y coloniales,” Estudios Sociales del NOA, 11, p. 125-142.

Angiorama Carlos and M. Florencia Becerra
2010  “Evidencias antiguas de minería y metalurgia en Pozuelos, Santo Domingo y Coyahuayma (Puna de Jujuy, Argentina),” Boletín del Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, 15 (1), p. 81-104.

Angiorama Carlos and M. Florencia Becerra
2014  “‘Como en ella jamás ha habido minas…’ Minería y metalurgia en la Puna de Jujuy durante momentos prehispánicos tardíos,” Revista Relaciones de la Sociedad Argentina de Antropología, 39 (2), 313-332.

Angiorama Carlos and M. Florencia Becerra
2017  “Reverberatory furnaces in the Puna of Jujuy, Argentina, during colonial times (from the end of the 16th to the beginning of the 19th century AD),” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 48, p. 181-192.

Arenas Patricia and Silvia Giraudo
2003  “Expediciones, fotos y antropología. Una lectura semiótica,” Pacarina, 3, p. 51-62.

Becerra M. Florencia
2014  “Para que ‘creciera el pueblo como Potosí’: la minería en la Puna de Jujuy durante el período colonial,” Estudios Atacameños, 48, p. 55-70.

Becerra M. Florencia, Beatriz Ventura, Patricia Solá, Mariana Rosenbusch, Guillermo Cozzi, and Andrea Romano
2021  “Arqueomineralogía de cuentas de los valles orientales del norte de Salta, Argentina,” Boletín del Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, 26 (1), p. 93-112.

Becerra M. Florencia, Carlos Angiorama, and M. Teresa Plaza Calonge
2020  “Evidencias de producción y uso de piezas de metal en la Puna de Jujuy: el aporte de las colecciones y los nuevos trabajos de campo,” Estudios Sociales del NOA, 21 (2018), p. 111-141.

Besom Thomas
2010  “Inka sacrifice and the mummy of Salinas Grandes,” Latin America Antiquity, 21 (4), p. 399-422.

Boman Eric
1908  Antiquités de la région andine de la République argentine et du désert d’Atacama, Imprimerie nationale, Paris.

Boman Eric
1918  “Una momia de Salinas Grandes,” Anales de la Sociedad Científica Argentina, 85, p. 94-102.

Building Inventory
1985  Landbyska Verket 10, Birger Jarlsgatan 22, Östermalm, Byggnadsinventering, Stockholms stadsmuseum, Sweden, http://digitalastadsmuseet.stockholm.se/fotoweb/archives/5004-Dokument-och-publikationer/Dokument/Byggnadsinventeringar/10044978.pdf.info, accessed 25/01/2022.

Building Inventory
1998  Landbyska Verket 1, Birger Jarlsgatan 20, Östermalm, Byggnadsinventering, Stockholms stadsmuseum, Sweden, http://digitalastadsmuseet.stockholm.se/fotoweb/archives/5004-Dokument-och-publikationer/Dokument/Byggnadsinventeringar/10044980.pdf.info, accessed 25/01/2022.

Christophersen Peter
1901  “Letter to Nordenskiöld,” Nordenskiöld’s Personal Archive, Göteborg, University of Gothenburg, Handder. Provix. Leat 171. Diverse Papper.

Cornell Per and Patricia Arenas
2016  Eric Boman. La figura del explorador y científico en el noroeste argentine, Barco, Santiago del Estero.

Cruz Pablo
2009-2011  “El brillo del señor sonriente. Miradas alternativas sobre las placas metálicas surandinas,” Revista Mundo de Antes, 6-7, p. 97-131.

De Granval Gay
1901  “Letter to Nordenskiöld,” Nordenskiöld’s Personal Archive, Göteborg, University of Gothenburg, Brev till Nils Erland H. Nordenskiöld, Övriga Korrespondens 1.

Fischer Manuela
2010  “La misión de Max Uhle para el Museo Real de Etnología en Berlín (1892-1895): entre las ciencias humboldtianas y la arqueología americana,” in Peter Kaulicke, Manuela Fischer, Peter Masson, and Gregor Wolff (eds.), Max Uhle (1856-1944). Evaluaciones de sus investigaciones y obras, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, p. 49-62.

Françozo Mariana and Patricia Ordoñez
2019  “Introduction to the special issue ‘Collecting Latin America in the nineteenth century’,” Museum History Journal, 12 (1), p. 1-6.

Fries Robert E.
1901-1902  “Notebook,” Kungliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademien, Stockholm, Syd-Amerika I Diverse 1901, Anteckningsböcker Fr. Expeditioner.

González Rex
1992  Las placas metálicas de los Andes del Sur. Contribución al estudio de las religiones precolombinas, KAVA, München.

Gustavsson Anne
2018  “Reflexiones sobre la figura de Eric Boman y su lugar en la antropología argentina,” Revista del Museo de Antropología, 11 (1), p. 49-56.

Herrmann Wilhelm
1905  “Durch die Argentinische Puna zum Bolivianischen Chaco,” Deutsche Rundschau f. Geographic Statistik, 27, p. 13-21.

Herrmann Wilhelm
1908  “Die Ethnographischen Ergebnisse der Deutschen Pilcomayo-Expedition,” Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 40, p. 120-137.

Horta Helena
2008  “Insignias para la frente de los nobles incas: una aproximación etnohistórica- arqueológica al principio de la dualidad,” in Paola González Carvajal and Tamara L. Bray (eds.), Lenguajes visuales de los Incas, Archaeopress (BAR International Series, 1848), Oxford, p. 71-89.

Kungliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademien
1902  Årsbok, Kungliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademien, Stockholm.

Kungliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademien
1903  Årsbok, Kungliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademien, Stockholm.

Lehmann-Nitsche Roberto
1904  “Catálogo de las antigüedades de la Provincia de Jujuy,” Revista del Museo de La Plata, 11, p. 75-120.

Lindberg Christer
1995  Erland Nordenskiöld. En antropologisk biografi, Diss., Lunds universitet, Dept. of Social Anthropology (Lund Studies in Social Anthropology, 5), Lund.

Lindskoug Henrik and Anne Gustavsson
2014  “Stories from below. Human remains at the Gothenburg Museum of Natural History and the Museum of World Culture,” Journal of the History of Collections, 27 (1), p. 97-109.

Muñoz Adriana
2003  “Colecciones y coleccionistas. Una aproximación histórica a la formación de colecciones arqueológicas durante 1913-1932 en Gotemburgo, Suecia,” Pacarina, 3, p. 241-249.

Nastri Javier
2010  “Max Uhle y la prehistoria del Noroeste argentino,” in Peter Kaulicke, Manuela Fischer, Peter Masson, and Gregor Wolff (eds.), Max Uhle (1856-1944). Evaluaciones de sus investigaciones y obras, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, p. 25-48.

Nordenskiöld Erland
1901-1902  “Notebook,” Nordenskiöld’s Personal Archive, Göteborg, Gothenburg Museum Archive, Ethnographical Section, Anteckningar av Erland Nordenskiöld från exp. 1901-1902, B. 6071.

Nordenskiöld Erland
1902  “Präcolumbische Salzgewinnung in Puna de Jujuy,” Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 34, p. 336-341.

Nordenskiöld Erland
1903a  “Travels on the boundaries of Bolivia and Argentina,” The Geographical Journal, 21 (5), p. 510-525.

Nordenskiöld Erland
1903b  Från Högfjäll och Urskogar, Wahlström & Widstrand, Stockholm.

Nordenskiöld Erland
1904  “Om grafvar och boplatser I nordvästra Argentina,” YMER, 1903 (3), p. 231-241.

Nordenskiöld Erland
1921  The Copper and Bronze Ages of South America, Oxford University Press, London.

Nuñez Regueiro Victor and Marta Tartusi
2003  “Los arqueólogos suecos en Argentina, noventa años después: el convenio entre la Universidad Nacional de Tucumán y la Universidad de Gotemburgo (Suecia),” Pacarina, 3, p. 251-262.

Ordoñez Patricia
2019  “Bundling objects, documents, and practices: Collecting Andean mummies from 1850 to 1930,” Museum History Journal, 12 (1), p. 75-92.

Ottonello Marta and Pedro Krapovickas
1973  “Ergología y arqueología de Cuencas en el sector oriental de la Puna, República Argentina,” Publicaciones de la Dirección de Antropología e Historia, Jujuy, 1, p. 3-21.

Podgorny Irina
2002  El argentino despertar de las faunas y de las gentes prehistóricas: coleccionistas, estudiosos, museos y universidad en la creación del patrimonio paleontológico y arqueológico nacional (1875-1913), Eudeba Ed. Universitaria de Buenos Aires (Fragmentos de una memoria)/Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas (Libros del Rojas), Buenos Aires.

Rolandi Diana
1974  “Un hallazgo de objetos metálicos en el área del río Doncellas (Pcia. de Jujuy),” Relaciones de la Sociedad de Antropología Argentina, 8, p. 153-160.

Rosen Eric von
1904  Archaeological Researches on the Frontier of Argentina and Bolivia in 1901-1902. A preliminary report dedicated to the XIVth International Congress of Americanists at Stuttgart 1904, Ivar Hæströms Boktryckeri A.B., Stockholm.

Rosen Eric von
1921  Bland Indianer, Albert Bonniers Förlag, Stockholm.

Rosen Eric von
1924  Popular account of Archaeological Research during the Swedish Chaco-Cordillera Expedition 1901-1902, Fritze Ltd., Stockholm.

Rosen Eric von
1957 [1919]  Un mundo que se va, translation from En förgången värld, Fundación Miguel Lillo, Tucumán.

Toscano Julián
1902  “Letter from the General Vicar of the Bishopric of Salta to Nordenskiöld,” Nordenskiöld’s Personal Archive, Göteborg, University of Gothenburg, Brev till Nils Erland H. Nordenskiöld, Övriga Korrespondens 1.

Uhle Max
1916-1920  “Letters to Nordenskiöld,” Nordenskiöld’s Official Archive, Göteborg, Gothenburg Museum, Etnografiska avdelningen, Korrespondens.

Ventura Beatriz and M. Clara Scambato
2013  “La metalurgia de los valles orientales del norte de Salta, Argentina,” Boletín del Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, 18 (1), p. 85-106.

Haut de page

Notes

1 There is an unpublished description of the Casabindo archaeological material of the collection carried out by Svend Aage Buus in September 2001, available in the Etnografiska Museet archive and in the author’s possession. Beatriz Ventura is also starting to study the collection, focusing on the objects recovered in Tolomosa, Tarija, Bolivia.

2 From numbers 1 to 1,000, von Rosen catalogued the ethnographical collection from Chorotes (1-402), Matacos (402-696 and 929-1000), Tobas (697-811), Tapietes (812-821), Chiriguanos (822-905), and Tarija Valley indigenous people (906-928) (Etnografiska Museet inventory 03.3).

3 http://collections.smvk.se/carlotta-em/web, accessed 25/01/2022.

4 Thanks to Manuela Fischer we know that there are four metal artefacts in the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin from Casabindo and Rinconada, Puna of Jujuy (two axes, a knife and a bell), that were incorporated into the museum in 1908, bought from Wilhelm Herrmann. It is possible that he obtained those artefacts during his expedition to Pilcomayo River in 1906, while he was staying in Jujuy on his journey to Tarija, Bolivia (Herrmann 1908). The artefacts could have also been found on a previous expedition, in 1903, in which he visited many of the sites that the Swedish researchers had visited a year before (Herrmann 1905). Herrmann was aware of the previous Chaco-Cordillera expedition, but we do not have any record that von Rosen, Nordenskiöld or Boman knew about these metal objects when they wrote their articles and books.

5 We know that at least the ingot found in Tolomosa was analysed in Stockholm, as confirmed by the report reproduced in Figure 8. We consider it possible that all the analyses were carried out in the same place. Years later, Nordenskiöld (1921) performed the compositional characterization and another analysis in the Laboratory of the A.B. Svenska Kullagerfabriken S.K.F.

Haut de page

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1 – Route of the Swedish Chaco-Cordillera Expedition in the North of Argentina, based on the maps published by von Rosen and Nordenskiöld. Some of the archaeological sites’ locations are approximate (basemap: Instituto Geográfico Nacional, Argentina)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/docannexe/image/20229/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 443k
Titre Fig. 2 – Eric von Rosen taken in Salta at the beginning of the expedition (von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/docannexe/image/20229/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 419k
Titre Fig. 3 – The expedition. Robert E. Fries is the man in the white suit and, behind him, Gustaf von Hofsten is wearing a poncho. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm
URL http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/docannexe/image/20229/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 458k
Titre Fig. 4 – The Puna landscape near Salinas Grandes. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm
URL http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/docannexe/image/20229/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 376k
Titre Fig. 5 – A burial cave in Casabindo with a stone wall. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm
URL http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/docannexe/image/20229/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 361k
Titre Fig. 6 – The exhibition in Daneliuska in 1902, Stockholm. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm
URL http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/docannexe/image/20229/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 572k
Titre Fig. 7 – Leather bag found in Casabindo with green minerals inside (1903.03.6854). Von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm
URL http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/docannexe/image/20229/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 413k
Titre Fig. 8 – Report on the compositional analysis performed on an ingot found in Tolomosa, Tarija, Bolivia (1903.03.5553). Von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm
URL http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/docannexe/image/20229/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 459k
Titre Fig. 9 – a. Illustration of the copper plaque found in Casabindo. Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm. b. Silver concave disc found in grave No. 3 in Casabindo (1903.03.6876). Von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm. c and d. Silver concave discs found in Farallones Norte, Doncellas (Rolandi 1974; 3115, Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano, Buenos Aires)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/docannexe/image/20229/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 309k
Titre Fig. 10 – Two different types of bells found in Casabindo. a. Illustration of the small bell, currently lost, with its clapper (1903.03.7012 and 7013). b. Picture of the stone clapper with leather and sinews. c and d. Picture and illustration of a fragment of a bell with two holes (1903.03.7014). Von Rosen’s personal archive, Riksarkivet, Stockholm and von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm
URL http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/docannexe/image/20229/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 326k
Titre Fig. 11 – Copper ingot found in Casabindo (1903.03.7021). Von Rosen’s archaeological collection, Ethnographical Museum, Museums of World Culture, Stockholm
URL http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/docannexe/image/20229/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 550k
Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

María Florencia Becerra, « The analysis of Eric von Rosen’s archaeological collection (Etnografiska museet, Sweden): the contribution of the Swedish Chaco-Cordillera Expedition to the study of mining and metallurgy in the Puna of Jujuy, Argentina », Journal de la Société des américanistes, 107-2 | 2021, 179-208.

Référence électronique

María Florencia Becerra, « The analysis of Eric von Rosen’s archaeological collection (Etnografiska museet, Sweden): the contribution of the Swedish Chaco-Cordillera Expedition to the study of mining and metallurgy in the Puna of Jujuy, Argentina », Journal de la Société des américanistes [En ligne], 107-2 | 2021, mis en ligne le 31 décembre 2021, consulté le 29 mai 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/20229 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/jsa.20229

Haut de page

Auteur

María Florencia Becerra

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)/Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Instituto de Arqueología, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

© Société des Américanistes

Haut de page
  • Logo Latindex
  • Logo MSH Mondes
  • Logo Centre national du livre
  • Logo CNRS - Institut des sciences humaines et sociales
  • OpenEdition Journals
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search