By George F. Lau
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Additional resources for Andean Expressions: Art and Archaeology of the Recuay Culture
This period coincided with the demise of Recuay culture. Over the last 1,500 years the Quelccaya cores corroborate the general patterns found at Huascarán. d. The later fifth century seems to have been characterized by wetter and colder conditions, followed by prolonged droughtlike conditions during the last half of the sixth century. D. FiGure 6. d. Ratios are expressed as δ18O (the relative difference in isotopic abundance ratio 18O/16O between the sample and a standard). They represent century-long averages of the preceding 100 years (Thompson 2001).
The puna (or jalca) forms the final major life zone used by humans, about 4,000 to 4,800 masl. It is essentially a cold, mountainous grassland characterized by bunch grasses, cushion and rosette-shaped vegetation, and some dwarf shrubs (Pulgar Vidal 1972). The zone furnishes natural and abundant pasturage for herd animals such as camelids or, more commonly today, sheep, cattle, and horses. Abundant water in the form of rainfall and meltwater feeds marshy lands (pantanos or bofedales) and allows for the rich plant growth favored by some animals, notably camelids.
Other studies also suggest general correspondence between changes in glacier length in the Cordillera Blanca and the changing oxygen isotope records of the ice cores (Jomelli et al. 2007; Solomina et al. 2007). The ice cores from Huascarán, located in the heart of the Cordillera Blanca, illustrate three major patterns during Recuay times (fig. 6). d. , however, the Huascarán cores suggest much milder, warmer conditions. This seems to have coincided with the florescence of Recuay culture and political integration.