Saturday, 19 March 2011

Anthropological significance

According to some, Barriles is believed to have been the seat of a small regional polity of settlements liked by ceremonial ties, warfare, and the production or exchange of polished stone axes, used for forest clearing and woodworking activities. The possible connection of political or religious organization to different degrees or forms of social inequality has been the subject of a recent investigation[24]. Changes in social organization, especially those associated with the early development and persistence of political hierarchies or social inequalities, are of theoretical interest to many anthropological archaeologists who seek to understand these important shifts in human history. This is one of the reasons why Barriles has a theoretical importance that transcends Central American archaeology.

Barriles may also plays an important role in discussions of a Macro-Chibchan identity, based on genetic, linguistic and archaeological studies from elsewhere in Central America. The individuals wearing conical hats in the statues may be possibly associated with a shamanistic religious tradition [25]. However, studies of Macro-Chibchan identity have been largely based on qualities between trade items which are hypothesized to have bound different Chibchan-speaking groups into a similar religious tradition, items which are entirely absent at Barriles. This observation, however, is based largely on collections of ancient domestic trash, not the systematic excavation of tombs where valued items may have been consumed as grave goods.

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