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13/03/2020 News

Total presented two books on the valuable archaeological findings of Incahuasi

Both titles are the result of extensive scientific research of the pre-hispanic cemetery found in 2014 during works on the Incahuasi plant. The researchers have concluded that the discovery corresponds to a 4,000-year-old cemetery, whose origin dates back to more than 2,000 years before Tiwanaku. 

"The Incahuasi Cemetery: A perspective from the Chaco Region of Southern Bolivia" and "Incahuasi, a discovery for history": these are the titles of the books, one scientific and the other didactic, which compile the research and conclusions of a team of national and international archaeologists and specialists on the surprising site found in 2014 in the Incahuasi Plant operated by the Total in Bolivia. 

Let us remember that that year, during the execution of works associated with the Incahuasi Gas Treatment Plant, this fortuitous discovery of archaeological remains was made in the area of the Incahuasi Andean foothills, in the municipality of Lagunillas, department of Santa Cruz.

"This discovery, as well as the subsequent rescue and conservation process of the remains, considering the existing logistical possibilities, meant an important technical and social challenge for Total as the plant operator, and presented an opportunity to perfect its procedures related to archaeological findings," pointed out Maria Elisa Landivar, Manager of Public and Social Affairs for Total in Bolivia.

Within this framework, Total promoted an unprecedented archaeological study in the Chaco of Bolivia, which has been reflected in the books presented on March 10 in Caraparicito, on March 11 in the Casa "Melchor Pinto" in Santa Cruz de la Sierra and on March 12 in the Cinemateca Boliviana in La Paz, acts highlighted by the presence of  TCO Alto Parapetí Guaraní authorities.

Both books, published by "Editorial La Hoguera" and sponsored by Total, are the result of four years of work by a multidisciplinary scientific team, carried out through Acude, a company specializing in archaeology and led by Dr. Sonia Alconini,  who has conducted archaeological research in the Chaco for over two decades. Dr. Alconini, bolivian and academic living in United States of America, put together a national and international team of top researchers, the 11 co-authors of the scientific study. 

The didactic book based on the scientific study was prepared by archaeologist Pilar Lima. This version seeks to contribute to the dissemination of this important archaeological findings to the non-specialist public, with particular emphasis on young people from the Guarani communities.

4,000 years of history in the Chaco

Researchers have concluded that the finding corresponds to a pre-Hispanic cemetery nearly 4,000 years old, more than 2,000 years before Tiwanaku. This and other surprising data will change the perception of the pre-Hispanic populations of the Chaco, showing that they are much older than previously thought.

"The multidisciplinary study of the Incahuasi cemetery in the Bolivian Chaco has highlighted the complex cultural history of the region. Occupied for almost three millennia since 1944 BC, this cemetery became an important social and ritual reference for the different populations that occupied the region in pre-Hispanic times," explains Sonia Alconini.

The traditional authorities of the Guarani Nation and the Alto Parapeti TCO, where the Incahuasi plant is located, concerned about the remains, were part of the investigation from the beginning and followed its development closely.

Both publications are available for download: