20185001(en)/06-Evaluating Vegetable Processing and the Elaboration of Fermented Beverages in an El Vergel Context in Mocha Island (AD 1000-1300)
EVALUATING VEGETABLE PROCESSING AND THE ELABORATION OF FERMENTED BEVERAGES IN AN EL VERGEL CONTEXT IN MOCHA ISLAND (AD 1000-1300)
EVALUANDO EL PROCESAMIENTO VEGETAL Y LA ELABORACIÓN DE BEBIDAS FERMENTADAS EN UN CONTEXTO EL VERGEL DE ISLA MOCHA (1000-1300 d.C.)
Carpological evidence of El Vergel Complex contexts in Isla Mocha has made it possible to infer the various uses that these groups made of their vegetable resources. Among these, the hypothesis that Zea mays was used for the elaboration of fermented drinks-which would have been part of the prestige and leadership practices related to the increase in social complexity– stands out. Although the production of these beverages is noted in the Reche-Mapuche ethnohistorical record, archaeological evidence that provides contextual information about these practices at El Vergel is unknown. This work analyzes the archaeological starch grains recovered from ceramic sherds by comparing their damage with the pattern described for the fermentation process in the specialized literature. Our results show the production of these beverages in Mocha Island at least between A.D. 1000 and 1300, with both cultivated and wild species used for this purpose: Aristotelia chilensis (maqui), Zea mays (maize) and possibly Fragaria chiloensis (wild strawberry). The ceramic morphofunctional categories indicate that the complete process of preparing and serving these beverages would have taken place within the same site, with the serving stage possibly being linked to decorated pottery, which was likely specified for this purpose.