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Emissions from Pre-Hispanic Metallurgy in the South American Atmosphere

De Vleeschouwer, François and Vanneste, Heleen and Mauquoy, Dmitri and Piotrowska, Natalia and Torrejón, Fernando and Roland, Thomas and Stein, Ariel and Le Roux, Gaël Emissions from Pre-Hispanic Metallurgy in the South American Atmosphere. (2014) PLoS ONE, 9 (10). 1-13. ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0111315

Abstract

Metallurgical activities have been undertaken in northern South America (NSA) for millennia. However, it is still unknown how far atmospheric emissions from these activities have been transported. Since the timing of metallurgical activities is currently estimated from scarce archaeological discoveries, the availability of reliable and continuous records to refine the timing of past metal deposition in South America is essential, as it provides an alternative to discontinuous archives, as well as evidence for global trace metal transport. We show in a peat record from Tierra del Fuego that anthropogenic metals likely have been emitted into the atmosphere and transported from NSA to southern South America (SSA) over the last 4200 yrs. These findings are supported by modern time back-trajectories from NSA to SSA. We further show that apparent anthropogenic Cu and Sb emissions predate any archaeological evidence for metallurgical activities. Lead and Sn were also emitted into the atmosphere as by-products of Inca and Spanish metallurgy, whereas local coal-gold rushes and the industrial revolution contributed to local contamination. We suggest that the onset of pre-Hispanic metallurgical activities is earlier than previously reported from archaeological records and that atmospheric emissions of metals were transported from NSA to SSA.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Public Library of Science editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0111315
HAL Id:hal-01095695
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
Other partners > Universidad de Concepción - UDEC (CHILE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UPS (FRANCE)
Other partners > National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration - NOAA (USA)
Other partners > Silesian University of Technology (POLAND)
Other partners > University of Southampton (UNITED KINGDOM)
Other partners > University of Aberdeen - ABDN (UNITED KINGDOM)
Other partners > University of Exeter (UNITED KINGDOM)
Laboratory name:
Funders:
ANR
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Deposited By: Gael Le Roux
Deposited On:16 Dec 2014 09:26

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