Archaeological Research in the Chincha Valley, Southern Peru

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

In this symposium we focus on recent archaeological finds in the Chincha valley on the Peruvian South Coast, with a particular focus on the iconic Paracas culture. Paracas is the first complex society in this area. It was central to the work of such luminaries as Max Uhle, Luis Lumbreras, and Julio C. Tello. Paracas is named from the Peninsula less than 50 km to the south of Chincha. Paracas materials have been found in many valleys throughout the southern coast (from Chincha to Palpa). Our data from Chincha strongly suggest that this was the center of this culture. Likewise, the later Chincha culture is known from etnohistorical sources as a large trading state (the Chincha Kingdom) that ultimately allied with the Inca Empire. In this symposium we will present and interpret a huge corpus of new data from four years' research at Paracas and later sites in the valley that refines and revises our understanding of the prehistory of this region.

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  • Documents (8)

  • Bioarchaeology of the Chincha Kingdom: Life history patterns in a chullpa population from the Late Intermediate Period and Late Horizon mid-Chincha Valley, Peru (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brittany Jackson. Jacob Bongers. Susanna Seidensticker. Terrah Jones. Gail Kennedy.

    This paper considers evidence for population health and lifestyle in the Chincha polity during the Late Intermediate Period (LIP) (c. 1000-1400 AD) and Late Horizon (LH) (c. 1400-1532 AD). Beginning with the Chroniclers, scholars have described the Chincha as a large complex society with population organized into distinct economic sectors (e.g., coastal fishermen, merchant core, and inland agriculturalists). Previous archaeological studies have demonstrated evidence for fishermen and artisans in...

  • Conditional cooperation and the ritualized economy of Paracas (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Charles Stanish.

    The Pampa de Carmen above the Chincha valley contains a series of Paracas period archaeological features including geoglyphs, ceremonial mounds, settlements and small stone structures. I discuss how these features integrate the pampa into a monumental ritual landscape focused on five major settlements. I interpret these features to be a means to attract people from outside the region to periodic market fairs held in the neutral chaupiyungas areas between highlands and coast. These fairs...

  • Demographic Analysis of a Looted Late Intermediate Period Tomb, Chincha Valley, Peru (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Camille Weinberg. Benjamin Nigra. Maria Cecilia Lozada. Charles Stanish. Henry Tantaleán.

    Ethnohistorical and archaeological sources establish that the Chincha Valley on Peru’s south coast hosted a populous and economically complex polity during the Late Intermediate Period (1200-1470 CE). A 2013 survey of the middle valley revealed more than 40 cemeteries containing over five hundred highly visible, above-ground collective tombs resembling highland chullpas. To establish a baseline demographic profile for this mortuary tradition, we conducted an osteological analysis of one looted...

  • Excavations at Huaca Soto: 2000 Years of Ritual Reuse at a Paracas Platform Mound, Chincha, Peru (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Benjamin Nigra.

    Huaca Soto is one of the best preserved pre-Columbian platform mounds in the Chincha Valley and perhaps the largest standing example of Paracas monumental architecture on the south coast. Excavation in the huaca’s western-most sunken court in 2014 yielded a sequence of ritual deposition stretching from the Paracas Formative through the Inka Period. While the mound’s substructure and earliest occupation levels are squarely associated with Paracas post-fire resin painted wares and architectural...

  • Fine China, Flatware, and Crockery: An Archaeological Reexamination of Chincha Domestic Contexts (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Terrah Jones. Jacob Bongers. Brittany Jackson. Susanna Seidensticker. Charles Stanish.

    This paper considers how material culture reflects the manipulation and creation of identity through a reexamination of the Chincha ceramic typology using ceramic vessels recovered from two mid- Chincha Valley domestic contexts dating to the Late Intermediate Period (LIP) (1000-1400 AD) and the Late Horizon (LH) (1400-1532 AD). The Chincha Kingdom was an extensive and powerful trading polity that emerged during the LIP and continued into the LH. Previous studies identify three distinct zones...

  • La Ocupación Carmen En El Valle Medio De Chincha (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kelita Perez.

    La costa sur del Perú en la época prehispánica fue un área geográfica donde se concentraron distintos grupos sociales. Entre ellos se evidencia la ocupación Carmen, un grupo social local que se desarrolló en los valles de Chincha y Pisco y se encuentra ubicado cronológicamente entre los 200 d.C. y los 400 d. C. En esta ponencia tratamos sobre la arquitectura y cerámica recientemente recuperadas mediante la excavación de dos sitios arqueológicos (Cerro del Gentil y Pampa del Gentil) del valle...

  • Re-Creando una Huaca: Utilizando el sitio de Cerro Gentil como una Huaca local (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Henry Tantaleán.

    En esta ponencia se analizan los contextos de banquetes y funerarios para explicar el uso de un sitio Paracas Tardío con características originalmente rituales-políticas para fines de recreación de las élites locales mediante practicas de rituales e internamiento de los cuerpos de individuos de élites locales. se explora el potencial del uso del concepto de huaca para época Paracas y se señalan una serie de indicadores arqueológicos para identificar otros posibles contextos similares...

  • The Treatment of the Dead in the Mid-Chincha Valley, Peru (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jacob Bongers. Brittany Jackson. Terrah Jones. Susanna Seidensticker. Charles Stanish.

    This paper investigates post-mortem human body manipulation associated with above-ground and semi-subterranean tombs known as chullpas, which date from the Late Intermediate Period (A.D. 1000-1476) to the Late Horizon (A.D. 1400-1532) in the mid-Chincha Valley, Peru. Mortuary rituals are cross-cultural social processes that comprise a range of practices. One such practice is the treatment of deceased bodies which varies across time, space, and social organization. A 2013 survey of the...