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.