Social Complexity in the Central Andean Region: Current Research on the Initial Period and Early Horizon Part 2

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 81st Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (2016)

The Initial Period is often considered an outgrowth of trends that first appear in the late Preceramic Period. However, archaeological research shows that the Initial Period was in fact a time of significant cultural dynamism, which included the first appearance of pottery, expansion of agricultural systems and a proliferation of monumental public architecture. Meanwhile, Early Horizon studies have traditionally focused on the Chavin phenomenon, obscuring broader trends in cultural trajectories. This session is aimed at exploring the archaeology of the second and first millennia BC, with a particular focus on recent research undertaken throughout coastal and highland Peru over the last 10 years. Topics that will be addressed in this session include chronology, the emergence of pottery technology, domestic and village life, ritual and debates centered on sociopolitical organization.

Geographic Keywords
South America

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • Breaking with Tradition: Late Formative Pukara in the Northern Lake Titicaca Basin, Peru (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Elizabeth Klarich.

    The Formative Period in the Lake Titicaca Basin (1500 BC- AD 400) is often characterized as a time when diverse groups were linked through their participation in the Yaya-Mama Religious Tradition (YMRT). Small temple centers—characterized by sunken court temple complexes, stone sculpture, ritual paraphernalia, and shared iconography—dotted the Middle Formative landscape across the Basin (800-200 BC). In this framework, the temple centers formed a ceremonial network, providing access to non-local...

  • Building a dendrochronology for the coast of Peru: high-precision 14C dating results from Chankillo, Casma (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ivan Ghezzi. Alan Hogg. Rodolfo Rodriguez. Antonio Mabres. Gretel Boswijk.

    We present preliminary results from our project to create dendrochronological sequences for the coast of Peru, from the earliest monumental constructions to the present. Our first results come from Chankillo (400-200 BC), in coastal Ancash, which has numerous in situ lintels made from algarrobo wood. Our study of living algarrobos shows high correlation between ring-widths and climate records of the past century. The principle of uniformitarianism dictates the same was true at the time of...

  • Early Horizon Foodways and Settlement Nucleation: Preliminary Insights From Samanco, a Maritime Center in the Nepeña Valley, North-Central Peru (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Matthew Helmer.

    This paper examines the relationship between foodways and settlement nucleation at Samanco, a maritime center located in the Nepeña Valley littoral. Samanco comprises hundreds of orthogonal stone structures agglutinated into compounds spanning over 40 hectares. The site is similar to several other contemporary settlements in Nepeña, interpreted to be part of an integrated peer network. Excavations at Samanco yielded extraordinary amounts of food refuse, including mollusk, fish, faunal, and plant...

  • Early Horizon Warfare and Defensive Architecture in the Lower Nepeña Valley, Coastal Ancash (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only James Treloar. David Chicoine.

    Results of systematic surface surveys and excavations at Early Horizon sites in the lower Nepeña Valley indicate the increased importance of armed conflicts and intercommunity violence, especially during the second half of the first millennium BC. Although scholars agree that warfare likely played a major role in shaping local sociopolitical and ritual landscapes during the Early Horizon, little is known about the nature of warfare and associated defensive strategies in Nepeña. This paper...

  • Enchanted Plazas: Monumental Art and Iconography in Early Horizon Coastal Ancash (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only David Chicoine.

    This paper considers the spatial design of ritual gathering places and the iconographic content of associated sculpted friezes at Early Horizon centers in Nepeña, coastal Ancash, Peru. The Early Horizon marked a transition from representational art of the late Initial Period to abstract forms of public visual arts during the second half of the first millennium BC. This paper examines the context of the public visual arts within enclosed compounds – hypothesized as multi-functional residences –...

  • How did the end of the Cupisnique-Chavín Religious Complex affect local leadership? (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Hugo Ikehara.

    In this paper I assess the impact of the end of the Cupisnique-Chavín Religious Complex (CCRC) in local leadership. Using the case of the Nepeña Middle Valley, I evaluate how authority was built during the Late Formative and how the disintegration of the CCRC around 500 B.C. had profound impacts in the way power was constituted and negotiated during the next centuries.

  • Local Ritual and Social Change in the Andean Formative Period at Hualcayán, Peru (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rebecca Bria.

    Research in the Andes has long focused on how early complex societies performed elaborate rituals in monumental spaces to both organize communities and establish authority. In pursuing this research for the Formative Period (1800-1 BC), comparisons between local ritual practices and the regional traditions of Kotosh and Chavín have overshadowed the study of how and why communities selectively altered and replaced ritual practices over the long term. For example, how did different generations...

  • The Paracas Phenomenon as an Interaction Sphere during the First Millenium B.C. (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Peter Kaulicke.

    During the first millenium B. C. the southern coast experiments deep changes in social processes form small household formations to complex societies with central places within interaction networks of short, small and long distance. Thus, Paracas suggests a non-existent homogeneity. Since the Middle Formative, contacts with the North Coast lead to a fusion of local and regional features. During Late Paracas regional traditions, dominate spheres characterized by larger sites linked to smaller...

  • Political and Economic Dynamics of Maritime Communities of the South Coast of Peru During the First Millenium BC: The Excavations of the Paracas Archaeological Project at Disco Verde and Puerto Nuevo (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jalh Dulanto.

    Extensively excavated by Frederic Engel in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Disco Verde and Puerto Nuevo are very well known in the archaeological literature of the south coast of Peru for their occupations dating back to the first millennium BC. Recent excavations by the Paracas Archaeological Project in these two sites have resulted in the recovery of crucial information to improve our understanding of the role maritime communities played in the expansion and intensification of long-distance exchange...

  • Understanding the ceja de selva in relationship to the Central Andean coast and highlands during the Early Horizon (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ryan Clasby.

    Andean archaeologists have long debated the degree to which the ceja de selva or eastern Andean montane forest was involved within the larger historical processes that led to the development of sociopolitical complexity in Central Andean highlands and coast. For some scholars such as Julio C. Tello and Donald Lathrap, the apparent tropical forest influence in Chavín iconography as well as the similarity of eastern slope ceramics to contemporary highland and coastal assemblages suggested that the...