Chachapoya domestic architecture: identity and interaction within, across, and beyond regional boundaries

Author(s): Anna Guengerich

Year: 2015


Recent research among Chachapoya societies, who lived in Northeastern Peru between AD900-1500, has drawn attention to the diversity of material culture associated with different sub-regions spanning this large area. In the face of this diversity, one basis that archaeologists have consistently used for grouping these societies together is domestic architecture. Communities across the Chachapoya region built circular houses out of stone, adorning them with functional and decorative features unique to this region, including platform-bases, cornices, and, in many areas, geometric friezes. At the same time, circular stone domestic architecture was also a hallmark of Late Intermediate Period (AD1000-1450) settlements throughout the highland Central Andes. Chachapoyas appears, therefore, to represent a regional instantiation of a much broader phenomenon.

In light of this situation, this paper elucidates the relationship between domestic architectural form and cultural, ethnic, or social affiliation at the scales of sub-regions within Chachapoyas, of the Chachapoyas region as a whole, and between Chachapoyans and neighbors in other regions of the Andes. In the process, I pose a number of questions for future research on Chachapoya circular architecture, including the trajectory of its development and the significance of architectural diversity across and within settlements.

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Cite this Record

Chachapoya domestic architecture: identity and interaction within, across, and beyond regional boundaries. Anna Guengerich. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395958)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;