The number of studies in the ancient Chachapoya territory increased tremendously in the last two decades. It is clear that the concept of a Chachapoya unit does not have a strong basis. This is not a new idea, ethnohistorial documents refer to the differentiated communities included in the common denomination introduced since the time of the Inka conquest.

This presentation reviews the distribution of sites referred in the literature, introducing new data based on speleological studies, ancient agricultural technology, and the differentiation of mortuary practices. This evidence in the light of the ethnohistorical references to the ethnic groups that populated this area show a differentiation that is still claimed by local groups and which appears to be more in accordance with local history.

The site of San Jerónimo near Pedro Ruiz in Amazonas discovered in 2011, is used as an example of this complex scenario. Although still lacking a comprehensive study it shows a landscape with great variation of mortuary practices, intense agricultural activity and large settlements. The discussion aims to define whether clear ethnic boundaries are stronger than the association to a Chachapoya denomination.

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Cite this Record

REDIFINING THE CHACHAPOYA TERRITORY. Sonia Guillen, Gilmer Medina, Agustín Rodríguez. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395962)


Amazonas Chachapoya Inka

Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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