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Cultural Interaction and Cultural Change in the Peruvian Central Highland Valley of Ayacucho

Author(s): Lidio Valdez

Year: 2015

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Summary

Human societies are not isolated islands; instead, they are part of a complex web that links them with distant communities who are not only culturally different, but also inhabit different environmental settings. In the distant past, cultural interaction was a window that enabled the exposure to previously unknown cultural customs and the flow of ideas, in addition to access to foreign exotic goods and the establishment of new kinship ties. Contact with more complex societies and important locations likely also resulted in the enhancement of status and prestige of specific individuals. Archaeological evidence coming from the Peruvian central highland valley of Ayacucho indicates that as early as the late Early Intermediate Period (ca. 450 – 550 C.E.), the ancient inhabitants of the region were already part of a large network that linked them with their neighbours of the eastern tropical rain forest region as well with the inhabitants of the dry Pacific coast region. Interaction among members of different cultures precipitated not only the acceptance of previously unknown products and associated cultural practices, such as the use of coca leaves, but also significant cultural transformation in the Ayacucho Valley that ultimately culminated in the establishment of the Wari State.

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Cultural Interaction and Cultural Change in the Peruvian Central Highland Valley of Ayacucho. Lidio Valdez. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396343)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America