A Fortified Frontier - LIP Defensive Settlement in the Moche Valley

Author(s): Patrick Mullins

Year: 2015


During the Late Intermediate Period (LIP, 1000-1476 CE), the florescence of the Chimú Empire in the Moche Valley on the coast corresponded with an explosion of fortified and defensive settlement up-valley and into the nearby highlands. Previous scholarship has associated these forts with tentative stages of Chimú expansion into the middle and upper reaches of the Moche Valley, placing the imperial frontier as located in the transitional zone between the river valley and the highlands above. While work by pioneering scholars provides a general outline of settlement during the LIP, many questions remain unanswered regarding the affiliation and origin of fortified valley and highland communities during this time, in addition to the variety of interactions which may have structured this frontier zone. Since 2010, I have mapped and conducted preliminary surface collection at several fortified sites in the Moche Valley in order to gain a better understanding of the nature of defensive settlement on the valley-highland frontier during the LIP. Using a synthesis of original data supplemented by previous scholarship, this paper presents current understandings of fortified settlement in the Moche River Valley and its tributaries while outlining avenues for future investigations aimed to better understand the complex frontier.

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Cite this Record

A Fortified Frontier - LIP Defensive Settlement in the Moche Valley. Patrick Mullins. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396986)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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