Modern settlement patterns and site preservation in the Middle Moche Valley


During the July field season of 2014, the authors conducted a survey of sites within the proposed reserves of Ciudad de Dios and Bello Horizonte in the Middle Moche Valley of Peru. GPS data was collected for comparison with previously recorded site boundaries to offer insight into the threat of modern encroachment on archaeological sites. Using GIS and statistical analysis, the authors identified areas of site degradation and loss, categorized each site on a sliding scale of endangerment, and determined patterns of modern encroachment. Furthermore, the authors assessed how modern settlement patterns in the area compared to those of the pre-Columbian era. Topography and geographical location, time period, site type, and number of recorded reoccupations were all factors in determining patterns of encroachment of past and present. The insight gained through the authors’ analysis of modern and prehistoric settlement patterns shows potential for the use of such studies in effective prioritization of endangered areas and future site preservation efforts.

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Modern settlement patterns and site preservation in the Middle Moche Valley. Julia Longo, Cyrus Banikazemi, Brian Billman, Patrick Mullins. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397886)

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Spatial Coverage

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