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A Tale of Two Styles: A Geoarchaeological Investigation into Lima & Ychsma Construction Materials at Cajamarquilla, Peru

Author(s): Rafael Segura-Llanos ; Nichole Bettencourt

Year: 2015

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This paper examines construction materials from Cajamarquilla, one of the largest prehistoric urban sites on the Central Coast of Peru. Little work has been published about the architecture at Cajamarquilla, other than to comment on the enormity of the site and its constructions. Rammed earth (tapia, in Spanish) is the main construction style at Cajamarquilla, but with marked observable differences between the Lima Phase (AD500 – 800) and Ychsma Phase (AD1100 – 1450) occupations. Lima walls were built using large, uniform courses of tapia and appear to be tempered with small pebbles and seem homogeneous, whereas Ychsma walls were built with small, uneven courses of tapia and tempering materials used were much less uniform in size and included organic materials. The level of socio-political complexity is unclear for these cultures, especially the Lima culture, which created massive, well planned construction projects but lacked a regional system of ranked settlements usually seen in a state level society. This study aims to characterize the raw materials and preparation methods using bulk and thin section analyses in order to determine relative labor investment for construction materials to provide additional evidence for different technological and social conditions that prevailed during Lima and Ychsma occupations.

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A Tale of Two Styles: A Geoarchaeological Investigation into Lima & Ychsma Construction Materials at Cajamarquilla, Peru. Nichole Bettencourt, Rafael Segura-Llanos. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398163)


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