Household Practice and Early Forms of Social Inequality in Huaca Negra, Viru Valley

Author(s): Peiyu Chen

Year: 2016


This research attempts to understand daily household practice in Huaca Negra, a coastal site that was occupied from 5,000 to 3,000 B.P. in the Viru Valley, to answer two interrelated research questions: (1) Were there signs of institutionalized social inequality represented at the household level in Huaca Negra during its occupation? (2) If so, through what kinds of daily household practices did potential leaders in this particular community differentiate themselves from others? Alternatively, through what kind of practice was social equality maintained?

Previous excavation in 1946 by the Viru Valley project revealed the domestic nature of Huaca Negra. Data from 2014 survey and the excavations in the 2015 field season season will be presented and be used to examine synchronic intra-community household inequality and its long-term diachronic change. Three lines of evidence: subsistence resources, craft goods and exotic/ prestige material imply differential access to natural resources, wealth accumulation and extra-local social networks, and they constitute different facets of economic activities as indexes of social inequality.

Cite this Record

Household Practice and Early Forms of Social Inequality in Huaca Negra, Viru Valley. Peiyu Chen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 402910)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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