Moving Places: The Creation of Quilcapama


During the Middle Horizon (AD 650-1050), the site of Quilcapampa la Antiqua in the Sihuas Valley of southern Peru grew from a small village into a major political center. This chapter considers how the growth of Quilcapampa was linked in part to the experiences of people passing through this location. Drawing on Alfred Gell’s idea of “technologies of enchantment”, we examine how the site’s associated geoglyphs, petroglyphs, and pathways marked and gave meaning to a place already ritually charged because of its unique geologic properties. Movement through the site – whether by travelers, traders, or religious supplicants – was reshaped by these technologies, the paths and glyphs serving as aggregative material citations that elevated the site’s importance by relating the circulation of people to the circulation of cosmic forces. Quilcapampa’s political power was based at least in part on its inhabitant’s ability to connect the coastal and highland economies. The ritual landscape created in and around the site celebrated this vertical integration, adding a sacred justification that would help sustain Quilcapampa’s preeminent position in the valley for the next three hundred years.

Cite this Record

Moving Places: The Creation of Quilcapama. Justin Jennings, Giles Spence-Morrow, Felipe McQueen, Willy Yépez Álvarez. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403072)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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