Upward Mobility Among Smallholders of the Desert North Coast of Peru

Author(s): Ari Caramanica

Year: 2016


Mobility among smallholders or campesinos is a crucial element for understanding the development of both ancient and modern-day Peru. In the case of the ancient agricultural landscape of Mocán, the movement of people, products, and possibly plants, lead to increasing network complexity eventually culminating in the area’s incorporation into an important coastal polity. Archaeological evidence suggests changing approaches to landscape and water management over the 2,000 years of occupation in the area can be correlated to the fluctuating mobility and interchange between Mocán and neighboring regions. Mocán is located in the Paiján desert region on the north coast of Peru, and in both the past and today occupation is contingent upon mitigation of environmental and seasonal change, resulting in a form of small-scale mobility that is unique to smallholders. Experiments in landscape and agricultural strategies by smallholders in Mocán affected the environment in different ways over time, linking the area to greater socioeconomic networks represented in the archaeological record by landscape formations, architecture and other forms of material culture.

Cite this Record

Upward Mobility Among Smallholders of the Desert North Coast of Peru. Ari Caramanica. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403677)


Spatial Coverage

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