Beyond the Marañon: A Consideration of Cajamarca's Changing Relationships with Chachapoyas societies

Author(s): Warren Church

Year: 2016


This paper offers observations regarding the distribution of Cajamarca fine, painted kaolin-ware pottery recovered to the east, across the Marañon canyon in the Chachapoyas region cloud forests. Cajamarca’s complex societies lay at the center of expansive interaction networks during pre-Hispanic times. The clearest evidence of Cajamarca's long-distance communication networks consists of its signature fine, painted kaolin-ware bowls discovered in sacred and mortuary contexts across the Central Andes, especially during the Middle Horizon. During the 1940s, the first chronological sequence was produced by Henri and Paulette Reichlen who documented the development of Cajamarca’s kaolin fine-ware tradition that paralleled production of quotidian wares over two thousand years. The Reichlens were also among the first to cross the Marañon canyon to conduct systematic survey and excavations, and to note the distribution of Cajamarca kaolin wares extending eastward into the archaeological region of Chachapoyas. Chachapoyas archaeology is still underdeveloped, but Cajamarca kaolin bowls, and local imitations, are found at monumental sites and in local collections. Recently excavated samples allow dating of interregional communication across the Marañon between Cajamarca and Chachapoyas to the first centuries BC. Lacking trace-element studies, only tentative hypotheses regarding the sociopolitical and economic nature of this culture contact are offered.

Cite this Record

Beyond the Marañon: A Consideration of Cajamarca's Changing Relationships with Chachapoyas societies. Warren Church. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404032)


Spatial Coverage

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