tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Building a dendrochronology for the coast of Peru: high-precision 14C dating results from Chankillo, Casma

Author(s): Ivan Ghezzi ; Alan Hogg ; Rodolfo Rodriguez ; Antonio Mabres ; Gretel Boswijk

Year: 2016

» Downloads & Basic Metadata


We present preliminary results from our project to create dendrochronological sequences for the coast of Peru, from the earliest monumental constructions to the present. Our first results come from Chankillo (400-200 BC), in coastal Ancash, which has numerous in situ lintels made from algarrobo wood. Our study of living algarrobos shows high correlation between ring-widths and climate records of the past century. The principle of uniformitarianism dictates the same was true at the time of Chankillo. Our dendrochronological (tree-ring width, wood density) measurements from Chankillo have produced the first dendroarchaeological series from the Central Andes. It is a “floating” sequence that illustrates the chronology of construction of the site, without the ability yet to give absolute dendrochronological dates. However, wiggle-matched radiocarbon dates on wood from these series give us a highly precise approximation of its calendar date range. Improved dating of this site helps fine tune archaeoastronomical analyses of its solar observatory, and throws light on the possible contemporaneity between the rise of Chankillo and the decline of Chavin de Huantar. Finally, ring variability shows the annual climatic variations at the time, in particular possible El Niño events on the north coast of Peru.

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Cite this Record

Building a dendrochronology for the coast of Peru: high-precision 14C dating results from Chankillo, Casma. Ivan Ghezzi, Alan Hogg, Rodolfo Rodriguez, Antonio Mabres, Gretel Boswijk. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404370)


Geographic Keywords
South America

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