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Jequetepeque-Jatanca Acropolis as a Mesocosm: The Role of Architecture During the Late Formative Period

Author(s): Yumi Huntington ; John Warner

Year: 2017

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Jequetepeque-Jatanca, located on 3 km away from Cerro Cañoncillo, was occupied during the late Formative period by several successive cultures suggesting that it was a site of consistent religious and political importance to many different societies. The Jatanca archaeological complex consists of an Acropolis, the oldest and only elevated structure, along with five Compounds that are distinguished by their sizes and dates of construction. Among all, the Acropolis is the most important, due to its shape and location.

My paper argues that the Acropolis itself becomes the center of power, namely as an astronomical observation point. Viewed from the Acropolis, Cerro Cañoncillo serves as a calendrical mountain, marking the summer and winter solstices with sunrises at the left and right extremities of the mountain. As the viewing point, the Acropolis becomes the nexus where natural cosmic cycles are translated into the mundane realm of human life, a kind of mesocosm that recreates the structure of the sacred mountain mimetically even as it takes command of that power for human use. Using Starry Night Pro 7, I show illustrations of the calendrical functions of Cerro Cañoncillo and the mediating role of the Acropolis in the context of the Jatanca site.

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Jequetepeque-Jatanca Acropolis as a Mesocosm: The Role of Architecture During the Late Formative Period. Yumi Huntington, John Warner. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429434)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14470

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America