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Memento Mori: Scalar reference, architectonic persistence and the continuity of ritual memory at Huaca Colorada, Jequetepeque Valley, Peru

Author(s): Giles Spence-Morrow

Year: 2017

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Summary

This paper examines the temporal dimensions underwriting relationships linking humans, architectural representations and the meaningful places they reference in past Andean life-worlds. I argue that for the Moche of the North Coast of Peru, acts of symbolic compression and miniaturization served to reanimate specific times, known ceremonial locales, and the social identities created and reaffirmed in these places. The ritual efficacy of architectural simulacra rests in their mimetic power to condense and transfer the potency of ritually charged spaces and their human and other-than-human attendants across time. I interpret the numerous scalar representations of ceremonial spaces ubiquitous to the Moche ceramic corpus as playing an important role in rites of death and renewal as well as serving as chronometric markers of temporal breaks. However, a comparison of such representations in relation to a remarkable sequence of ritualized reconstructions of architecture found at the Late Moche site of Huaca Colorada (AD 650-800) in the Jequetepeque Valley reveals that they served much more than as passive mementos of deceased leaders and revered places. Instead they condensed latent temporal or generative energy that at once stored but could potentially reanimate ritually charged landscapes as active timescapes throughout the phases of their occupation.


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Memento Mori: Scalar reference, architectonic persistence and the continuity of ritual memory at Huaca Colorada, Jequetepeque Valley, Peru. Giles Spence-Morrow. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430522)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
South America


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15128

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