Pisanay and the Endangered Rock Art Traditions of Arequipa, Peru

Author(s): Jo Burkholder

Year: 2017


Drawing on the archaeological excavations at the site of Pisanay, located in the Sihuas Valley of Arequipa (southern) Peru, this paper will situate the rock art at the site within the broader contexts of multiple rock art traditions in the region. These traditions include both painted and pecked images on rock surfaces, a wide variety of geoglyphs, mobilary art, and sacred offerings made to particular rocks and geographic landmarks that represent huacas (loosely ‘holy places’). Within the boundaries of the Pisanay site, both pecked designs (petroglyphs) and mobilary art have been found, but Pisanay also appears to occupy a central location within the broader sacred geography of the valley and surrounding pampa, a geography defined by a variety of geoglyph styles. The need to document, and hopefully date, these sites has increased in recent decades as the economic development associated with the Majes Irrigation Project, one of the largest in the world, has begun to endanger not only individual sites, but whole sacred landscapes. To date preservation efforts have been minimal, challenged by both economic forces and a lack of awareness of the rich rock art traditions.

Cite this Record

Pisanay and the Endangered Rock Art Traditions of Arequipa, Peru. Jo Burkholder. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431261)


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): 16989