The Hidden Faces of Santa Cruz de Lancha: Ceramics and Structure in Eighteenth-Century Architecture

Author(s): Lisa DeLeonardis

Year: 2018


The global exchange of ideas and practices in Latin American architecture during the viceregal period (ca. 1520-1825) remains one of the issues at the forefront of scholarly interest. Remarkable insights are gained about how ancient building materials were sustained and translated as architects and novices alike sought to align European design canons with local techniques and materials. Equally informative is how imported materials were incorporated into building practices.

In this paper, I analyze one of several construction techniques identified at Santa Cruz de Lancha, a Jesuit-managed hacienda in Pisco, Peru. The practice employed earthenware bottle fragments (botija) to create wall encasements or internal facing. Initially, the technique was thought to be a response to earthquake damage late in the site’s history. Recent discovery demonstrates an earlier precedent, and one with consistent application throughout the site. Analysis of the site’s ceramic assemblage informs questions about the choice of construction materials and draws attention to the range of imported and locally-produced earthenwares.

These findings widen the scope of building methods and materials utilized in viceregal building construction. They provide material evidence for ancient practices that were translated by Andean builders, and speak to their innovation.

Cite this Record

The Hidden Faces of Santa Cruz de Lancha: Ceramics and Structure in Eighteenth-Century Architecture. Lisa DeLeonardis. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443475)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20573