Frontier Landscapes in the Longue Durée: The Upper Moche Valley Chaupiyunga

Author(s): Patrick Mullins

Year: 2018


Physical landscapes shape, and are shaped by, human activity throughout prehistory, creating a palimpsest of anthropogenic and natural landscape features that archaeologists wrestle with to understand past human behavior. Located between the Andean highlands and the arid coastline, the Upper Moche Valley chaupiyunga no doubt would represent a geological and ecological frontier in the absence of human occupation. However, over two millennia of human activity are inscribed upon this landscape and make it an excellent case-study for understanding the construction of a frontier landscape over the longue durée. Is it inevitable that the region’s geological and ecological characteristics precluded its characterization as a demographic, cultural, and political frontier? At what points may the anthropogenic landscape depart from the natural in being identified as a "frontier"? What processes may affect such departures? These questions are addressed using GIS analyses of settlement patterns, landscape use, visibility, and movement applied to data collected during a full-coverage pedestrian survey of the Upper Moche Valley chaupiyunga by the author. Taking a diachronic approach to analyze two millennia of human occupation, this paper focuses on reconstructing the built landscape in order to test the effect of deeper landscape histories on subsequent occupations on the regional level.

Cite this Record

Frontier Landscapes in the Longue Durée: The Upper Moche Valley Chaupiyunga. Patrick Mullins. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445297)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20853