Tello and Carrión Cachot on Recuay Culture: A Visual Archaeology

Author(s): George Lau

Year: 2018


While the achievements of the great Peruvianist Julio C. Tello and his theories about Andean civilisation are well-chronicled, much less work has addressed his engagements with archaeological illustration, its practices and desires, especially beyond his signature Chavín work. This paper examines the imagery and arguments of key publications by Tello and his student and intellectual disciple, Rebeca Carrión Cachot, on the Recuay culture (ca AD 100-700). Together, they discerned the culture’s fundamental diagnostics: pottery, architecture, stone sculpture and ritual practices associated with ancestor-fertility cult. Both employed these elements to epitomise archaeological styles and compartmentalise cultural regions, at the same time that they were positioned as units in broad comparative thinking (e.g., religion, complexity, diffusion, cosmology). The paper contends that their Recuay findings emerged largely out of collections work, ethnohistory and close analysis of objects and ‘artworks’. Notably, field archaeology had little to do with their intellectual legacy on Recuay; rather it was won through ambitious visual arguments and analogies, and expressed most saliently by their use of illustrations in a ‘visual archaeology.’

Cite this Record

Tello and Carrión Cachot on Recuay Culture: A Visual Archaeology. George Lau. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445310)

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): 20621