Analysis of Cuchimilcos from Coastal Peru

Author(s): Stacy Dunn; Abigail Bennett

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Cuchimilcos are small painted clay figurines and are one of the most recognized artifacts from ancient coastal Peru. They are associated frequently with the Chancay culture (1100-1400 AD) but are found throughout the central and north coast. Although most museums have one, little is certain about their purpose in society. To address the questions of function and meaning, we recorded attributes of figurines from online museum databases to determine if there is any pattern in decoration, sex of figurines, construction techniques, etc. that may aid in interpretation. We classified the figurines into groups based on these features and then compared them to additional information from burials, textiles, and other ceramics. Our analyses determined that the figurines are predominantly female and are not focused on sexual acts or childbirth; this runs counter to regular assumptions that they represent fertility or classic Andean duality. This study also contributes to our understanding of ancient craftsmanship and distribution.

Cite this Record

Analysis of Cuchimilcos from Coastal Peru. Stacy Dunn, Abigail Bennett. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450345)

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): 25518