Huaca de los Chinos: the archaeology of a formative period ceremonial mound in the Moche Valley, Peru Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Pleasants, John Gerald
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Anthropology
  • This research focused on clarifying the chronology and function of Huaca de los Chinos, as well as the presence and nature of sociopolitical complexity and how it changed during the huaca's active life. The methods used to gather this evidence included topographic survey, controlled surface collection, extensive excavations of Huaca de los Chinos, AMS radiocarbon analysis, elemental characterization analysis of paint from the summit structure, mapping, and analysis of artifact assemblages that were recovered during surface collection and excavation. Although Huaca de los Chinos's chronological sequence is incomplete, architectural evidence gathered during this research suggests that the huaca may have been built to its current height in a single construction phase sometime during the last half of the Initial period (1800-800 B.C.). A small, elaborately decorated structure on the huaca's summit, which was part of the initial construction, was modified twice; once in a second construction episode near the end of the Initial period and a third construction episode at the beginning of the Early Horizon (800-400 B.C.). Evidence implies that Huaca de los Chinos appears to have had a strong connection to ritual and may have functioned as a center for religious rituals. Some of the evidence suggests that the huaca may also have served as a regional ceremonial and pilgrimage center for the Virú Valley. The estimated labor requirement, analysis of access paths, and a multitiered spatial hierarchy suggest a minimal labor requirement to construct the huaca and the presence of social inequality and ideological control.
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  • In Copyright
  • Steponaitis, Vincas
  • Open access

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