Collection Description

Tradition Name

Coastal Andean Late Formative

Tradition Description

The Coastal Andean Late Formative tradition occurred from 3000 BP–2200 BP and was located along the Pacific coast of Peru from the La Leche Valley in the north to the Nazca Valley in the south. The people were sedentary agriculturalists, with maize added during this period, and they supplemented their diet with fish, shellfish gathering, and domesticated animals such as llamas and guinea pigs. Settlements range from urban to small village sites and also include fortified hilltop sites and specialized elite cemeteries. The settlement hierarchy suggests a chiefdom level of organization. The fortified sites along the north coast suggest endemic conflict. Copper and gold artifacts appear for the first time and the high quality of these, the textiles, and ceramics hint at the existence of part-time specialists.

Note

Select the Tradition Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.

Region

South America --Central Andes

Countries

Peru

OWC Code

SE43

Number of Documents

20

Note: Select the Collection Documents tab above to browse documents.

Number of Pages

1117

Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF Archaeology collection and are referenced by author, date of publication, and title where necessary.

The Coastal Andean Late Formative tradition is located along the desert coast of Peru from the La Leche Valley (Lambayeque region) in the north and the Nazca Valley (Ica region) in the south. Geographical coverage of this collection is strongly divided between the Ancash region of the north coast (Casma, Nepeña and Santa valleys), and the Ica region of the south coast (Paracas Peninsula and Ica Valley). Studies on the north coast, where the period starts and ends earlier (ca. 3000-2200 BP) tend to focus on antecedents during the Early Formative and interactions with nearby highland Chavín, while studies on the south coast, where the period occurs a few centuries later (ca. 2700-2000 BP) tend to be concerned with continuities into the Andean Regional Development (Early Intermediate Period), specifically Nazca. Much of the data presented comes from reconnaissance work, with emphasis on settlement patterns and architecture, or from reexamination of existing collections, especially of textiles in the case of Paracas.

Readers will find there is some overlap in time periods, location, and material culture between the various Andean traditions. Also, although each eHRAF collection is indexed for content pertaining only to its own time period and location, documents frequently address culture change over longer timeframes and across wider landscapes. Therefore, readers are encouraged to examine other collections for additional information. Regarding the contents of this collection, the reader is directed to the following archaeological traditions: Coastal Andean Early Formative, Highland Andean Formative, Chavín, Andean Regional Development, Moche, and Nazca.

Geographical coverage of this collection is strongly divided between the Ancash region of the north coast (Casma, Nepeña and Santa valleys), and the Ica region of the south coast (Paracas Peninsula and Ica Valley) of Peru. Studies on the north coast, where the period starts and ends earlier (ca. 3000-2200 BP) tend to focus on antecedents during the Early Formative and interactions with nearby highland Chavín, while studies on the south coast, where the period occurs a few centuries later (ca. 2700-2000 BP) tend to be concerned with continuities into the Andean Regional Development (Early Intermediate period), specifically Nazca. Much of the data presented comes from reconnaissance work, with emphasis on settlement patterns and architecture, or from reexamination of existing collections, especially of textiles in the case of Paracas.

Two documents provide overviews of the tradition. Lumbreras (1974) wrote an overview of the Formative Period for coastal and Andean Peru. This includes the Initial Period and the Early Horizon. Paul (1991, "Paracas") also provides an overview, discussing the history of the research on and around the Paracas Peninsula. Two additional documents, by S. Pozorski and T. Pozorski (1987) and by T. Pozorski and S. Pozorski (1987), deal with Peruvian chronology and what defines an Initial Period versus an Early Horizon site. In a similar vein, Daggett (1991) describes the history of scientific research in the Paracas area, and Silverman (1991) focuses on various diagnostic traits from sites along the south coast.

Haas (1987) introduces the edited volume The Origins and Development of the Andean State, previewing chapters by Daggett ("Toward the Development…"), S. Pozorski ("Theocracy vs. Militarism"), S. Pozorski and T. Pozorski ("Chronology"), T. Pozorski and S. Pozorski ("Chavin…"), and Wilson ("Reconstructing Patterns …").

Daggett (1984, 1987), Massey (1991), S. Pozorski (1987), and Wilson (1987) present results of their field work in the Nepeña, Ica, Casma, and Santa valleys, respectively. All discuss the development of state societies or political leadership.

Paracas textiles are the focus of the remainder of the documents. Frame (1991) examines headbands from the Paracas Necropolis along with additional headbands from other sites. Jakes (1991) presents the results of a chemical analysis of loose fibers from selected Paracas Necropolis textiles. Paul (1991, "Paracas Necropolis Bundle 89") finally publishes a description of the contents of a bundle unwrapped in 1927. Peters (1991) examines the designs on Paracas textiles to understand the basic messages embedded in the iconography. Wallace (1991) compares painted textiles from Paracas Peninsula area tombs with the iconography of stone sculpture from the highland site of Chavín de Huántar.

Two documents contain the references for their edited volumes: Haas, S. Pozorski and T. Pozorski (1987, see above for chapters); and Paul (1991, "References Cited") for chapters by Daggett ("Paracas"), Frame ("Structure, Image, and Abstraction"), Jakes ("Physical and Chemical Analysis…"), Massey ("Social and Political Leadership…"), Paul ("Paracas" and "Paracas Necropolis Bundle 89"), Peters ("Ecology and Society…"), Silverman ("The Paracas Problem"), and Wallace ("A Technical and Iconographic…").

For further information on individual works in this collection, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

Overview by

Sarah Berry

Access restriction – use STREETS AND TRAFFIC (363)

Altiplano – high plateau – use TOPOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY (133)

Andean verticality – a socioeconomic system with transfer of resources within a community that has populations located in different altitudinal ecozones

Arrachacha – ( Arracacia esculenta, A. stenocephala, or A. xanthoriza ) - an edible tuber – use VEGETABLE PRODUCTION (244)

Ayllus – use LINEAGES (613)

Basurales – land fill, refuse mounds, or middens – use REFUSE DISPOSAL AND SANITARY FACILITIES (364)

Batánes – grinding stones or mortars, typically used with an uña (pounding stone or pestle) – use FOOD PREPARATION (252)

Berro – a plant – use VEGETABLE PRODUCTION (244)

Bofedales – wetlands – use TOPOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY (133)

Cansaboca – Bunchosia armeniaca , green plum – use ARBORICULTURE (245)

Cántaros – cooking pots – use UTENSILS (415)

Canals – use WATER SUPPLY (312)

Ceja de selva – eyebrow of the jungle, cloud forest on the lower, outer Andean slopes – use TOPOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY (133)

Ceque , seqe – religious route – use HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES (491)

Chacras – cultivated fields or farms

Chala – the coastal desert zone of Peru from sea level to an elevation of around 500 meters – use TOPOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY (133)

Chala fill – mound construction fill composed primarily of corn husks – use STRUCTURES (340)

Chuspas – bags – use UTENSILS (415)

Cis-Andean – western slopes of the Andes facing the Pacific – use TOPOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY (133)

Comunidades – communities; units of territory and local administration – use TERRITORIAL HIERARCHY (631)

Corporate authority – use COMMUNITY HEADS (622)

Corporate group – (in general) – use SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND GROUPS (571)

Corporate labor – use LABOR RELATIONS (466)

Duality – for world view – use ETHNOSOCIOLOGY (829)

Fortressses – architectural descriptions of – use MISCELLANEOUS STRUCTURES (349)

Gourd working – especially pyro-engraved gourds – use WOODWORKING (322)

Green plum – see Cansaboca

Ground cherry – Prunus capulli, Physalis peruviana , cape gooseberry – use ARBORICULTURE (245)

Huacas – spiritual point of reference, a place or a thing, embodying supernatural beings or forces – use SACRED OBJECTS AND PLACES (778)

Huaqueros – grave robbers, site looters – use POST DEPOSITIONAL PROCESSES IN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES (138)

Jíquima – Pachyrhizus tuberosus , plant with an edible tuberous root, a type of jicama – use VEGETABLE PRODUCTION (244)

Llamas – use PASTORAL ACTIVITIES (233)

Locks – see Access restriction

Lomas – scattered plant communities on the foothills of the western slopes of the Andes (200-1000m altitude) with flora dependent on moisture from fogs during the June to October cloudy season; dry and barren the remainder of the year – use CLIMATE (132) with TOPOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY (133) – see Ceja de selva

Lúcuma - Lucuma – sp., a fruit – use ARBORICULTURE (245)

Malleros – net spacers: flat, rectangular objects of bone, stone, or wood for creating fishing nets with a consistent mesh size – use FISHING GEAR (227)

Manihot esculenta – manioc, yuca – use VEGETABLE PRODUCTION (244)

Mit'a or mita – a form of labor service or labor taxation – use LABOR RELATIONS (466)

Monumental architecture – use PUBLIC STRUCTURES (344)

Non-domestic architecture – use PUBLIC STRUCTURES (344)

Oca - Oxalis tuberosa – an edible root vegetable grown in the Andean highlands – use VEGETABLE PRODUCTION (244) with FOREIGN TRADE (439)

Pacay , pacae , guaba , or ice-cream bean - Inga feuilleei – a perennial tree legume cultivated for its fruit pods containing an edible white pulp surrounding large seeds – use ARBORICULTURE (245)

Pachamanca – method of cooking or baking with hot stones – use FOOD PREPARATION (252)

Pepino - Solanum muricatum – a melon like fruit – use VEGETABLE PRODUCTION (244)

Physalis peruviana – see Ground cherry

Public architecture – use RELIGIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL STRUCTURES (346)

Punzónes – bone awls used as weaving implements – use GENERAL TOOLS (412)

Quebradas – ravines, gullies, dry washes – use TOPOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY (133)

Quincha – wattle and daub construction – use MASONRY (333)

Religuous vs. secular – use GENERAL CHARACTER OF RELIGION (771)

Seqe – see Ceque

Shicras – open-mesh sacks made of plant fibers – use UTENSILS (415)

Tilandsia – plant burned as fuel – use FIRE (372)

Tinajas – storage pots – use UTENSILS (415)

Tortora – Schoenoplectus californicus ssp. tatora ), a sedge with multiple uses

Tree tomato – Solanum betaceum , shrub with an edible fruit – use ARBORICULTURE (245)

Uñas – see Batán

Vertical archipelago – see Andean verticality

Verticality – see Andean verticality

Yunga – transitional biozone between the Andean highlands and the Amazonian lowlands – use TOPOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY (133)

Indexing Notes by

Sarah Berry

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