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Highland and coastal cultural interaction: new evidence from the ancient city of Huari, Ayacucho, Peru

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Ayacucho Valley, Nasca, south coast, Peru

Abstract (summary)

Early in the history of archaeological studies in the Ayacucho Valley of the Peruvian central highlands, archaeologists noticed the occurrence of design elements associated with the Nasca culture of the Peruvian south coast region. Such an occurrence has been interpreted as the Nasca influence. Archaeologists discussing the emergence of the Wari State in particular make frequent reference to the Nasca influence, arguing that following the south coast influence, the local ceramic style of the Ayacucho valley gained technological sophistication and resembled late Nasca ceramic shapes. In addition to innovations in ceramic technology, it has become apparent that following the Nasca influence the local cultural development in the Ayacucho Valley underwent significant transformation, including the shift from a rural to a predominantly urban life style. Recently, an archaeological excavation was carried out on a hilltop on the western side of the city of Huari which revealed evidence for a dense human occupation beginning about the middle of the Early Horizon (ca. 300 BCE – 50 CE), then continuing during the Early Intermediate Period (ca. 50 – 600 CE). However, shortly after interaction with the south coast was established, the hilltop was abandoned. This paper explores the nature of the interaction between the south coast and the central highlands and its role in the establishment of the city of Huari.

Publication Information

Valdez, Lidio M. and J. Ernesto Valdez. "Highland and Coastal Cultural Interaction: New Evidence from the Ancient City of Huari, Ayacucho, Peru." In Trading Spaces: The Archaeology of Interaction, Migration and Exchange. Proceedings of the 46th Annual Chacmool Archaeology Conference, edited by Margaret Patton and Jessica Manion, pp. 91-108. Calgary, AB: Chacmool Archaeology Association, 2016.



Presented on November 7–11, 2013 at the 46th Annual Chacmool Archaeological Conference held at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta.

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