Intrasite Spatial Organization in Chavín de Huántar during the Andean Formative

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The ceremonial center of Chavn de Huntar is located in the north central Peruvian highlands at 3,200 m.a.s.l. I have investigated the Wacheqsa sector, located immediately to the north of the monumental core with the objective of understanding the archaeological deposits that formed this area, and to analyze their chronological and spatial relationships.This research presents a new methodology for the investigation of intrasite space organization of stratigraphic components. I demonstrate that careful sampling programs can be extremely advantageous in investigating intrasite variation, in particular when all stratigraphic records are modeled using computer aided design (CAD). I identify five prehistoric spatial analytical units in the Wacheqsa Sector: Early Platforms, Water Flood, Late Platforms, Stone Rooms and Midden. I use bivariate kernel density estimations in order to investigate ceramic modalities and comprehend the nature of the activities developed in each unit, cross- referencing this line of evidence with the distribution of archaeological materials. I also use the Boone index as a measure of diversity in order to quantitatively segregate the analytical units identified.The Wacheqsa Sector was occupied from 1200 BC to 500 BC, during the Middle and Late Formative Periods. I have divided the prehistoric occupation into two phases. The oldest one (Urabarriu 1200-800 BC) encompasses the Early Platforms and Water Flood analytical units. The Early Platforms unit represents the oldest domestic settlement located in this sector. The Water Flood analytical unit provides evidence regarding canalization of the Wacheqsa River during this phase. The latest occupation phase (Janabarriu 800-500 BC), encompasses the Late Platforms, Stone Rooms and Midden analytical units. The Stone Room analytical unit represents a late settlement in the Wacheqsa Sector, the Midden provides evidence for suprahousehold food and beverage consumption and the Late Platforms unit seems to be a buffer area between these two units.In addition, the dating of these units shows that Chavn was contemporary with ceremonial centers of the Andean area during the Middle and Late Formative. It also demonstrates that the Janabarriu ceramic phase is 400 years earlier than previously suggested, being contemporary with the largest architectural phase at monumental core.


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