The Recuay Culture of Peru's North-Central Highlands: A reappraisal of chronology and its implications

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Recent archaeological investigations of post-Chavín occupations in the North-Central Highlands of Peru (Department of Ancash) provide new chronological data that help situate the Recuay culture and its transformations in time. Because of the burgeoning interest in northern Peru, and the cultural complexity of the Early Intermediate Period (ca. A.D. 1–700) in general, a reconsideration of Recuay prehistory is needed. This complements the recent advances in the cultural sequences of coeval groups such as Moche, Nasca, and Cajamarca. The discussion reviews ceramic and radiometric evidence to reconstruct six broad cultural periods, of which the first four can be identified as components of a “Recuay Tradition.” To evaluate changing cultural relationships and exchange patterns in northern Peru, the new chronology clarifies local North Highland transformations following Chavín's collapse (ca. 100 B.C), coast-highland interactions between Recuay and Moche/Gallinazo groups (ca. A.D. 200–700), and changing socio-cultural dispositions of Recuay groups during the period of Wari expansion (ca. A.D. 750). Recuay's development and regional interaction by phase furnish new insight into the character of social complexity in the ancient Andes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-202
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004

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