Archaeological Project
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This archaeological project is a research into the social and political organizations of Peruvian north coast polities, and the development of social complexity during the Early Intermediate Period (100-800 AD) in the valleys of Jequetepeque, Zaña and Lambayeque. With the investigation of six Moche sites possessing monumental architecture and the assessment of the Moche presence in these three valleys, the main objective is to study the political organization of this cultural formation at the regional level. Although great advances have recently been made in the field of Moche studies, most of the research on the degree of relationship between Moche sites possessing monumental architecture has been concentrated upon the Chicama, Moche, Virú and Santa valleys.

In order to study the degree of social and political organizations and interactions in the northern region, this three-year research program will include the excavation of Huaca el Pueblo, the establishment of a stylistic and chronological sequence for the Moche period, and a detailed assessment of the settlement patterns and architecture at a number of additional key sites. Huaca el Pueblo will serve to establish the master Moche sequence for the region. The site is strategically located in the lower section of the Zaña valley, and the first field season at the site in 2004 has indicated the likelihood of a long occupational history, spanning the entire length of the Early Intermediate Period (c.a. 100-800 AD). The material culture and the settlement patterns will be compared with at least five other urban centers: Dos Cabezas, San José de Moro and Pacatnamú in the Jequetepeque valley, Pampa Grande and Sipán in the Lambayeque valley. Among other things, the analyses will include neutron activity analysis for the ceramic objects, trace element analysis for the metallic artifacts, ancient mtDNA testing for the human remains, radiocarbon dating of organic material, and detailed stylistic analyses of the artifacts.


home       The University of Texas at Austin Department of Art and Art HistoryOrganized by Professor Steve Bourget