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Plaza settings and public interactions during the Formative Period in Nepeña, North-Central Coast of Peru

Abstract : "In this article, we evaluate the relationships between plaza settings, ritual performances, and modes of sociopolitical integration in coastal Ancash during the Formative Period (local Cerro Blanco, Nepeña, and Samanco phases, 1100-150 cal. BC). We chronicle shifts in the forms, dimensions, arrangements, and use of plaza settings to investigate deeper sociopolitical transformations in the Nepeña Valley. Recent field research in the region suggests the development of polities and communities of different levels of integration. This process coincides with the abandonment of Chavín and Cupisnique related ceremonial centers between 800 and 500 cal. BC. Our respective field projects have brought detailed archaeological information on the organization of plaza settings, their location within each community, as well as their ritual use. In particular, we analyze data from the sites of Cerro Blanco, Caylán, Huambacho, Samanco, and Kushipampa. By comparing plaza settings and associated assemblages, we delineate different modes of sociopolitical integration and evaluate longitudinal changes in regional politics. The analysis of proxemic data, ritual paraphernalia, and feasting remains suggest the existence of three clusters of ritual life in Nepeña during the Formative Period. Results further suggest that after the demise of Chavín-Cupisnique centers, and at least in some areas of coastal Ancash, ritual practices became more decentralized and appropriated by multiple competing groups. At that time major geopolitical differences appear to have existed between the lower and middle portions of the coastal drainage. The Nepeña research confirms the value of regional and comparative approaches to study broader relationships between political authority, ritual performance, and public spaces in ancient complex societies." (source éditeur)
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02051862
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Matthew Helmer, David Chicoine, Hugo Ikehara, Koichiro Shibata. Plaza settings and public interactions during the Formative Period in Nepeña, North-Central Coast of Peru. Americae. European Journal of Americanist Archaeology, CNRS, 2018, 3, pp.7-31. ⟨hal-02051862⟩

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