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Post Middle Horizon Ceramic Styles in the Lurín Valley of the Central Coast of Peru


This study is a contribution to the post-Middle Horizon ceramic chronologies for the central coast of Peru in general, and for the Lurín valley in particular. This project contributes to our knowledge of central coast Peruvian ceramics thricely: First, it is a fine-grained stylistic analysis of surface collections from sites in the Lurín valley and its environs from sites which were destroyed by the rapid growth of the city of Lima in the last fifty years; second, it compares the ceramics styles found in the Lurín valley to other published material; and third, it articulates the archeological and ethnohistoric record to address larger questions about socio-cultural evolution of the inhabitants of this central coast valley. The methodology of this analysis is detailed stylistic and seriation analysis of ceramic collections made in the mid-1960s. A fine-tuned stylistic and seriation ceramic sequence is detailed in chapter 1-4 which is incorporated to other published material in chapter 5-6, and finally the updated ceramic sequence is used to supplement, collaborate, and/or challenge the ethnohistorical record in chapter 7. I conclude that at a local level individual communities were not fundamentally upheaved at certain historical points as some of the ethnohistorical literature suggests. That is to say, large supra-structural changes at various historical points –the presence of the Inca empire at the dawn of the Late Horizon, for example, did not affect every day ceramic production traditions as much as would be implied in the ethnohistorical record. Overwhelming examples of ceramic changes indicate that these are slow, gradual, and local. At any one location throughout the valley, and at any particular time, their local ceramic traditions are reminiscent of the neighboring people’s ceramic traditions. These findings suggest a reconsideration on future directions of study for central coast societies post the Middle Horizon.

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