The pre-Colombian pottery figurines of the central coast of Peru
The aim of this thesis is to study a hitherto neglected pre-Columbian Peruvian artefact: the pottery figurine. The term figurine refers to a human representation, which is not a vessel or part of a vessel. Included are also ceramic litters carrying figurines. The material recorded from collections and/or publications, constitutes a Corpus of 1571 specimens from the Central Coast of Peru, dating from the Preceramic to the Inca period. The figurines are classified into groups, using stylistic, iconographic and technical criteria, with recourse to known pottery styles. On the basis of this classification, the figurine groups have been used to throw light on cultural processes in the area. It has thus been possible: • to trace outside influences—like the presence of Nascoid figurines in the Rimac valley at the end of the Early Intermediate Period; • to establish stylistic units, hitherto only guessed at in the published literature--like the existence of an Ancón sub-style at the end of the Middle Horizon and the early part of the Late Intermediate Period, or a Chillón sub-style towards the end of the Late Intermediate Period; • to confirm and illustrate various previous models—like the nature of the interaction between sectors of the Central Coast during the three Horizon phases. In addition the figurines are examined in relation to figurines from other areas of Peru. An attempt has also been made to establish the possible functions of the figurines through a detailed description of all available contexts, a thorough search of the chroniclers for relevant references to such objects and some research into comparative ethnographic data.