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Title: Continuity and change in the formative period of the Cusichaca Valley, Department of Cuzco, Peru
Author: Hey, Gillian Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0001 3555 6568
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1999
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Although the origins of the Inca empire lie in the Cuzco region, early occupation of the area remains poorly understood. Investigation of Early Horizon and Early Intermediate Period sites has been confined to test pitting, only one pottery study has been published and radiocarbon dates are few. Use has been made of surface collections of pottery here, as elsewhere in Peru, to understand early settlement patterns. Excavation of well-stratified occupation deposits on the Huillca Raccay promontory in the Cusichaca Valley has revealed a sequence of activity dating from c 600 BC to AD 100. Terraces, houses, pits, hearths and burials have been excavated yielding pottery, other artefacts and food remains. Over this period there were dramatic changes in the character of the settlement, in particular in material remains that are indicative of social or ethnic grouping. The form of buildings changed from oval/circular to rectangular and the material from which they were built from adobe to wood. At first, funerary customs led to the placing of the dead crouched on their sides in shallow graves, but this was replaced by a form of burial in which skeletons were seated within pits, probably as mummy bundles. However, changes in pottery (fabrics, forms and decoration) over this time seem slight and gradual. The thesis examines the rate of change of different cultural attributes within the sequence, using stratigraphy and radiocarbon dating. Do changes in pottery reflect events in the life of the settlement, some of a fundamental nature? What are the implications for the understanding of settlement at this time and for methods of field survey currently in use in the Andes? At the same time the thesis provides an important contribution to the understanding of early occupation of the area and an insight into burial practices at this time.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Burial practices; Radiocarbon dating; Inca empire