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Journal of Archaeological Research

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 165–195 | Cite as

New Research on the Late Prehistoric Coastal Polities of Northern Peru

  • Melissa A. Vogel
Article
  • 308 Downloads

Abstract

Previously, the Chimú empire was thought to have dominated the north coast of Peru during the Late Intermediate period, virtually to the exclusion of other polities. However, new research on sites from this period has not only changed perspectives on the Chimú, but also shed light on two other important coastal polities: the Lambayeque/Sicán and the Casma, providing insights with the potential to reshape our understanding of the development of urbanism and the Andean state. This article presents a critical summary of recent literature, fieldwork, and discoveries. Analyses of these new data address a wide range of topics that can be loosely grouped into four major areas: complexity in political organization and the geopolitical landscape, variations in the urban environment, the intensification of trade and exchange, and dynamic expressions of religion and ideology. The latest interpretation of the north coast Late Intermediate period is a story of three major, competing polities that were eventually subsumed under one.

Keywords

North coast Late Intermediate period Chimú Lambayeque Sicán Casma 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank the Gary Feinman and T. Douglas Price for the opportunity to address this topic at such a pivotal moment in Andean coastal archaeology. My deepest gratitude goes to Carol Mackey for her helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. I would also like to thank Linda Nicholas and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions that have greatly improved the original draft.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology & AnthropologyClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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