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9783954900787

Soßna, Volker

Climate and Settlement in Southern Peru

The Northern Río Grande de Nasca Drainage between 1500 BCE and 1532 CE

2016
19.0 x 29.0 cm, 320 p., 204 illustrations color, 57 illustrations b/w, mit DVD mit 1100 Fotos und 638 Strichzeichnungen, hardback
98,00 €

ISBN: 9783954900787
Preface
Table of Contents
Sample

Short Description

The cultures thriving during the course of the millennia on the arid Peruvian South Coast between the valleys of Chincha and Yauca had a crucial impact on the history of the Central Andes in general. Important local cultures such as Paracas (ca. 800 – 250 BCE) and Nasca (ca. 250 BCE – 650 CE) are well known for rock carvings and ground drawings, but also for the extraordinary skills of their craftsmen in producing high-quality textiles and ceramics. The region also played a vital role in the formation and expansion of the pan-Andean empires of the Wari (ca. 650 – 1000 CE) and the Inca (ca.1470 – 1532 CE).

Despite the South Coast´s importance, relatively little is known about its settlement history. Thanks to a long-term archaeological project of the German Archaeological Institute, detailed data are now available for the northern part of the Río Grande de Nasca drainage, a region well suited for a case study due to the abundance of comparatively well preserved archaeological remains. Based on these data 3,000 years of settlement history are being reconstructed in this volume.

The settlement patterns of ten successive cultural phases show substantial changes in terms of settlement hierarchies and population development. Furthermore, the foci of settlement shifted. Due to the arid conditions in this region already minor fluctuations in absolute amounts and intra-annual distribution of precipitation have a significant impact on the agricultural potential. The question is therefore pursued whether past climate fluctuations may have been the principal trigger for changes in settlement behavior.

For this purpose, analyses of archaeological data are compared to studies on climate history which suggest significant changes in precipitation patterns. Temporal correlations between important developments in settlement and climate could indicate a causal relation between both phenomena. While the limited and uneven resolution of the data impedes a definite assessment, the general trend seems to suggest that this was actually the case during some specific periods. The majority of major settlement shifts and demographic instabilities, however, do not temporally correlate with clearly traceable changes in climate.

Description

The cultures thriving during the course of the millennia on the arid Peruvian South Coast between the valleys of Chincha and Yauca had a crucial impact on the history of the Central Andes in general. Important local cultures such as Paracas (ca. 800 – 250 BCE) and Nasca (ca. 250 BCE – 650 CE) are well known for rock carvings and ground drawings, but also for the extraordinary skills of their craftsmen in producing high-quality textiles and ceramics. The region also played a vital role in the formation and expansion of the pan-Andean empires of the Wari (ca. 650 – 1000 CE) and the Inca (ca.1470 – 1532 CE).

Despite the South Coast´s importance, relatively little is known about its settlement history. Thanks to a long-term archaeological project of the German Archaeological Institute, detailed data are now available for the northern part of the Río Grande de Nasca drainage, a region well suited for a case study due to the abundance of comparatively well preserved archaeological remains. Based on these data 3,000 years of settlement history are being reconstructed in this volume.

The settlement patterns of ten successive cultural phases show substantial changes in terms of settlement hierarchies and population development. Furthermore, the foci of settlement shifted. Due to the arid conditions in this region already minor fluctuations in absolute amounts and intra-annual distribution of precipitation have a significant impact on the agricultural potential. The question is therefore pursued whether past climate fluctuations may have been the principal trigger for changes in settlement behavior.

For this purpose, analyses of archaeological data are compared to studies on climate history which suggest significant changes in precipitation patterns. Temporal correlations between important developments in settlement and climate could indicate a causal relation between both phenomena. While the limited and uneven resolution of the data impedes a definite assessment, the general trend seems to suggest that this was actually the case during some specific periods. The majority of major settlement shifts and demographic instabilities, however, do not temporally correlate with clearly traceable changes in climate.

Biographical Note

Volker Soßna, born in 1980, studied Latin American Archaeology and Anthropology at the Free University (FU) of Berlin. From 2006 to 2014 he was closely involved in the works of the archaeological branches of the interdisciplinary Projects „Nasca-Palpa“ and „Andean Transect“ which were coordinated by the Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK, Bonn) of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI, Berlin). After finishing his master thesis about settlements of the Nasca culture in the Palpa region he started working on his PhD project on climate influences on long-term settlement developments in the entire northern part of the Río Grande de Nasca drainage. Besides Andean archaeology, his current research interests include the adaption of digital tools in anthropology, namely databases and geographic information systems.

Keywords

Archaeological science, methodology & techniques (21) || Archaeology (368) || Archaeology by period / region (288) || CE period up to c 1500 (13) || Cultural & media studies (214) || Cultural studies (196) || Klima (2) || Peru (3) || Siedlung (8) || Society & culture: general (297)