Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Neighborhood politics: Diversity, community, and authority at El Purgatorio, Peru
by Pacifico, David Bartholomew, Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2014, 543; 3627869
Abstract (Summary)

Neighborhood Politics investigates the role of commoners in the social production of an ancient city. Traditional archaeological approaches examine cities primarily through the lens of elite power and agency. Recent approaches have taken a bottom-up approach to research. Neighborhood Politics explores the ancient city as a product of both commoner and elite agencies, power, and practices. Neighborhood Politics proposes a novel methodology: 'neighborhood archaeology.' Neighborhood archaeology emerges out of household archaeology and community archaeology. In order to fully understand urbanism, neighborhood archaeology examines commoner houses, related buildings, and their inhabitants as complex socio-spatial contexts. Consequently, neighborhood archaeology here highlights the multiple contours and tensions of authority, identity, and space that characterized an ancient neighborhood. Investigations in El Purgatorio's residential district focused on architecture, domestic assemblages, and urban planning in order to understand the diverse social identities, shared practices, and built environment of El Purgatorio's commoners. Investigations examined the social history of the Casma Polity's capital city, the configuration of community there, and local-regional linkages from the perspective of commoners' everyday lives. For El Purgatorio's commoners, social diversity was configured around household composition and labor output. Diversity was materialized in unequal access to space, building materials, and construction labor. Urban hierarchies were concretized during neighborhood feasts that simultaneously created neighborhood solidarity. Elites provided raw materials for the neighborhood economy; but commoners prepared food and chicha for ritual and quotidian consumption, some of which was returned to elites in tribute. Diverse residence and circulation patterns show that the neighborhood was a negotiated landscape created through both commoner authority and the extended authority of elites from the monumental district. Neighborhood Politics highlights the complexity of urban identities, the significance of everyday activities, and the tensions in the built environment of the residential district at El Purgatorio.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kolata, Alan L., Vogel, Melissa A.
Commitee: Richard, Francois G., Smith, Adam T.
School: The University of Chicago
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Latin American history, Latin American Studies, Ancient history
Keywords: Andes, Archaeology, Cities, Community, Household, Identity, Peru
Publication Number: 3627869
ISBN: 978-1-321-03370-0
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