The present contribution examines the prehistoric occupation of Gramalote, a small scale residential maritime community on the shoreline of the Moche valley, on the North Coast of Peru. The study offers a reconstruction of the social and economic dynamics at the household and community level during the early Initial Period (1500-1200 cal. B.C.) to elucidate the social milieu of an Initial Period society on the North Coast of Peru.
Departing from a revision of the Maritime Hypothesis for Andean Civilization and contextualizing Prehispanic maritime communities not as isolated social entities but as part of a larger and broader social scenario provides the framework within which the contexts and material culture of the Gramalote site are analyzed. This dissertation proposes that maritime communities along the shoreline were more than just food producers, being dynamic entities where a number of other subsistence and non-subsistence activities were performed. The results obtained in this dissertation suggest that Gramalote was not politically, economically and ideologically controlled by the large inland ceremonial centers. Instead, there is ample evidence of a more flexible pattern in which the exchange of food and other products flowed in a different manner, perhaps from household to household in an inter-communal level.
This thesis marks a first attempt in the archaeology of the Initial Period in the Andean region to study in a broader perspective most of the material culture and food remains excavated in an archaeological site. Emphasis is placed on its spatial and temporal distribution as a way to understand the intricate process of the internal economy of a residential settlement. The results so far indicate that food production relied on a seasonal base and on cultural behavior, rather than in mere subsistence necessities. The Gramalote inhabitants were focused on yielding food for their daily maintenance but also occasionally produced large surpluses that served as commodities for later exchange and interaction with other contemporary communities.
|Advisor:||Burger, Richard L.|
|School Location:||United States -- Connecticut|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Ancient maritime communities, Andean archaeology, Household archaeology, Household economy, Initial Period, Peru|
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