Doctoral Dissertation Research: Canocillo (JE-205) Mapping Project in Peru: Form, Function, and Meaning

Grants and Contracts Details


Project Summary If this project is funded, the initial phase of the research will be to create a series of detailed maps of the immediate Cafioncillo (Je-205) urban system within the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru through the combined use ofa trimble system, total station, digital transit, and aerial photographs. The objective in creating these maps is to understand Je-205's various spatial relationships, architectural form and function, and the extent and nature of agricultural production within this portion of the southern Jequetepeque Valley. In addition, these maps will also inform subsequent phases of research at Cafioncillo. The next phase of the investigation would be to undertake an intensive surface collection of artifacts such as ceramics, lithics, and textile fragments. This stage of data collection is intended to create a chronological sequence for both the urban and non-urban areas of the site and to understand the changing function of different architectural complexes within the urban center and its satellite settlements. Finally, limited excavation will further refine the chronology and architectural history ofthis large urban agglomeration. The excavation program is also designed to shed light on the developmental relationship between the urban and non-urban areas of Je- 205, identifying the persistence or abandonment oflocal building techniques and styles, and to recognize the possible incorporation of non-local architectural canons into local forms including both monumental and domestic architecture. The proposed research will have a broader impact on archaeological understanding of alternative routes to urbanization in prehistory not only on the north coast of Peru but in the greater Andean region and beyond. At the local level, this project will identify specific environmental, political, social, and economic factors that shaped Je-205's long-term trajectory of development, periodic abandonment, reoccupation and spatial transformation. Regionally, the processes responsible for Cafioncillo's emergence can be compared to results found at nearby sites in an effort to identify pan-regional trends in urbanization and to interpret the role Chimu conquest played in the sociospatial, political, and economic reorganization ofthe north coast. On the broadest level possible, the results of the proposed work at Cafioncillo will provide an important comparative data base of information that can be subsequently used to interpret cross-cultural trends in the urban process. The proposed project is of particular intellectual merit in that it will advance anthropological studies of how patterned changes in architectural form and function within the totality of a prehistoric urban landscape (including the city center and its supporting hinterland) index broader shifts in political centralization, urban-rural relations, institutionalized agricultural production, intra-regional economic structures, as well as conquest and imperial incorporation. Ultimately, this research will contribute significantly to archaeological analyses of the architectonics of urban power relations especially in regards to the spatial ramifications of imperial conquest and local resistance within a highly urbanized milieu.
Effective start/end date4/15/053/31/07


  • National Science Foundation: $11,990.00


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