Awqa Pacha : Fortified Landscapes of the Pativilca Valley, Central Coast of Perú

Document Type


Presentation Date


Conference Name

79th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology

Conference Location

Austin, TX


This paper presents data from newly documented fortified features in the Pativilca Valley, on the central coast of Perú. Using spatial data collected from the mapping of architecture and surface assemblages, the relationships between defensive architecture, fortified attributes, and landscape features are explored. Pottery and lithic types, as well as special artifacts, yield insight into the temporal assignment of sites, many of which are multicomponent. The earliest fortifications in the valley date to the Early Horizon (ca. 900-200 B.C.), or the transition to the Early Intermediate Period (ca. 200 B.C. – A.D. 200). Extensive fortified complexes characterize the Middle Horizon (ca. A.D. 500-1000). There is little indication that forts were heavily used in subsequent time periods. These data are considered along with regional data on fortifications from neighboring valleys. Analysis of the overall distribution of forts both temporally and chronologically indicates a distinct pattern of fortification for the Pativilca Valley. Results add to a growing database of fort locations and attributes for the coastal region of Perú, and lend further support to the need to consider conflict or defensive measures in local historical sequences.



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