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BIG TRANSITIONS IN A SMALL FISHING VILLAGE:Late Preceramic Life in Huaca Negra, Virú Valley, Peru

Chen, Peiyu (2019) BIG TRANSITIONS IN A SMALL FISHING VILLAGE:Late Preceramic Life in Huaca Negra, Virú Valley, Peru. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Focusing on the data unearthed from the 2015 excavation in Huaca Negra, this dissertation aims to illustrate early human occupation in the Virú Valley to answer three research questions. (1) How can we add to our knowledge of the Late Preceramic Period and its transition to the Initial Period in the north coast of Peru, mainly in the Virú Valley and neighboring valleys? (2) Are there diachronic changes in economic activities? How do they shed light on possible social change? (3) How does an analytical perspective at the scope of the community help to address overlaps between public and domestic aspects of social life, and to enable a better understanding of early Andean societies?
The fruitful results from the work at Huaca Negra provide new evidence for answering the abovementioned questions. First of all, the dating confirms that this site was continuously occupied between 5,000 to 3,200 CalBP, forming a rare case of uninterrupted cultural deposits from the Late Preceramic to Initial Period. Absolute dates and a detailed study of stratigraphy enable the reconstruction of four occupation phases, the foundation for diachronic comparison. Secondly, three interconvertible forms of “capital,” economic, cultural, and social capital, constitute the framework for analyzing unearthed materials and for assessing the nature of activities in Huaca Negra. Current data suggests that economic capital, in the form of subsistence, witnesses the most dramatic change: the importance of fishing activity declines while shellfish collecting becomes more significant over time. Subtle changes can also be discerned in the other two categories. Both the importance of cultural capital, in the form of craft production, and social capital, in the form of exotic goods, increase slightly, and there are more exotic goods being incorporated into people’s daily life in the later context.
Through the examination of material remains and archaeological contexts, I suggest that two traditionally dichotomized social spheres, the public and the domestic, are juxtaposed in the same spatial contexts at Huaca Negra. This dissertation thus takes a “community” scope that encompasses both spheres in order to reveal the overall lifeways in this long-term occupied fishing village.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Chen, Peiyupec41@pitt.edupec41
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairArkush,
Committee MemberBermann,
Committee MemberBarton,
Committee MemberJames,
Date: 25 June 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 30 October 2018
Approval Date: 25 June 2019
Submission Date: 10 April 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 470
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Anthropology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Late Preceramic Period, Initial Period, Huaca Negra, Andean archaeology, Egalitarian society, Ancient subsistence system
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2019 21:20
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2019 21:20


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