New archaeological findings on political power in Peru
2007 03 25

By Pedro Castro | eurekalert.org


A team from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the University of Almería has completed its second part of the "Proyecto La Puntilla", an archaeological expedition to the Peruvian province of Nazca, where last year it discovered a new type of construction. The latest findings show that a new political power based on the exercise of violence emerged on the south coast of Peru two thousand years ago. There was a State in which an aristocracy, based in Cahuachi, exercised its dominion on other, poorer communities in the Nazca Valley. The team has also observed practices such as cranial deformation.

The excavations at the necropolis of El Trigal have uncovered new information on the repercussions of the emergence of the State in southern Peru. The archaeologists have found that El Trigal graves are very simple, in contrast with the extravagant tombs of the aristocracy around Nazca.

The situation shows the poverty that existed among the community in El Tribal. The dominant group in the State of Cahuachi imposed the transfer of wealth through taxes and other means. This explains the poverty of those living in the area of La Puntilla.

A settlement was established in El Trigal about 3000 years ago. Several centuries later, this had become an economically strong community with a vast network of relations with other territories. This hypothesis is backed up by the presence of valuable Spondylus shells (probably from the distant coasts of what today we know as Ecuador), obsidian (from the mountains), and craft tools, such as the boat decorated with the style known as Ocucaje 8 (possibly manual workers in the north).

However, the necropolis excavated in El Trigal, dated as being from the first century AD, represents a later period of decline and pauperisation in the community, coinciding with the emergence of Cahuachi.

This data confirms that 1900 years ago a State existed in the Nazca Valley based in the monumental settlements of Cahuachi, where pyramids were built. Those governing Cahuachi belonged to one of the groups who shared control over the south coast of Peru, such as the aristocratic group described in the Paracas necropolis (near Pisco), in the same area.

The dominant class in Cahuachi controlled the communities in the Nazca Valley using violence, forcing the communities to economically sustain the group in power. Between those communities were those that occupied the area known as La Puntilla, to the east of Nazca, where the research team has been excavating for the past two years.

Cranial deformation

One of the key findings at the necropolis was that some of the bodies found in the tombs have undergone certain manipulations. One such manipulation was cranial deformation in order to obtain an "elongated skull", and this has been observed in one of the corpses.

This practice took place during childhood by using wooden objects to put pressure on the skull. "Elongated skulls" are characteristic of the aristocracy buried in the tombs in Paracas, and a number of studies suggest that this treatment was a way of distinguishing dominant groups. This is why it is so significant that this characteristic has been found in an individual buried at the necropolis of a poor community in the Nazca Valley.

This discovery opens up a series of other questions: Is this the member of a family belonging to the dominant group? Or is the practice unrelated to a person's affiliation with a group? Was it a way of identifying individuals who took part in specific activities (for example, shamanism)?

In another tomb, another interesting case has been found. Alongside the corpse of a woman, they have found the legs and feet of another individual. We know that decapitation and dismemberment were frequent among the first states of the region, so we cannot discard the possibility that this was an intentional act.

The fieldwork in this second part of the "Proyecto La Puntilla" ended in December, and the material and human remains uncovered are now being studied. The research will be amplified through a programme to analyse the DNA in order to find evidence on the affiliation of those individuals buried at the necropolis.

The "Proyecto La Puntilla" is funded by the General Directorate for Fine Arts and Cultural Assets of the Spanish Ministry of Culture and by the Catalan Department of Education and Universities. The project is also recognised by the National Institute for Culture of Peru. The research team consists of archaeologists and students from Spain, Peru, Chile, Argentina, France and Italy.

Article from: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-03/uadb-naf032207.php



Related Articles
Cahuachi
Discovery could bring Peru's 'cloud warriors' to earth
600 Year Old Amazon Mummies of the Chachapoyas Caught In Terror
Chachapoyas culture
Nazca
Ancient Solar Observatory Discovered in Peru
The Mysteries of the Great Cross of Hendaye: Alchemy and the End of Time


Latest News from our Front Page

Why Can’t We Publish Addresses Of New York Times Reporters?
2014 11 28
New York Times reporters Julie Bosman and Campbell Robertson published the address of Darren Wilson in the New York Times so here are their addresses. GotNews.com strenuously objects to publishing the addresses of individuals who are being targeted with death threats. GotNews.com published the address of Ebola patient Nina Pham so that people could avoid going to her Dallas apartment. But it would ...
Terrorists? Interview with Varg Vikernes and Marie Cachet
2014 11 28
Marie Cachet and Varg Vikernes are what we call commonly ordinary people. However, for motives meanly political, the Ministry of the Interior decided to abuse its power to damage them ; "there is nothing more annoying than a low man placed in high position." (Roman saying) Today, Varg risks the eviction of the French territory without valid ground. Three very ...
The Coudenhove-Kalergi Plan - The Genocide Of The People Of Europe
2014 11 28
Mass immigration is a phenomenon, the causes of which are still cleverly concealed by the system, and the multicultural propaganda is trying to falsely portray it as inevitable. With this article we intend to prove once and for all, that this is not a spontaneous phenomenon. What they want to present as an inevitable outcome of modern life, is actually ...
Starbucks Supports Pro-GMO Company
2014 11 26
Another reason why you should not go to Starbucks. Starbucks has an image of being a socially responsible, environmentally friendly company (Really?). In 2013, 95 percent of their coffee was ethically sourced, and their goal is to reach 100 percent by 2015.1 Other goals include reducing water consumption by 25 percent in their company-operated stores by 20152 and mobilizing their employees and ...
Group Polarization and the Fad of Ethno-masochism
2014 11 26
From "Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 6 50 (6): 1141--1151 The psychology of White self hatred. Political correctness IS a mental disorder. More: Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis. Isenberg, Daniel J. the paper Indoctrinate U Harvard Professor Noel Ignatiev talks about how to end the White race The History of Political Correctness The Narrative: The origins of Political ...
More News »