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Continuity and Change in Ceremonial Structures at Late Preceramic Asana, Southern Peru

Mark Aldenderfer
Latin American Antiquity
Vol. 2, No. 3 (Sep., 1991), pp. 227-258
DOI: 10.2307/972170
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/972170
Page Count: 32
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Continuity and Change in Ceremonial Structures at Late Preceramic Asana, Southern Peru
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Abstract

[English] A 500-year record of changes and continuities in structures defined as ceremonial has been discovered in the Qhuna phase (5000-4400 B. P.) of Late Preceramic period Asana in the Moquegua drainage of southern Peru. These are the earliest known ceremonial structures in the south-central Andes, and their existence raises new questions about the trajectory of cultural change in the region. In its earliest construction around 4800 B. P., the ceremonial complex appears to be a "dance ground," similar to the sometimes-enclosed spaces used by ethnographically known mobile foragers for periodic feasts and social exchanges. By 4500 B. P., however, the complex appears to be more formal in its construction, with a clear inside-outside dichotomy of feature placement and presumed activity performance. In this paper, the structural features of the ceremonial complex are described, compared to other, roughly contemporaneous expressions of ceremonial structures in the Andes, and their function interpreted. // [Spanish] Quinientos años de cambios y continuidades de estructuras identificadas como ceremoniales se han descubierto en la fase Qhuna (5000-4400 A. P.) del período Precerámico Tardío en el sitio de Asana en la cuenca del Río Moquegua, sur del Perú. Estas son las estructuras más antiguas que se conocen en los andes sud-centrales, y su existencia estimula una nueva reflexión de la trajectoria del cambio cultural en la región. En su construcción más temprana (4800 A. P.), el complejo ceremonial parece ser un foco festivo, parecido a los espacios utilizados por grupos nomadas etnográficamente conocidos para sus festivales e intercambios sociales. Más tarde (4500 A. P.), el complejo tiene una construcción más formal con una dicotomía clara de las actividades del interior y del exterior de la estructura. En este informe se describen las características estructurales del complejo ceremonial, y se comparan a otras expresiones contemporáneas en los Andes y se interpretan sus funciones.

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