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Ceramics of Ancient AmericaMultidisciplinary Approaches$
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Yumi Park Huntington, Dean E. Arnold, and Johanna Minich

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056067

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056067.001.0001

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Exploring the Technology and Meaning behind Early Ceramic Figurines from the Casma Valley, Peru

Exploring the Technology and Meaning behind Early Ceramic Figurines from the Casma Valley, Peru

Chapter:
(p.99) 4 Exploring the Technology and Meaning behind Early Ceramic Figurines from the Casma Valley, Peru
Source:
Ceramics of Ancient America
Author(s):

Shelia Pozorski

Thomas Pozorski

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813056067.003.0004

The Sechín Alto Polity, centered in the Casma Valley on the north coast of Peru, constructed the largest mound structures in the New World during the Initial Period (2100–1000 B.C.). The polity united at least six inland sites and three coastal satellites into a political and economically cooperative unit within which different sites and different monumental structures had distinct, but complementary, functions. Prominent among the artifacts that define the Sechín Alto Polity are ceramic figurines. Examples are consistently from domestic or residential contexts; most (more than 350 fragments) were recovered from Sechín Alto site, the polity capital, where they were likely manufactured. Iconography within Andean archaeology of the figurines connects them with warrior figures and victims depicted in the Cerro Sechín stone carvings and by extension with anthropomorphic friezes that adorn the temple mound of Moxeke within the Sechín Alto Polity. These data suggest that the Casma figurines may represent distinct groups of people who in turn reflected sacred vs. secular aspects of Casma Valley society.

Keywords:   Andean archaeology, Initial Period, Sechín Alto Polity, ceramic figurines, monumental structures, Cerro Sechín, Casma Valley, Moxeke

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