The Creation and Ritual Destruction of Architectonic Models in San José de Moro
Architectural models or maquetas are an exceptional type of artifact due to the symbolical, technological, and material information embedded in them. They provide us with a rare emic view of ancient landscapes, building techniques, materials, and of the way spaces, sites, and landscapes were structured. These interpretations, however, can be influenced by the cultural bias of the observer. When found in their context of use or discard, they can offer valuable insights into their function and into the identities of those who used them. On the North Coast of Peru, and particularly in San José de Moro, tens of these artifacts were encountered in the largest funerary chambers and in the boot-shaped tombs. In this chapter, Castillo Butters explores the material characteristics of these maquetas, the contexts in which they were found, and the different ways of interpreting their symbolic meanings.
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