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Ritual and Architecture in a Context of Emergent Complexity: A Perspective from Cerro Lampay, a Late Archaic Site in the Central Andes

by Vega-Centeno, Rafael.

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation addresses the role of ritual practices in the emergence of complex forms of social organization during the Late Archaic Period of the Central Andes (ca. 3000 – 1500 B.C.). This theme is approached through description and analysis of ritual architecture remains recovered in excavations at the site of Cerro Lampay, located in the Fortaleza Valley, within the North Central Coast of Peru. The emergence of social complexity is approached from the perspective of Practice Theory, noting the relevance of ritual practices in the generation, reproduction, and/or transformation of social conditions of existence. Following these theoretical principles, archaeological information is analyzed through a methodological frame built to understand the performative aspects of ritual and its material manifestations. A particular emphasis is put on the analysis of architectural remains, which are analyzed from proxemics and space syntax perspectives, in order to define the patterns of human interaction produced during the conduct of ritual. The inference of behavioral patterns conducted within construction events and ritual performances have allowed me to propose a scenario of a community with emergent leaders and a dual organization, which was responsible for the building, use, and closure of the architectural compounds found at Cerro Lampay. Ritual practices such as conspicuous consumption and feasting played a key role in the development of social dynamics and might have been a significant power source for the emergent leaderships. 15
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School:The University of Arizona

School Location:USA - Arizona

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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