The First Field Season of Excavations at the Alto del Molino Site, Pisco Valley, Peru

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Little archaeological fieldwork has been conducted in the Pisco Valley on the south coast of Peru and Pisco has long been regarded as inconsequential in the cultural dynamics of the region's prehistory. Yet a critical review of the literature and, especially, the results of recent excavations at the Alto del Molino site reveal that Pisco played an important role in the development of social complexity on the south coast at the end of the Early Horizon (ca. 300–1 B.C.) through the early Early Intermediate Period (ca. A.C. 1–300). The Pisco Valley is part of the larger context of the great cemeteries of the nearby, desolate Paracas Peninsula and the valley contributes to our understanding of those elaborate mortuary phenomena. In addition, a major regional culture called Carmen flourished in Pisco following the abandonment of the Paracas cemeteries and contemporary Pisco Valley sites. Carmen is contemporary with early Nasca culture of the Ica and Nazca valleys to the south and is clearly related to that social formation. The major Carmen occupation at Alto del Molino provides important data for examining the nature of Carmen- Nasca interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-457
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science


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