Show Summary Details

Page of

 Printed from Grove Art Online. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 15 October 2019

Cahuachi [Kawachi]locked

  • Helaine Silverman



Major site of the Pre-Columbian early Nazca culture in the Nazca Valley on the south coast of Peru. It was the capital of a brilliant civilization that flourished 1–c. 400. The site covers 150 ha and comprises some 40 artificial and semi-artificial mounds of various sizes, the largest of which measure some 20 m high and 140 m per side at the base. There are also walled and open plaza areas and Nazca and post-Nazca burial grounds.

William Strong’s fieldwork of 1952–3 determined that Cahuachi was first settled in the early 1st century ad, when the inhabitants lived in wattle and daub houses. Approximately a century later temple mounds began to be built. Cahuachi did not, however, grow into a great city: Helaine Silverman’s excavations of 1984–5 indicate that even at its height Cahuachi had only a small permanent population, perhaps consisting of the Nazca élite and their retainers, although frequent pilgrimage activity meant that the site could fill up with thousands of transient inhabitants....

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.