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Article

Jorge G. Marcos

Pre-Columbian culture of coastal Ecuador, which flourished c. 500 bcc. ad 500. Archaeological research initiated by Geoffrey Bushnell in 1951 has shown that the Guangala people occupied the forest of the Santa Elena Peninsula from the Chongón-Colonche Cordillera to the sea, extending north through the narrow coastal strip of southern Manabí Province. Like their predecessors, who made Engoroy style pottery, the Guangala people were experts at farming dry land, mostly using condensed fog for irrigation, as well as being accomplished sailors. Ceramic wares similar to those of Engoroy and Guangala have been found in Guatemala, suggesting that a long-distance trade network between Ecuador and Mesoamerica already existed at this period. Studies of settlement patterns in the Chanduy Valley show that Guangala people established permanent hamlets in diverse micro-environments, as well as larger sites, which served as centres of economic, religious, and political power, and regional and long-distance trade. Guangala houses were built on a rectangular plan and had wooden frames and wattle-and-daub construction, with ornate baked clay eaves, window, and door frames....

Article

Joan K. Lingen

Pre-Columbian site in Costa Rica, in the Línea Vieja central highlands of Cartago Province. It flourished c. ad 1000–c. 1500, but with earlier occupation. Guayabo de Turrialba lies near the Reventazon River on the slope of Turrialba volcano, c. 1000 m above sea level. Its location in a tropical region of dense forest and fertile soil contributed to its growth and importance as a political and religious ceremonial centre. It is also known for its stone cist tombs, containing such lavish burial goods as carved stone objects and several varieties of ceramics. The site’s late 19th-century owner, Don Ramon Rojas Troyo, collected hundreds of artefacts, which later became a major part of the collection of the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, San José. At the same time the first archaeological investigations, of several burials, were undertaken by Anastasio Alfaro. A number of the objects recovered by Troyo and Alfaro were first exhibited in the Americas section of the ...

Article

Joan K. Lingen

[Calderon Site]

Pre-Columbian site in Panama, near Parita, Herrera Province. It was first investigated by Matthew Stirling and Gordon Willey during the National Geographic Society/Smithsonian Institution Expedition in 1948, then by Russell Mitchell and John Acker in 1957–8 and by John Ladd and Thelma Bull in the early 1960s. Excavation focused on a series of mounds, some of which were burials accompanied by great quantities of grave goods, including ceramic vessels and bone, stone, and gold objects. Analysis of these by Olga Linares interprets them as recognizably part of the long tradition of the Coclé culture, indicating occupation of the site in the Late Coclé and subsequent Herrera phases (c. ad 1200–c. 1500). Various reports describe from 10 to 13 mounds, possibly due to the fact that the site has been occupied and sufficiently disturbed in recent decades to change the nature of the plan. The basic layout consists of a series of small, low oval-shaped tumuli, 2–3 m high, in a nearly circular arrangement ...

Article

Helaine Silverman

Pre-Columbian site in the southernmost branch of the Río Grande de Nazca drainage on the south coast of Peru, 500 km south of Lima. The site is of great importance for understanding the cultural relationship between the late Nazca culture of the coast and the Huari culture in the adjacent Ayacucho highlands. The architecture of Huaca del Loro (circular stone construction and rectilinear compounds), together with finds of pottery related to highland styles, suggests that it was established by the Huari people. This conclusion is supported by a consistent series of radiocarbon measurements that date both site and pottery to c. ad 700–830, the height of the expansion of the Huari empire.

When discovered in 1952 by William Strong, Huaca del Loro extended for more than 500 m along the north side of the Tunga Valley and consisted of several architectural units. One of these was a small circular structure of rock and rubble set in mud mortar and coated with red-painted plaster. Rooms adjoining the round building, interpreted by Strong as a temple, contained guinea pig and whale bones. There were also two large rectilinear compounds to the north and east of the ‘temple’. A third similar compound may lie on the hillside above the main site; it is surrounded by a cemetery containing many looted tombs. Since Strong’s investigations the site has been badly damaged by agricultural bulldozing....

Article

Ann Kendall

[Huánuco Viejo]

Pre-Columbian Inca regional capital, 150 km from modern Huánuco in north-central Peru. The well-preserved city at Huánuco Pampa, which flourished during the late Imperial period (c. 1473–1534), consists of approximately 3500 visible structures covering an area of c. 2 sq. km. The city was planned according to Inca concepts of urbanism and was divided into four sectors (north, south, east, and west), each of which was further subdivided into twelve sections. The centre of the city comprised a large plaza (550×350 m) with a central ushnu (or usnu; Quechua: ceremonial platform). Roads (including those to Cuzco and Quito) met at the plaza. The ushnu comprises a main rectangular platform (32 × 48 × 3.5 m high) set on two lower platforms, all made of stone blocks dressed on their exposed faces. The main platform included a balustrade with two entrances and a flight of steps on its southern side. The entrances were flanked by stone blocks carved in high relief with what appear to be pumas. Two small buildings on the lowest platform face east....

Article

Huastec  

Beatriz de la Fuente

Region and culture of Mesoamerica, that produced distinctive Pre-Columbian architecture, sculpture, pottery and shell ornaments. From the Middle Pre-Classic period (c. 1000–c. 300 bc) to the Late Post-Classic period (c. ad 1200–1521) the Huastec people occupied the Gulf Coast of Mexico; today they inhabit southern Tamaulipas, northern Veracruz, eastern San Luis Potosí and parts of Querétaro, Hidalgo and Puebla.

Few Huastec buildings survive, and these only partially. Their most common characteristic is a circular floor plan. One of the oldest is in El Ebano in Tamaulipas; it may date from the Middle Pre-Classic period and has a circular floor plan (diam. 57 m), on top of which is a sort of hemispherical cap, 3 m high. The area of the Tamuín River was the most densely populated, and among the best-known sites are Tamtok and Tamuín, both Late Classic (c. ad 600–c. 900...

Article

Gordon R. Willey, David M. Jones, Gordon Brotherston, Peter W. Stahl, Elizabeth P. Benson, Warwick Bray, H. Stanley Loten, Ursula Jones, Karen Olsen Bruhns, Frederick W. Lange, Sara Lunt, Annemarie Seiler-Baldinger, Elizabeth K. Easby, M. E. Moseley, W. Iain Mackay, Susan A. Niles, Pauline Antrobus, Duccio Bonavia, George Bankes, R. José Berenguer, Daniel Schávelzon, Irmhild Wüst, Tania Andrade Lima, José R. Oliver, Ann M. Mester, Luis A. Borrero, Colin McEwan, Anthony Alan Shelton, William J. Conklin, Peter Cloudsley and Joanne Pillsbury

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Robert D. Drennan

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Article

George Bankes

Pre-Columbian culture of South America that extended throughout several valleys on the south coast of Peru and flourished between c. ad 1000 and 1476. The Ica–Chincha pottery style was first recognized by the German archaeologist Max Uhle, and regional variations have since been defined by archaeologists from the University of California at Berkeley, especially by Dorothy Menzel. The Ica Valley appears to have been the main cultural centre, while the Chincha Valley seems to have had greater political significance. Commerce was important; pottery was clearly held in high esteem, since it has been found at sites on the central coast and inland in the Río Pampas area near Ayacucho, and it seems, moreover, to have formed the principal indicator of cultural cohesion and diversity between the valleys. The main feature of the decorated wares is a polychrome style, usually with a red base overpainted with white and black designs. Motifs are frequently geometric, with many designs taken from textiles, including diamonds, stepped lines and zigzag lines. There are also many depictions of birds and fish that are difficult to see in the maze of angular designs. A characteristic vessel shape is a jar with a rounded base, globular body, narrow neck and flaring rim. Dishes with a flanged rim are also common. As on ...

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Article

Gordon R. Willey, David M. Jones, Gordon Brotherston, Peter W. Stahl, Elizabeth P. Benson, Warwick Bray, H. Stanley Loten, Ursula Jones, Karen Olsen Bruhns, Frederick W. Lange, Sara Lunt, Annemarie Seiler-Baldinger, Elizabeth K. Easby, M. E. Moseley, W. Iain Mackay, Susan A. Niles, Pauline Antrobus, Duccio Bonavia, George Bankes, R. José Berenguer, Daniel Schávelzon, Irmhild Wüst, Tania Andrade Lima, José R. Oliver, Ann M. Mester, Luis A. Borrero, Colin McEwan, Anthony Alan Shelton, William J. Conklin, Peter Cloudsley and Joanne Pillsbury

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Article

Gordon R. Willey, David M. Jones, Gordon Brotherston, Peter W. Stahl, Elizabeth P. Benson, Warwick Bray, H. Stanley Loten, Ursula Jones, Karen Olsen Bruhns, Frederick W. Lange, Sara Lunt, Annemarie Seiler-Baldinger, Elizabeth K. Easby, M. E. Moseley, W. Iain Mackay, Susan A. Niles, Pauline Antrobus, Duccio Bonavia, George Bankes, R. José Berenguer, Daniel Schávelzon, Irmhild Wüst, Tania Andrade Lima, José R. Oliver, Ann M. Mester, Luis A. Borrero, Colin McEwan, Anthony Alan Shelton, William J. Conklin, Peter Cloudsley and Joanne Pillsbury

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Article

José Alcina Franch

Village and site of Pre-Columbian Andean ruins 16 km from Cañar in the Sierra Sur, Ecuador. The site is in a rugged area between the River Silante and the village of Ingapirca, c. 3200 m above sea level. An early Cañari settlement, dating from the 10th century ad, was conquered by the Incas at the end of the 15th century. Its Inca name is believed to have been Hatun Cañar. The site had been known and visited since the 18th century but was not excavated until 1968, by G. J. Hadden. Further work was conducted by Juan Cueva in 1970, José Alcina in 1974–5, and Antonio Fresco in 1978–82.

The identification of architectural structures has proved difficult, as some are Inca and others earlier. The outstanding feature of the site is the Castillo complex, comprising a large oval building and a series of rectangular dwellings. The Castillo itself is a pyramidal structure in which the main platform is formed by a finely carved wall ...

Article

Inka  

Ann Kendall

A Pre-Columbian culture of the Central Andean area of South America, the early Inka people are recognizable in the archaeological record of the Late Intermediate Period (c. 1000–1476 CE) from the 12th century onward. The Inka empire flourished in the 15th century and early 16th. In a more restricted sense the term refers to the ruling elite and its supreme head, the Sapa Inka (“Unique Inka”). The Inka are alone in having successfully politically unified the vast area of the Central Andes, coastlands, and adjacent regions. Their empire, the largest indigenous state in the history of the Americas, endured for approximately 100 years; it extended 4000 km from northwest to southeast and approximately 320 km inland from the South American coast (see fig.). The Inka and subjected populations engaged primarily in agriculture and pastoralism. There are widely differing estimates of the total population of Inka and subject peoples at the time of the Spanish arrival in ...

Article

Article

Gordon R. Willey, David M. Jones, Gordon Brotherston, Peter W. Stahl, Elizabeth P. Benson, Warwick Bray, H. Stanley Loten, Ursula Jones, Karen Olsen Bruhns, Frederick W. Lange, Sara Lunt, Annemarie Seiler-Baldinger, Elizabeth K. Easby, M. E. Moseley, W. Iain Mackay, Susan A. Niles, Pauline Antrobus, Duccio Bonavia, George Bankes, R. José Berenguer, Daniel Schávelzon, Irmhild Wüst, Tania Andrade Lima, José R. Oliver, Ann M. Mester, Luis A. Borrero, Colin McEwan, Anthony Alan Shelton, William J. Conklin, Peter Cloudsley and Joanne Pillsbury

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Robert D. Drennan

In 

Article

Gordon R. Willey, David M. Jones, Gordon Brotherston, Peter W. Stahl, Elizabeth P. Benson, Warwick Bray, H. Stanley Loten, Ursula Jones, Karen Olsen Bruhns, Frederick W. Lange, Sara Lunt, Annemarie Seiler-Baldinger, Elizabeth K. Easby, M. E. Moseley, W. Iain Mackay, Susan A. Niles, Pauline Antrobus, Duccio Bonavia, George Bankes, R. José Berenguer, Daniel Schávelzon, Irmhild Wüst, Tania Andrade Lima, José R. Oliver, Ann M. Mester, Luis A. Borrero, Colin McEwan, Anthony Alan Shelton, William J. Conklin, Peter Cloudsley and Joanne Pillsbury

In 

Article

David M. Jones

Site of Pre-Columbian Cakchiquel Maya fortress capital in the Guatemalan highlands near Lake Atitlán. It flourished during the Post-Classic period (c. ad 900–1521) and was captured by the Spanish in 1524. Iximché was visited by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood in 1840 but was otherwise ignored until 1887, when Alfred Maudslay surveyed it and made a plan. Ceramics were studied by Robert Wauchope in the 1940s, excavation and restoration were done by G. F. Guillemín in the 1950s and 1970s, and a small museum (Iximché Archaeol. Mus.) was established in Tecpán near by.

In the Late Post-Classic period (c. ad 1200–1521) the Guatemalan highlands were in turmoil as numerous noble families sought to enhance their power. Civic centres were fortified and located or relocated on mountaintops. Architectural embellishment became more restricted and regressed from the grand to the utilitarian, as did sculpture and ceramics. Copper, silver, and gold objects were imported from central Mesoamerica. Lineage and inherited rights for civic leaders, priests, craftsmen, merchants, and farmers became extremely structured. The ...