The Casma Valley of Peru’s north central coast contains the largest New World structure of its time period2500 to 200 BCas well as one of the densest concentrations of early sites. In this detailed and thought-provoking volume, Shelia and Thomas Pozorski date each major early site, assess this important valley’s diet and subsistence changes through time, and begin to reconstruct the development of Casma Valley society. Fifteen sites are surveyed, including Pampa de las Llamas-Moxeke, the earliest planned city in the New World. The Pozorskis then synthesize their own fieldwork and previous work in the Casma Valley to chart its development during the critical time when civilization was emerging. The result: a scenario which is somewhat revolutionary in the context of more traditional views of Andean prehistory. Early Settlement and Subsistence in the Casma Valley, Peru adds substantially to the growing body of evidence that the earliest development of Andean civilization occurred on the coast rather than in the highlands. This volume presents comparative data for students of emerging civilizations worldwide and will be of value not only to Andean and New World archaeologists but also to everyone interested in the emergence of complex societies.

“The Pozorskis’ commendable volume on the Casma is the first published overview of all the major early monuments available to an English-speaking audience. As such it is a critical resource for addressing the origins of New World social complexity, for teaching South American archaeology, and for Andean specialists.”American Antiquity

“. . . the authors have contributed substantially to demonstrating that the development of complex society occurred as an indigenous process on the coast of Peru; they have provided a series of useful (uncorrected) radiocarbon dates and artifact descriptions for these sites; and they have shown a strong temporal relationship among construction of monumental architecture, irrigation architecture, settlement shifts inland, and incipient economic differentiation.”Ethnohistory

“. . . a significant contribution to the literature on early Peruvian civilization.”American Anthropologist

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Publication Details

Publication Date
160 pages
Trim size
6 x 9 inches
39 photos, 22 drawings, 2 maps