Pampa de las Llamas-Moxeke

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Pampa de las Llamas-Moxeke

Pampa de las Llamas-Moxeke, a large early site located in the Casma Valley on the north-central coast of Peru. The site, once the center of a larger polity, dates between 1900 bce and 1400 bce and covers an area of about 550 acres. All of the site's architecture is built of stone set in mud mortar.

The main axis of the site is formed by two large mounds separated by numerous spacious plazas. The largest mound, Moxeke, was a religious temple for public worship. Along its front face it once had several large anthropomorphic heads and full figures, probably representing deities or mythological beings. These would have been plainly visible to people standing in adjacent plazas. Huaca A, the other large mound, was used as a large warehouse for storing foodstuffs and other commodities. Its symmetrical summit contains seventy-seven large rooms built on different levels and reached by staircases. Access to each room was strictly controlled by the use of wooden bar closures that permitted or prevented entry. The elite class living at the site controlled the access to Huaca A as a means to enforce their authority.

Lining the main plazas of the site are over 110 intermediate-sized mounds that served as administrative structures. Lower-level bureaucrats working within them monitored the flow of goods in and out of Huaca A through the use of ceramic stamp and cylinder seals as symbols of authority. The site also contains hundreds of smaller structures that served as houses for people of different classes and status groups. Two additional small structures have central, ventilated hearths. These structures were once roofed by wood and reeds and probably functioned as private ritual chambers for small groups of people.

See alsoArchaeology .


Shelia Pozorski and Thomas Pozorski, "Recent Excavations at Pampa de las Llamas-Moxeke," in Journal of Field Archaeology 13 (1986): 381-401; Early Settlement and Subsistence in the Casma Valley, Peru (1987); and "Storage, Access Control, and Bureaucratic Proliferation: Understanding the Initial Period (1800–900 B.C.) Economy at Pampa de las Llamas-Moxeke, Casma Valley, Peru," in Research in Economic Anthropology 13 (1991): 341-371.

Additional Bibliography

Pozorski, Sheila, and Thomas Pozorski. "Multi-dimensional Planning at Pampa de las Llamas-Moxeke on the North Central Coast of Peru," in Meaningful Architecture: Social Interpretations of Buildings, edited by Martin Locock. Brookfield: Avebury, 1994.

Pozorski, Thomas, and Sheila Pozorski. "Ventilated Hearth Structures in the Casma Valley, Peru." Latin American Antiquity Vol. 7, No. 4 (Dec., 1996): 341-353.

                                          Shelia Pozorski

                                         Thomas Pozorski