By George F. Lau
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Flourishing from A. D. 1 to seven-hundred, the Recuay inhabited lands in northern Peru slightly below the implementing glaciers of the top mountain chain within the tropics. Thriving on an economic system of high-altitude vegetation and camelid herding, they left at the back of finely made works of art and grand palatial structures with an unheard of aesthetic and a excessive measure of technical sophistication.
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Additional resources for Andean Expressions: Art and Archaeology of the Recuay Culture
Subsequent chapters form the crux of my argument regarding the myriad interventions of artifacts and places in Recuay society. Chapters 3 and 4 focus on Recuay architecture and landscapes, by detailing variability in form and function and the chronology of Recuay settlements and constructions. In addition to discussing socioeconomic practices (agropastoralism, exchange, and defense), these chapters investigate certain buildings as vital contexts for ceremony and reinforcement of social boundaries.
Expansive grasslands, very suitable for herding, lie above the upper limits of agriculture. humid woodland environments are internally diverse, again largely defined by altitude and precipitation produced by warm, rain-laden air welling up from the Amazon basin. The upper areas, called cloud forests of the ceja de selva or ceja de la montaña, are particularly rich in plants and animals. Thus in Ancash Department the stark verticality of the Andean cordillera as it rises from the desertic coast forms a series of ecological zones, largely based on location (especially in respect to rivers and other water sources) and elevation.
The most important river systems, from south to north, include the Puchca, Yanamayo, and Sihuas. These were also places of Recuay development. To the north of the Callejón de Huaylas are the regions of Corongo and Pallasca, associated with the northernmost Recuay developments. This portion of the Ancash sierra is relatively unknown archaeologically, except for a few studies (Grieder 1978; Grieder et al. 1988; Terada 1979). It remains the crucial terrain, however, for understanding Recuay’s cultural interaction with the Santiago de Chuco region and Early Intermediate Period societies farther north in Huamachuco and Cajamarca.
Andean Expressions: Art and Archaeology of the Recuay Culture by George F. Lau