Huaricanga

Information

Huaricanga is one of several large Late Archaic sites in the Pativilca and Fortaleza Valleys in the Norte Chico region of north-central coastal Peru. Excavations by Jonathan Haas, Winifred Creamer and their colleagues from 2002-2008 at 13 sites recovered very early evidence of maize as well as other domesticates and animal and fish remains. Their work focused on radiocarbon dating samples from stratified domestic refuse at two sites in particular: Huaricanga and Caballete in the Fortaleza Valley. Maize from these sites is represented by both macroremains and microremains including, phytoliths, starch grains, and pollen (Haas et al. 2013; Creamer et al. 2007). Some of the macroremains are directly dated, while most of the microremains are indirectly dated.

Beginning about 5000 years ago, Huaricanga became one of the largest Late Archaic ceremonial and residential centers in the Norte Chico region, and continued in use through to the Initial Period 3800 years ago and beyond (Piscitelli 2014). See Matthew Piscitelli's website describing recent work at the site: http://diggingperu.wordpress.com/context/.

ID Other ID Type Subtype Uncal BP (years) ± 1 σ (years) Median cal BP (years) Lower cal BP (years) Upper cal BP (years) δ13C Contaminated?
AA-84576 MicroSample phytolith 4330 180 4873 5450 4409 No
AA-84576 MicroSample starch grain 4330 180 4873 5450 4409 No
AA-84581 MicroSample starch grain 4550 45 5159 5312 4978 No
Beta-236815 MacroSample unknown 3920 40 4291 4416 4154 -11.1 No

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References Cited

Creamer, Winifred, Alvaro Ruiz and Jonathan Haas
    2007    Archaeological Investigation of Late Archaic Sites (3000-1800 B.C.) in the Pativilca Valley, Peru. Fieldiana Anthropology 40 1-78.

Haas, Jonathan, Winifred Creamer, Luis Huamán Mesía, David Goldstein, Karl Reinhard and Cindy Vergel Rodríguez
    2013    Evidence for Maize (Zea mays) in the Late Archaic (3000-1800 B.C.) in the Norte Chico Region of Peru. PNAS Early Edition:1-5.

Piscitelli, Matthew
    2014    Ritual Is Power? Late Archaic Small-Scale Ceremonial Architecture in the Central Andes. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago.