Moche social boundaries and settlement dynamics at Cerro Castillo (c. AD 600-1000), Nepeña Valley, Peru Volume 1

Rengifo, Carlos (2014) Moche social boundaries and settlement dynamics at Cerro Castillo (c. AD 600-1000), Nepeña Valley, Peru Volume 1. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This dissertation explores the pre-Columbian occupation at Cerro Castillo, a coastal
settlement in the Nepeña Valley, Peru. The study examines the site’s internal organisation as
well as its relationship with regional cultural phenomena during its most important period of
occupation (circa AD 600-1000). Characterising the Moche presence at the site is one of the
main subjects of this investigation.
Moche was one of the grandest civilisations that developed in the pre-Columbian
Andes, dating from circa AD 100 to 850. Its high levels of complexity are materially expressed
in the archaeological remains of urban centres, monumental temples, irrigation systems,
funerary practices and fi nely made artefacts. This work builds on decades of previous research
to assess the nature of Moche at Cerro Castillo questioning uni-directional approaches to
cultural interaction, social complexity and the secondary role attributed to small to mid-scale
communities in their own development and in the regional affairs.
This investigation relies on an archaeological approach and methodology on analysis
of contextual data obtained from excavations at Cerro Castillo. This information is examined
within a theoretical framework that integrates and evaluates perspectives of boundaries, cultural
identity and social practice.
By articulating material evidence with different lines of interpretative models, this thesis
demonstrates that settlements such as Cerro Castillo were not passive recipients of the agency
of a stronger political entity. Alternatively, it postulates that Cerro Castillo was a competing
community that experienced its most signifi cant period of development in times of profound
regional transformations. Rather than a political or military imposition, Moche is seen as a belief
system that dovetailed with Cerro Castillo’s growing power and economy as its inhabitants
embraced the lifestyle of a worldview that brought prestige and innovative cultural features.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art History and World Art Studies (former - to 2014)
Depositing User: Users 2259 not found.
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2014 12:10
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2014 12:10


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