Over the last decades, considerable effort has been directed towards the study of early complex societies of northern Peru, and in recent years archaeologists have expressed a strong interest in the art and archaeology of the Moche, Lambayeque and Chimu societies. Yet, comparatively little attention has been paid to the earlier cultural foundations of north coast civilisation: the Gallinazo. In the recent years, however, the work of a number of north coast specialists brought about a large quantity of data on the Gallinazo occupation of the coast, but a coherent framework for studying this culture had yet to be defined. The present volume is the result of a round table, which gathered some thirty scholars from Europe and North and South America to discuss the Gallinazo phenomenon. In fourteen chapters, authors with different perspectives and backgrounds re-consider the nature of the Gallinazo culture and its position within north coast cultural history, while addressing wider issues about the development of complex societies in this area and within the Andean region in general. The contributions reveal a diversity of perspectives on north coast archaeology, something that is likely to stimulate methodological and theoretical debates among Andeanists, pre-Columbian specialists and New World archaeologists in general.
Jean-Francois Millaire is an assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario and research associate at the American Museum of Natural History. Magali Morlion is research associate in the Viru Polity Project.