Although the Cuzco Valley of Peru is renowned for being the heartland of the Incas, little is known concerning its pre-Inca inhabitants. Until recently it was widely believed that the first inhabitants of the Cuzco Valley were farmers who lived in scattered villages along the valley floor (ca. 1000 BC) and that there were no Archaic Period remains in the region. This perspective was challenged during a systematic survey of the valley, when numerous preceramic sites were found. Additional information came from excavations at the site of Kasapata, the largest preceramic site identified during the survey. It is now clear that the Cuzco Valley was inhabited, like many other regions of the Andes, soon after the retreat of the Pleistocene glaciers and that it supported thriving cultures of hunters and foragers for hundreds of generations before the advent of permanent settlements. This edited volume provides the first overview of the Archaic Period (9000 - 2200 BC) in the Cuzco Valley. The chapters include a detailed discussion of the distribution of Archaic sites in the valley as well as the result of excavations at the site of Kasapata. Separate chapters are dedicated to examining the lithics, human burials, faunal remains, and obsidian recovered at this remarkably well-preserved site.
Brian S. Bauer is professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Research at the Site of Kasapata (Bradford Jones and Brian S Bauer); The Lithic remains from the site of Kasapata (Cynthia Klink); Analysis of Human Skeletal Materials from Kasapata (Richard C Sutter and Rosa J Cortez); Faunal Remains from the site of Kasapata (Susan deFrance); The Sourcing of Archaic Obsidian from Kasapata (AN-309), Department of Cuzco (Richard L Burger and Michael Glascock); The Archaic Period of the Cuzco Valley (Brian S Bauer, Bradford Jones, Cynthia Klink, Richard Sutter, Susan D deFrance, and Richard Burger); Appendix 1: Radiocarbon Dates from the site of Kasapata.