Home Region:  Andes (South America and Caribbean)

Cuzco - Late Formative

EQ 2020  pe_cuzco_1 / PeCuzLF

The Formative period in the Cuzco valley (2200-500 BCE) marks the transition from small-scale semi-nomadic groups of hunter-gatherers to sedentary villages associated with ceramic production and agriculture. Traditionally, it has been subdivided into three periods. The Early Formative (2200-1500 BCE) corresponds to the beginning of ceramic production and quinoa cultivation and the establishment of large, permanent villages. [1] During the Middle Formative (1500-500 BCE), Marcavalle ceramics appeared and villages grew, possibly leading to the beginnings of ranked village societies. [2] The domestication of camelids was also under way. [3] The Late Formative (500 BCE-200 CE) saw the emergence of a three-tiered settlement pattern in the Cuzco and Oropesa basins, dominated by the settlement of Wimpillay. [4] This period is also known as Chanapata, in reference to a dominant ceramic style discovered in the 1940s. [5] It is possible that other small chiefdoms existed in the region: a few early villages have been found near Raqchi in the Chit’apampa Basin, [6] and there may have been some small independent polities near Paruro and Cusichaca. [7] In the Lucre Basin to the east of modern Cuzco, a small chiefdom may have centred around the site of Choquepukio. [7]
Population and political organization
The population of these early polities remains unknown, but over 80 archaeological sites dating to this period have been surveyed in the valley by archaeologist Brian Bauer. [5] Some of these were identified as hamlets and small villages, with between a few dozen and a few hundred inhabitants. [8] More research is needed in order to understand sociopolitical relations at the time, but Bauer has interpreted the Late Formative as the period in which chiefdoms begin to emerge. [9] This process continued and solidified in the Early Intermediate Period.

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 39) Brian S. Bauer. 2004. Ancient Cuzco: Heartland of the Inca. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

[2]: (Bauer 2004, 40) Brian S. Bauer. 2004. Ancient Cuzco: Heartland of the Inca. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

[3]: (Bauer 2004, 41) Brian S. Bauer. 2004. Ancient Cuzco: Heartland of the Inca. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

[4]: (Bauer 2004, 44-45) Brian S. Bauer. 2004. Ancient Cuzco: Heartland of the Inca. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

[5]: (Bauer 2004, 42) Brian S. Bauer. 2004. Ancient Cuzco: Heartland of the Inca. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

[6]: (Covey 2006, 61) Alan R. Covey. 2006. How the Incas Built Their Heartland: State Formation and the Innovation of Imperial Strategies in the Sacred Valley, Peru. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

[7]: (Bauer 2004, 46) Brian S. Bauer. 2004. Ancient Cuzco: Heartland of the Inca. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

[8]: (Bauer 2004, 43) Brian S. Bauer. 2004. Ancient Cuzco: Heartland of the Inca. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

[9]: (Bauer 2004, 45) Brian S. Bauer. 2004. Ancient Cuzco: Heartland of the Inca. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
18 L  
19 L  
Original Name:
Cuzco - Late Formative  
Capital:
Wimpillay  
Alternative Name:
Wimpillay  
Chanapata  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
200 CE  
Duration:
[500 BCE ➜ 200 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
Lake Titicaca cultural sphere  
Succeeding Entity:
PeCuzE1  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Cuzco - Formative  
Degree of Centralization:
none  
Language
Linguistic Family:
suspected unknown  
Language Genus:
suspected unknown  
Language:
suspected unknown  
Religion
Religious Tradition:
suspected unknown  
Religion Family:
suspected unknown  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
-  
Polity Territory:
-  
Polity Population:
-  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
3  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
unknown  
Professional Priesthood:
unknown  
Professional Military Officer:
unknown  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
unknown  
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
unknown  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
unknown  
Judge:
unknown  
Formal Legal Code:
inferred absent  
Court:
unknown  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred absent  
Irrigation System:
inferred present  
Food Storage Site:
unknown  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
unknown  
Port:
unknown  
Canal:
unknown  
Bridge:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
inferred absent  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent  
Script:
absent  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Nonwritten Record:
unknown  
Non Phonetic Writing:
absent  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent  
Sacred Text:
absent  
Religious Literature:
absent  
Practical Literature:
absent  
Philosophy:
absent  
Lists Tables and Classification:
absent  
History:
absent  
Fiction:
absent  
Calendar:
absent  
Information / Money
Token:
unknown  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
absent  
Foreign Coin:
absent  
Article:
unknown  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
unknown  
General Postal Service:
unknown  
Courier:
unknown  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
unknown  
  Fortified Camp:
absent  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
absent  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
absent  
  Copper:
unknown  
  Bronze:
unknown  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
inferred present  
  Javelin:
unknown  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
inferred absent  
  Atlatl:
unknown  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
unknown  
  Sword:
absent  
  Spear:
unknown  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
unknown  
  Battle Axe:
unknown  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
absent  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
absent  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
unknown  
  Scaled Armor:
absent  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
unknown  
  Leather Cloth:
unknown  
  Laminar Armor:
absent  
  Helmet:
unknown  
  Chainmail:
absent  
  Breastplate:
unknown  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
inferred absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
inferred absent  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Cuzco - Late Formative (pe_cuzco_1) was in:
 (1 CE 199 CE)   Cuzco
Home NGA: Cuzco

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Cuzco - Late Formative

"Like other recent authors working in the Cuzco region (e.g. Zapata 1998), I have elected to call the period of time between the advent of ceramic production and the appearance of Qotakalli pottery in the Cuzco region the Formative Period." [1]

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 39)


Capital:
Wimpillay

Implication that Wimpillay dominated the settlement pattern in Late Formative times [1]
Language

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 52)


Alternative Name:
Wimpillay

During a survey the author was involved with "Wimpillay not only proved to be the largest Late Formative Phase site in the Cuzco and Oropesa Basins, but it also provided the finest Late Formative Phase pottery. The association of finer craft production with the largest village of a basin to serve the demands of a developing elite class is frequently observed in the archaeological record. It lends support to the unique importance that Wimpillay may have held among the Late Formative Phase sites of the basin." [1]
"On the basis of these findings, it can be suggested that the production of Chanapata and related ceramics started around 500-300 BC and continued until after the turn of the first millennium AD." [2]

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 43-44)

[2]: (Bauer 2004, 42)

Alternative Name:
Chanapata

During a survey the author was involved with "Wimpillay not only proved to be the largest Late Formative Phase site in the Cuzco and Oropesa Basins, but it also provided the finest Late Formative Phase pottery. The association of finer craft production with the largest village of a basin to serve the demands of a developing elite class is frequently observed in the archaeological record. It lends support to the unique importance that Wimpillay may have held among the Late Formative Phase sites of the basin." [1]
"On the basis of these findings, it can be suggested that the production of Chanapata and related ceramics started around 500-300 BC and continued until after the turn of the first millennium AD." [2]

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 43-44)

[2]: (Bauer 2004, 42)


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
200 CE

Since the level of complexity is thought to be low and gradual development occurred throughout the period, a date late in the period may coincide with the greatest level of social complexity.


Duration:
[500 BCE ➜ 200 CE]


"I currently interpret the site of Wimpillay to be the center of a valley-wide chiefdom during the Late Formative phase." [1]
Early Formative
Starts c2200 BCE with beginnings of ceramic production; Ends 1500 BCE with the establishment of large permanent villages [2]
Middle Formative
Starts 1500 BCE with the development of Marcavalle ceramics and the first villages; Ends 500 BCE [2]
represented by small independent villages. [1]
Late Formative
500 BCE - 200 CE
Chanapata ceramic style, the first pre-Inca ceramic style of the Cuzco region
"during this period a clear settlement hierarchy developed." [1]

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 44)

[2]: (Bauer 2004, 39)


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]

"It may also be noted that there is a distinct clustering of sites in the Cachimayu area, in the northwest extreme of our survey area (Map 5.1). This cluster is made all the more notable by the fact that there are no Formative Period sites in the high watershed area between the Cachimayu area and the Cuzco Basin. These sites most likely represent a small village cluster that paid allegiance to the elites of Cuzco or a similar chiefly society developing in or near the Plain of Anta, further to the west." [1] Bauer also refers to the existence of "important villages near the modern towns of Yaurisque and Paruro", in the Cusichaca area, in Chit’apampa and the Cuyo Basin, and a chiefdom in the Lucre Basin. [2] "Since periods of chiefdom developmment are frequently marked by conflict as many roughly equal polities compete for dominance, it is possible that additional research in the Cuzco region will not only help us to better define the political divisions of the area, but will also bring forth evidence of conflict and alliance formations between the many different chiefly centers." [2]

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 45)

[2]: (Bauer 2004, 46)


Supracultural Entity:
Lake Titicaca cultural sphere

"These kinds of communities, and the social process that they were experiencing, seem quite similar to what was taking place on the Altiplano." [1]

[1]: (Quilter 2013, 160)



Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

"Agricultural intensification continued during the Late Formative Phase." [1] "The Late Formative Period is a time of special interest in the prehistory of the Cuzco Valley, since it is during this period that a clear settlement hierarchy developed." [2] There does not seem to be many changes from the Marcavalle period, apart from a complexification of social and settlement hierarchy.

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 44)

[2]: (Bauer 2004, 45)


Preceding Entity:
Cuzco - Formative

Also referred to as ’Marcavalle’ [1]

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 40)



Religion



Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
-

[1]

[1]: (Brian Bauer 2015, personal communication)


Polity Territory:
-

100-200 squared kilometers. The area near Cuzco within which Late Formative sites have been found [1] However, it is not very clear how many quasi-polities occupied this area.
"In a recent overview of the Cuzco Formative Period, Zapata (1998) plots the location of some forty Late Formative sites spread along the Vilcanota River drainage between the site of Machu Picchu and the city of Sicunai. To this sum, we can add thiry additional Late Formative sites in the Province of Paruro and those that have recently been found in the Cuzco Valley. The number of Formative Period sites in the Cuzco Valley is well over eighty (Map 5.1.). Most of these sites date to the Late Formative Phase." [2]

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 45)

[2]: (Bauer 2004, 42)


Polity Population:
-

[1]

[1]: (Brian Bauer 2015, personal communication)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
3

levels. [1]
1.. Center
2. Villages
3. Hamlets
"For the Formative Period, Bauer has identified another three-tiered settlement system in the Cusco Basin, as well as thirty-one small sites in the Paruro region that may or may not have been organized hierarchically." [2]
"Our regional survey data document a multitiered settlement pattern for the Late Formative Phase, with numerous small sites, a variety of bigger settlements, and a single center (Map 5.2)." [3]

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 39)

[2]: (Covey 2006, 61)

[3]: (Bauer 2004, 45)


Law


Formal Legal Code:
absent

There probably was no formal legal code as writing was not developed until the arrival of the Spanish. "There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)



Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
absent

According to Alan Covey: "No evidence of money. I don’t know how one would document “markets”—in the exchange sense or the spatial sense? There is not enough evidence to evaluate exchange systems in the Cuzco region before Inca times, and the study of Inca exchange is steeped in substantivist/Marxian ideology that downplays exchange." [1]

[1]: (Alan Covey 2015, personal communication)


Irrigation System:
present

"The maize fields near Marcavalle and elsewhere across the lower elevations of the Cuzco Valley would have been supported by seasonal rains and perhaps by small irrigation ditches that were constructed to bring water from adjacent springs or streams." [1]

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 44)


Food Storage Site:
unknown

According to Alan Covey: " Karen Chávez and John Rowe had small excavations with contexts of that date, but no clear architecture. It’s not clear what Zapata dug at Muyu Urqu, or what Gordon McEwan and Arminda Gibaja found at Chokepukio, but there doesn’t seem to be a discussion of public storage." [1]

[1]: (Alan Covey 2015, personal communication)


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
absent

"For more than a thousand years, the peoples of the Cuzco region had obtained their obsidian from sources located in the Alca region. During the Wari Period, when Wari occupied parts of the Cuzco region, the obsidian flow from this source stopped." [1] This suggests that the Cuzco people did not have their own obsidian quarries.

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 68)


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent

Writing was not developed until the arrival of the Spanish. "There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


Writing was not developed until the arrival of the Spanish. "There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

Writing was not developed until the arrival of the Spanish. "There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


Nonwritten Record:
unknown

Writing was not developed until the arrival of the Spanish. "There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


Non Phonetic Writing:
absent

Writing was not developed until the arrival of the Spanish. "There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)



Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent

"There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


Sacred Text:
absent

"There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


Religious Literature:
absent

"There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


Practical Literature:
absent

"There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


Philosophy:
absent

"There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


Lists Tables and Classification:
absent

"There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


History:
absent

"There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


Fiction:
absent

"There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


Calendar:
absent

"There was no true writing system in the Andes prior to the arrival of the Spanish., notwithstanding recent interpretations of the quipu (see Quilter and Urton 2002) and the tocapu pictograms." [1]

[1]: (Hiltunen and McEwan 2004, 236)


Information / Money

Paper Currency:
absent

According to Alan Covey: "No evidence of money. I don’t know how one would document “markets”—in the exchange sense or the spatial sense? There is not enough evidence to evaluate exchange systems in the Cuzco region before Inca times, and the study of Inca exchange is steeped in substantivist/Marxian ideology that downplays exchange." [1]

[1]: (Alan Covey 2015, personal communication)


Indigenous Coin:
absent

According to Alan Covey: "No evidence of money. I don’t know how one would document “markets”—in the exchange sense or the spatial sense? There is not enough evidence to evaluate exchange systems in the Cuzco region before Inca times, and the study of Inca exchange is steeped in substantivist/Marxian ideology that downplays exchange." [1]

[1]: (Alan Covey 2015, personal communication)


Foreign Coin:
absent

According to Alan Covey: "No evidence of money. I don’t know how one would document “markets”—in the exchange sense or the spatial sense? There is not enough evidence to evaluate exchange systems in the Cuzco region before Inca times, and the study of Inca exchange is steeped in substantivist/Marxian ideology that downplays exchange." [1]

[1]: (Alan Covey 2015, personal communication)



Information / Postal System



Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications



Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

"Many of these sites are located on hilltops, knolls, promontories, and the ends of ridges. This pattern is found elsewhere in the surrounding area, including the province of Paruro (Bauer 1999, 2002), the Cusichaca area (Hey 1984) and the Huaro Basin (Zapata 1998)." [1]

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 43)


Modern Fortification:
absent

Although there is no information on the warfare of this period, it is highly unlikely the resources were available for this technology.



Fortified Camp:
absent

Although there is no information on the warfare of this period, it is highly unlikely the resources were available for this technology.



Complex Fortification:
absent

Although there is no information on the warfare of this period, it is highly unlikely the resources were available for this technology.



Military use of Metals

there was no steel/iron before the arrival of the Spanish.


there was no steel/iron before the arrival of the Spanish.




Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
absent

Although there is no information on the warfare of this period, it is highly unlikely the resources were available for this technology.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

Although there is no information on the warfare of this period, it is highly unlikely the resources were available for this technology.



Self Bow:
present

Projectile points associated with deer hunting. [1]

[1]: (Bauer 2004, 44)



Handheld Firearm:
absent

There was no gunpowder before the arrival of the Spanish.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

There was no gunpowder before the arrival of the Spanish.


Crossbow:
absent

Although there is no information on the warfare of this period, it is highly unlikely the resources were available for this technology.


Composite Bow:
absent

this technology has not been found in the Americas



Handheld weapons

Although there is no information on the warfare of this period, it is highly unlikely the resources were available for this technology.






Animals used in warfare

Not native to this region.


Elephant:
absent

Not native to this region.


Not native to this region.


Dogs existed in Peru but no evidence to say whether they were used for warfare


Not native to this region.


Armor


Scaled Armor:
absent

Although there is no information on the warfare of this period, it is highly unlikely the resources were available for this technology.


Plate Armor:
absent

Although there is no information on the warfare of this period, it is highly unlikely the resources were available for this technology.




Laminar Armor:
absent

Although there is no information on the warfare of this period, it is highly unlikely the resources were available for this technology.



Chainmail:
absent

Although there is no information on the warfare of this period, it is highly unlikely the resources were available for this technology.



Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

Small size of polity implies that there was no significant naval military activity.



Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent

Small size of polity implies that there was no significant naval military activity.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.