The Yale Ancient Latin America Lectures
Dr. Gabriel Prieto

Emerging Elites, Trade and Social Violence

during the 4th Century BC in the North Coast of Peru

Dr. Gabriel Prieto

Universidad Nacional de Trujillo; National Geographic Explorer


Thursday. March 29, 4:00 pm

David Friend Hall, Yale Peabody Museum


Recent excavations in the Huanchaco Bay, North Coast of Peru, revealed a large settlement and a cemetery of the Salinar culture (400-200 B.C.). This culture predates the Moche (100-750 A.D.) which is considered the first to introduce social stratification, urban planning and craft production, among other features of so-called "civilization." Regardless of the civilization issue, it is clear that a large and well planned residential settlement was built in Huanchaco during the Salinar occupation, and that their people had access to non-local subsistence resources and sumptuary goods. The discovery of architectural models resembling highland-style settlements suggests that between 400-200 B.C. there was an active social and economic interaction with the highlands that may have fostered craft production and the exchange of local resources. However, ongoing bioarchaeological analyses are discovering a high recurrence of peri-mortem trauma on adult males, suggesting violent events prior to their death. All these data open the discussion to explore a new chapter of the social dynamics and economic interactions in the North Coast of Peru, prior to the emergence of the so-called Moche civilization.


Presented by the Department of Anthropology, the Council on Archaeological Studies, and the MacMillan Center Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies