Jessica Smeeks

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York, Binghamton, State U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9665

Approve Date

April 18, 2018

Project Title

Smeeks, Jessica D., Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid 'The Ayacucho Late Intermediate Period Defensibility Project,' supervised by Dr. William H. Isbell

JESSICA D. SMEEKS, then a graduate student at Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, received funding in April 2018 to aid ‘The Ayacucho Late Intermediate Period Defensibility Project,’ supervised by Dr. William H. Isbell. This project advances current theoretical agendas of warfare scholars, overcoming the limitations of earlier social evolutionary theories and examining the interrelationship between warfare and sociopolitical organization in the central highlands of Peru during the Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000- 1450). Its primary focus is the Huamanga Province, Ayacucho. Four questions guide this research: how were Ayacucho hilltop sites defensive, how are they arranged across the regional landscape, how have their defensive nature and arrangement changed across time, and how does the Ayacucho data compare to a model of cycling seen in the Titicaca Basin? To answer these questions, this project follows a six-phase research design, consisting of surface survey and mapping, systematic surface collection, artifact analysis, radiocarbon dating, GIS analysis, and interregional comparative analysis, and considers three lines of evidence: 1) individual site design and use, 2) regional settlement patterns, and 3) chronology. Preliminary observations suggest a division of sites into two forms, linked through a variation in design, scale of defensibility, sociopolitical placement, artifact distributions, and, possibly, chronology. It is clear that Huamanga sites were far less defensive than their Tiwanaku counterparts. This parallels with the preliminary view that Ayacucho was characterized by consolidation more so than fragmentation or cycling.