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

Preliminary abstract: This project advances the 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). Only through the analysis of this interrelationship can scholars begin to understand warring societies across time and space. This project compares a new case study in the Ayacucho Region of Peru with a former study in the Titicaca Basin of Peru to determine how much processes can be generalized. I have four research questions: 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? By asking ‘how,’ relational questions, this project promotes thick, detailed descriptions of defensive practices and sociopolitical complexity, instead of placing these practices in either/or categories and, thus, ignoring their variability. To answer these posed questions, I will consider three lines of evidence: 1) individual site design and use, 2) regional settlement patterns, and 3) chronological sequences. A six-phase research design, consisting of a detailed surface survey and site mapping, a systematic surface collection, artifact analysis, radiocarbon dating, GIS analysis, and interregional comparative analysis was developed to evaluate this evidence.