History 1

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By Helaine Silverman

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Extra resources for Ancient Nasca Settlement and Society

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S e t t l e m e n t pa t t e r n s a n d s o c i a l g e o g r a p h i e s 17 cranial deformation, the taking of trophy heads, the iconography of the pottery style). Without essentializing and atemporalizing “Andean people,” it is, nevertheless, significant that Platt’s (1986) study of contemporary Macha social organization and Salomon’s (1991) deconstruction of the Huarochirí Manuscript show that spatial divisions, ecological categories, marriage patterns, deities, and social geography are tightly linked in Andean cognition and practice; other examples could be cited.

Ideology became recognized as a key factor in the rise of complex society. Coe (1981) in particular was explicit in his criticism of the then-dominant materialist school; he defended causal consideration of factors traditionally condemned to the status of epiphenomena, such as religion. Hodder’s (1982) edited volume, Symbolic and Structural Archaeology, also marked a coming of age of postprocessual archaeology. A 1987 School of American Research seminar specifically examined the role of ideology in various precolumbian civilizations (Demarest and Conrad 1992; see also Conrad and Demarest 1984).

These architects are writing about contemporary Western society, yet their studies are relevant to the precolumbian past. In this book I am tremendously concerned with palimpsests — with the physical, social, political, and ideological challenges presented by the reception among those living in a later time of an obtrusive and potentially meaning-encumbered landscape that has persistent features from an earlier time. What are the necessary physical and ideological alterations made by the later people who intend to live and build on that landscape in order to appropriate, habilitate, transform, or destroy existing landscapes?

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