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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Chavin influence on early horizon Peruvian North Coast ceramics and dating implications Maitland, Maureen Elizabeth


From 1500 to 500 B.C. a religious cult now known as Chavin disseminated religious beliefs throughout the North Highlands and Coastal areas of Peru from a central location on the north-eastern slopes of the Andean Cordillera. Chavin beliefs are reflected in an art style which utilized stone, ceramic, textile, bone, gold, shell and adobe mediums and conformed to a number of highly developed artistic conventions. The aim of the study is to examine the dispersion of Chavin culture to the North Coast through an art historical analysis of Chavin-related iconography on ceramics from that area of Peru. An understanding of the iconographic relations between Chavin lithic art and North Coast Chavin-related ceramics provides a clearer understanding of the impact of Chavin dispersion and supports evidence for a proposed revision of John Rowe's Chavin stone chronology (Rowe 1967), as outlined in a paper by Maitland, Mowatt, Phillips and Watson (1976). Iconographic relations between North Coast Chavin-related ceramics and the art of Chavin have never before been thoroughly studied. Until this time it has been generally assumed that North Coast Chavin-related ceramics paralleled the sequence of art styles at Chavin. The study shows that Chavin influence arrived during the final phases of the Chavin sequence (Period III). In addition, it defines the stylistic nature of Cupisnique-Tembladera ceramics in comparison to other Chavin-related North Coast ceramic styles and further differentiates between regional and Chavin-related aspects of the style. The result is a clearer understanding of the physical and temporal impacts of Chavin culture on the North Coast and the relations between highland and coastal manifestations of Chavin art styles.

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