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Cahuachi (Peru)


Pyramid at Cahuachi, Nazca Civilization, Peru

Pyramid at Cahuachi, Nazca Civilization, Peru


Cahuachi was a major ceremonial center of the Nasca civilization in Peru, occupied from between AD 1-500, and it was important among the Nazca people as a ceremonial center during that time. The site is located near the Nazca lines, and evidence clearly connects Cahuachi with the construction of the lines.

Cahuachi is an enormous site, including some 370 acres in area, dominated by a central pyramid and plaza. It was a major center of the Nasca during the early period (before about AD 450), and was the central residence and seat of power. After then, Nasca society diversified, but Cahuachi remained an important site, for rituals and burials. At least 5000 tombs have been identified, many of them have been looted. The site has been intensively studied by a team led by Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Orefici.


This glossary entry is part of the About.com Guide to the Nazca Civilization and the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Vaughn, Kevin J. and Hendrik Van Gijseghem 2007 A compositional perspective on the origins of the “Nasca cult” at Cahuachi. Journal of Archaeological Science 34(5):814-822.

Vaughn, Kevin J., Christina A. Conlee, Hector Neff, and Katharina Schreiber 2006 Ceramic production in ancient Nasca: provenance analysis of pottery from the Early Nasca and Tiza cultures through INAA. Journal of Archaeological Science 33:681-689.

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