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Chavín Culture


Chavin de Huantar, Peru

Chavin de Huantar, Peru

Joachim Pietsch

The Chavín culture is the name of a cultural group in Peru, now thought to have been primarily a religious cult, dated from about 400-200 BC. The culture apparently began in the Andes highlands and then spread outward throughout the country. Chavín culture has very distinctive art styles, particularly in effigy pots, many of which were in feline shapes.

Chavín was first recognized by Ernest Middendorf in the 1890s; Julio C. Tello and John Rowe also conducted important research at the Chavín sites such as Chavín de Huántar and Huaca de los Reyes.

Chavin Sites: Chavín de Huántar and Huaca de los Reyes.


Lathrap, Donald W.1973 Gifts of the cayman: some thoughts on the subsistence basis of Chavin. In Variation in anthropology: essays in honor of John C.McGregor. Donald W. Lathrap and J. Douglas, eds. Pp. 91-105. Urbana: Illinois Archaeological Survey.

Lathrap, Donald W.1977 Our father the cayman, our mother the gourd: Spinden revisited or a unitary model for the emergence. In Origins of agriculture. C. A. Reed, ed. Pp. 713-752. The Hague: Mouton.

Lathrap, Donald W.1971 The tropical forest and cultural context in Chavin. In Dumbarton Oaks Conference on Chavin. E. P. Benson, ed. Pp. 73-100. Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks.

Miller, George R. and Burger, Richard L. Our father the cayman, our dinner the llama: Animal utilization at Chavin de Huantar, Peru. American Antiquity 60(3), 421-458. 95.

Stahl, Peter W. 1999 Structural density of domesticated South American camelid skeletal elements and the archaeological investigation of prehistoric Andean Ch'arki. Journal of Archaeological Science 261347-1368.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Chavín de Huántar, Huaca de los Reyes, Pampa de las Llamas-Moxeke, Garagay, Cardal (all in Peru)

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