Pre-Columbian Society of Washington DC

The Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. (PCSWDC), is an educational organization dedicated to furthering knowledge and understanding of the peoples of the Americas before the time of Columbus. Founded in 1993, the Society provides a forum for the exchange of information regarding these pre-Columbian cultures between academic professionals and interested members of the public.

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Complex Connections: A Reexamination of Early Horizon Interaction from the Ceremonial Center of Atalla, Huancavelica, Peru by Michelle Young, PhD candidate, Yale University.

This meeting will be held at the Charles Sumner School, 17th & M Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.

The meeting starts with refreshments at 6:45 pm and the lecture begins at 7:15 pm.

This presentation will offer results from three seasons of investigations at the virtually unknown site of Atalla, located in the remote highlands of Huancavelica, Peru. Boasting monumental temple construction, a village-sized settlement, and personal adornments used in social differentiation, the site offers the earliest evidence for incipient social complexity in the region of Huancavelica. Past research has understood Atalla’s development through a core-periphery approach, positing that the formation of Atalla was stimulated by interaction with Chavín de Huántar in the Early Horizon (800-200 B.C.). Recent investigations at Atalla have revised our previous understanding of its occupational history, verifying a local domestic occupation, monumental construction, and long-distance interaction in the late Initial Period (1000-800BC). This talk will present evidence for the economic, sociopolitical, cultural, and religious transformations involved in the foundation and development of Atalla. This research underscores the importance of characterizing late Initial Period developments in the Peruvian highlands in order to properly contextualize subsequent patterns observed in the Early Horizon.

Michelle E. Young is a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University in the department of Anthropology. She received her B.A. from the University of Virginia in 2009 with a double major in the History of Art and Anthropology. She has conducted archaeological field and lab work in the United States, Belize, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Madagascar and has held internships at the Museo Larco in Lima, Peru, and at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. Since 2014, she has directed the Proyecto de Investigación Arqueológica Atalla, a collaborative research project that carried out mapping, survey, excavation, sample collection, and laboratory analysis of materials in tandem with a program of community outreach and education. Her dissertation project aims to understand the relationship between long-distance interaction and the emergence of new forms of social behavior in the early first millennium BC at the site of Atalla, located in the remote highlands of Huancavelica, Peru. Her research has been supported by generous funding from Yale University, the National Science Foundation, Fulbright, and the Rust Family Foundation

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Earlier Event: November 3
Later Event: January 5

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