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El Niño and second-millennium BC monument building at Huaca Cortada (Moche Valley, Peru)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2016

Jason Nesbitt*
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA (Email: jnesbitt@tulane.edu)

Abstract

The El Niño phenomenon can cause devastating inundation with catastrophic social and economic impacts. Evidence for multiple second-millennium BC El Niño events is present as laminated sediment layers at Huaca Cortada, a large Initial Period monument of the Caballo Muerto Complex in the Moche Valley, Peru. These indicate that one response to this period of climatic flux was the renewal and expansion of temple architecture, perhaps in an effort to demonstrate control over nature, and to maintain a symbol of community permanence. The final abandonment of Huaca Cortada is also associated with an El Niño event around 1000–900 BC.

Type
Research
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2016 

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