Date of Award

December 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Jason Sherman

Committee Members

Jean Hudson, Brian Nicholls


Andean archaeology, Early Intermediate Period, Moche, mortuary landscape, Recuay, Wari


The Recuay lived in the highlands of Peru from AD 250-700. Their customs and traditions were divided into regionally distinct styles of material culture. As the Moche (AD 200-900) emerged along the coast of Peru, the Recuay engaged them in long distance trade, culture exchange, and likely conflict. Towards the end of the Recuay sequence, they were overshadowed by the Wari (AD 600-1000) beginning with the adoption of chullpa style tombs and ending with the full adoption and integration of the Wari cultural bundle in Ancash. This thesis uses published data from the Callejón de Huaylas, specifically from the Río Puenka and Río Santa valleys, respectively on the east and west side of the Cordillera Blanca, to evaluate the Recuay mortuary landscape. The key questions concern changes in mortuary practices over time, associations of these changes with inter-regional influences from the Moche and the Wari, mortuary evidence for the distribution of elites, and contrasts between the Recuay heartland and hinterland. GIS analysis of the distribution of metal and ceramic artifacts, tomb forms, and variations across the cultural sequence is used to address the research questions. This thesis provides an example of data re-use, applying new analytical approaches to previously published data.