ABSTRACT: Monumentality and monumental structures are worldwide associated with complex societies and civilizations, which can be understood as those societies that developed formal government institutions (states), urban centers, organized religions, art, monumental constructions, social stratification and highly productive economies (Trigger 2003). In coastal Peru, one of the driest deserts in the world, the first monumental buildings appeared more than 5000 years ago, related to small groups of people strongly tied to marine and coastal ecosystems. This talk focuses on the contributions of comprehensive environmental and climatic approaches in the discussion of the origins of complex societies.
Dr. Ana Cecilia Mauricio is a Peruvian geoarchaeologist, with more than 15 years of experience publishing and researching in Andean archaeology. I have a MS in Quaternary and Climate Studies, and a PhD in Geoarchaology from the University of Maine. I carried out research on the Moche and Lima cultures of the central and north coast of Peru. I specialize in environmental and geoarchaeological approaches in the pre-Hispanic Andes. Since 2012, I lead interdisciplinary research in the Chao Valley of the northern Peruvian coast. I am interested in studying the development of monumentality and complex societies on coastal Peru during the Late Preceramic Period (5800-3600 BP), and the role played by transformations in local climate and environments. This work is supported by national and international institutions and includes the participation of undergraduate students from different Peruvian universities. Since 2019, I direct the project “Education for Conservation”, with the support of the US Embassy, which works with elementary schools of the Chao Valley. I have published several articles and edited volumes about Andean archaeology and geoarchaeology. I am the first Peruvian archaeologist trained in geoarchaeology and climate studies, in 2019 I organized the first Latin American geoarchaeology conference held in Peru. Currently, I am assistant professor of archaeology at Pontifical Catholic University in Lima, editor of the Boletín de Arqueología PUCP, and National Geographic explorer.
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