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Primary State Formation in the Virú Valley, North

Coast of Peru
Jean-François Millaire1
Department of Anthropology, Social Science Centre, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 5C2, Canada

Edited* by Charles S. Spencer, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, and approved February 22, 2010 (received for review September 29, 2009)

The origins of urban life and functioning states are two of the most The Moche capital was built on the southern margin of the Moche
fascinating research problems in anthropological archeology and a Valley, a few kilometers away from the present city of Trujillo (Fig.
topic that has intrigued generations of scholars working on the 1), and featured a large residential sector laid out in an orthogonal
Peruvian north coast. In this region, Andeanists have documented grid plan with habitation compounds of varying size and quality as
the rise of Moche as a dominant culture during the first millennium well as workshops (14–18). The residential sector is framed be-
A.D., and the emergence of urban life and stately institutions at this tween two large buildings used for civic and ceremonial activities,
society’s principal center. Although there is a broad consensus that including public gathering and human sacrifice (19–21). Recent
Moche represents an archaic state, it is still unclear whether it is an work at the site indicates that the settlement was occupied by the
example of primary state formation or a case of a second-generation second century A.D., and that it experienced a seemingly con-
state. To document this question, archaeological excavations were tinuous urban growth until it was abandoned during the eighth
recently carried out at the Gallinazo Group site in the Virú Valley. century (15, 16, 20, 22). This city was the paramount center of a
Results from a radiocarbon dating program indicate that a function- complex settlement system in the Moche Valley, which featured a
ing state probably emerged in this valley during the second century four-tiered administrative hierarchy engaged in the centralized
B.C., possibly preceding Moche by a few centuries. These results management of irrigation, trade, and defense (13).
necessarily raise question regarding the nature of state develop- Although the nature of Huacas de Moche’s political influence
ment on the north coast of Peru and, in particular, whether there is still debated, evidence indicates that it developed into a mul-
was a single center of state development in this region or multiple tivalley expansionist state around A.D. 300 (10, 13, 15, 23–29). In
sites where similar conditions and processes led to the parallel emer- recent years, Andeanists have offered a number of explanations
gence of functioning states. for the spread of Moche art and architecture, which range from
two or more independent polities that ruled over contiguous
state development | Andes | Gallinazo Group | radiocarbon dating territories (30, 31) to a constellation of political entities spread
along the littoral, marked by periodic alliance of contending

T he origins of urban life and functioning states are two of the most
fascinating research problems in anthropological archeology. In
the last 40 years or so, scholars have worked to define and document
government systems that shared a common cultural tradition (13,
23, 32–35).
Although there is a broad consensus that Huacas de Moche was
the development of state-level societies in six areas where first- the seat of an early archaic state, it is still unclear whether this rep-
generation states are known to have emerged, including Egypt, resents a case of primary state formation (first-generation state)—in
Mesopotamia, the Indus River Valley, Northern China, Meso- which stately institutions emerged in a “context of nonstate societies,
america, and the Andes (1–12). Definitions of the state are varied, yet without contact with other preexisting states” (1)—or an example of
most scholars agree that they are political organizations regarded by second- or third- generation state. Likewise, the question remains
those who live in them as politically independent and in which spe- whether there was a single center of state development along the
cialized leaders have the authority to control the social, political, Peruvian north coast or multiple sites where similar conditions and
legal, economic, and cultural activities, as well as the use of force. processes led to the parallel emergence of functioning states. In his
States are visible archaeologically through a number of material review of the origin of state societies in South America, Stanish (10)
indicators, including a four-tiered settlement system, evidence of came to the conclusion that not one but three states (Moche, Wari,
defensive works and expansion, temples and palaces, tribute collec- and Tiwanaku) independently emerged in the Andean region during
tion and redistribution systems, and specialized craft production (1, the first half of the first millennium A.D., leading him to question the
5, 12, 13). These should not be understood as elements of a definition very notion of pristine state development. Similarly, Billman (13)
of the state but rather for what they are: clues for identifying an noted that the debate has now shifted from whether Moche society
anthropological and political phenomenon archaeologically (5). had developed a functioning state to how many concurrent Moche
Although Andeanists have contributed to the inquiry into pri- states emerged along the north coast of Peru during the Early In-
mary state formation (10), research on early statecraft in this termediate period.
region is still in its infancy. The Early Intermediate period in In a provoking study conducted a few years earlier, Fogel (36)
Andean prehistory (∼200 B.C. to A.D. 800) witnessed the emer- posited that in fact Moche leaders had merely built upon existing
gence of urban life and functioning states along the littoral of political institutions, and that the emergence of the Andean state
northern Peru—a coastal landscape which consists of a narrow had taken place at an earlier time, in the Virú Valley (Fig. 2). Here,
land strip bordered by the Andes Mountains to the east and by the she argued, the Virú (Gallinazo) polity had developed a number
Pacific Ocean to the west. Life here was possible only thanks to a of institutions typical of functioning states, including a complex
series of rivers that flow westward, creating fertile oases separated
by harsh barren lands. Each valley was different in terms of water
availability, marine and terrestrial resources, vulnerability to nat- Author contributions: J.-F.M. designed research, performed research, analyzed data, and
ural disasters, access to trade routes, etc.—factors that inevitably wrote the paper.
contributed to the shaping of the prehistoric political landscape. The author declares no conflict of interest.
In the recent decades, a number of field research programs *This Direct Submission article had a prearranged editor.
conducted in this region helped to document the rise of Moche as a 1
To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:
dominant culture and the emergence of urban life and stately This article contains supporting information online at
institutions at this society’s principal center, Huacas de Moche. 0911226107/DCSupplemental.

6186–6191 | PNAS | April 6, 2010 | vol. 107 | no. 14

This was achieved by expanding the existing irrigation canal sys-
tem, and creating intakes high-up in the middle valley. Willey also
showed how Virú leaders were successful at creating a unified
valley command over the entire area, materialized through the
construction of a four-tiered settlement system, including an urban
center of exceptional dimensions (the Gallinazo Group), midsized
administrative or defensive settlements, villages, and hamlets.
To test Willey’s model, in 2002 the author, together with
Peruvian and Canadian colleagues, initiated fieldwork at Huaca
Santa Clara—a midsized administrative settlement built by
members of the Virú polity on the flanks of a small hill that
dominates the center of the valley floor. Excavations led to the
discovery of an imposing system of storage facilities on the hill-
sides, as well as moderate-sized civic buildings perched on the
hilltop and lower ridges (43). Radiocarbon dates obtained from
this site range from 2010 ± 50 B.P. to 1350 ± 60 B.P., indicating
that this center was occupied for a relatively long period between
the second century B.C. and the eighth century A.D. The available
evidence also suggested that Huaca Santa Clara functioned as an
important node in Virú’s valley-wide administrative network,
which included other midsized settlements, four of which formed a
unified system of fortification at the valley neck (44)—the only
entry point from the highlands, and an area where major irrigation
canal intakes are located.
Virú’s principal center was undoubtedly the Gallinazo Group: a
Fig. 1. Map of the north coast of Peru. concentration of mounds located on the north side of the river in
the lower valley, built through the accumulation and subsequent
erosion of material deposited by hundreds of years of human
valley-wide administrative system and an urban capital at the occupation. Of the 30 mounds that feature Virú’s corporate
Gallinazo Group site. Although Fogel’s study aroused interest, her ceramic type (Gallinazo Negative), only six present civic archi-
argument regarding the antiquity of Virú state development tecture, whereas the others essentially represent raised habitation
remained extremely fragile, considering that no absolute chro- platforms of varying sizes. Work at this site was initiated by Ben-
nology was yet available for this ancient polity. Indeed her argu- nett (40), whose sizable excavations brought about a wealth of
ment essentially rested on a ceramic seriation (37) that has information on this polity’s capital, exposing compact networks of
recently been questioned by a number of Andeanists (38). Nev- room units arranged in honeycomb patterns and hinting at a long
ertheless, scholars generally agree that the Virú polity had devel- and sustained occupational history. Despite the general sig-
oped many material indicators traditionally associated with nificance of the Gallinazo Group site for research on the origin of
archaic states (5, 10, 13, 23), pointing to the need for more research urbanism and state development, however, only a handful of field
in this region and the establishment of an absolute chronology for projects were subsequently carried out in this part of the valley.
the Virú polity. This paper seeks to shed light on this problem by Noteworthy is Fogel’s survey work at the Group in 1990, and her
reviewing information currently available on the Virú polity, and analysis of surface ceramics and architecture (36).
by presenting unique data on the chronology of the Gallinazo In 2008 our team undertook fieldwork at the site, as part of a
Group site, the primary center of the Virú Valley at the time and broader study of the Virú polity. Our first task at the Group was to
most likely the seat of regional leadership. map the mounds using a high-precision differential GPS to pro-
Research on the polity that ruled over the Virú Valley during duce an accurate 3D model of the ancient ruins and surrounding
the Early Intermediate period was initiated during the first part landscape (Fig. 3). Excavations in open areas and in deep stratified
of the 20th century by Bennett (39, 40), Larco Hoyle (41), and deposits were subsequently carried out at Huaca Gallinazo (V-59),
Willey (42). The Virú polity’s† occupation of the valley was the largest mound of the Group, adding a substantial amount of
marked by the emergence of a distinctive type of pottery (Gal- data to Bennett’s seminal work at this site. Structures buried a few
linazo Negative) adorned with negative-resist painted designs. centimeters below the surface were identified with the use of a
The distribution of this corporate-style ceramic on settlements gradiometer and cleared through shovel shining (skimming the
throughout the valley floor provided archaeologists with an surface with the shovel blade and large paint brushes to reveal the
opportunity to study this society’s hold on the land and people top of the walls), providing us with a glimpse into early urbanism at
and to undertake a reconstruction of its complex history. the site (Fig. 4). Based on the site plans available we have learned
As part of the Virú Valley Program, Willey (42) undertook a that the space was occupied by a number of architectural com-

vast study of settlement patterns and convincingly showed how, pounds, each of which featured a compact network of multiroom
during this period, prehistoric population size reached its max- residential units with living and storage spaces as well as patios.
imum in the valley and how Virú administrators coped by Excavations revealed the existence of a diversity of architectural
extending the cultivated area to sectors that were previously form and building quality, which ranged from modest dwellings to
unused—including the lands surrounding the Gallinazo Group. imposing houses with courtyards.
Nonresidential buildings dominate some of the mounds, pointing
to the existence of a consolidated power with the means, resources,

This archaeological culture was traditionally referred to as Gallinazo, but this term is and vision to commission monumental projects for civic or cere-
problematic (38), as it has been used to describe two ceramic ensembles: utilitarian monial use. Indeed, the design of the edifices, the sheer volume of
incised and appliquéd pottery (Castillo Incised and Modeled wares) and Gallinazo Neg- work involved, and the construction techniques used all point to the
ative fine ware. Incised and appliquéd pottery are found in every valleys of the Peruvian
north coast, from Casma to Piura, and throughout the sequence of at least certain
existence of a clear program of public architecture. The largest civic
regions where sufficient research has been done. Gallinazo Negative, on the other hand, building (∼82,000 m3) stands at the core of Huaca Gallinazo, and
is essentially a corporate style largely restricted to the Virú Valley. although it was heavily destroyed by looters, the architecture is

Millaire PNAS | April 6, 2010 | vol. 107 | no. 14 | 6187

Fig. 2. Satellite image of the Virú Valley. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Landsat Program 2000, Landsat ETM+ scene ELP009R066_7T20000602,
SLC-Off, US Geological Survey, Sioux Falls.

extremely well preserved under a thin layer of adobe dust. This in the day-to-day management of resources and defense against
imposing structure is made up of a combination of in-filled cham- competing neighboring polities—as well as a large and densely
bers and building columns made of thousands of piled adobes set populated agglomeration, featuring an imposing civic building
one against another—a construction technique that was common on presumably used for large public gatherings. These data are
Moche sites (45). It is dominated by towering platform and an interesting from the point of view of primary state formation
adjacent terrace (Southern Terrace) that fronts a wide plaza— research, since they seem to support Fogel’s hypothesis that Virú
presumably used for large public gatherings and ceremonial activ- leaders successfully developed institutions traditionally asso-
ities. This architectural pattern (stage-like platform fronting plaza) ciated with archaic states, and that their political capital was an
was also popular on Moche sites (46). urban settlement. This raises a number of questions, including
The Group is of exceptional dimensions, with mounds spread ones regarding the nature of early statecraft in this region of the
over an area of ∼600 ha of flatlands, although the total occupied world (first- vs. second-generation state; single or multiple cen-
area of the mounds was only ∼40 ha. Population estimation is ters of development). Until the chronology of this polity’s hold
complex, considering that the Group’s urbanscape featured a on the Virú Valley is established, however, any further discussion
dense residential environment made up of thousands of small will remain conjectural. The second part of this paper presents
rooms crammed together in an agglutinative manner. Using results from a program of radiocarbon dating conducted by the
indices developed for other agglutinated settlements (47, 48) author at Huaca Gallinazo since 2008, which was aimed at re-
results in population size ranging from 14,400–28,800 people, establishing the chronology of this key site in Andean prehistory.
depending on how much of the total space was occupied by res-
idences at any one time.‡ Results
In sum, the Early Intermediate period in Virú was marked by Over the course of the last two field seasons, one of the main
important social (increase in population size), economic objectives of our work at Huaca Gallinazo was to obtain samples
(increased production capacity), and political (creation of a of organic material from different occupation levels for radio-
unified valley command) transformations, archaeologically visi- carbon dating. Exploratory trenches were excavated through
ble through a number of material correlates. These include an stratified deposits, and open-area excavations were also under-
increase in the overall number of settlements in the valley, the taken to study the late occupation levels—sections of whole
extension of the total area under cultivation, the construction of rooms were opened while maintaining bulk walls along at least
new irrigation canals, and the establishment of a four-tiered two sides of the trenches to ensure stratigraphic control. We also
administrative system—in which subsidiary centers were involved cleaned part of an immense looting trench on the tall adobe
platform that dominates Huaca Gallinazo to document the
construction of this civic building. These excavations offered a

These population estimates are very much in line with those for the capital of another wealth of “short-life” organic material suitable for radiocarbon
primary state, Monte Albán in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley. According to Blanton (49), the
population estimate of Monte Albán is 10,200–20,400 during the Late Monte Albán I
dating, and the opportunity to monitor change in material cul-
phase (300–100 B.C.), which Spencer and Redmond (1) and others have argued is when ture through time. Samples for radiocarbon dating were col-
the Monte Albán state formed. lected from 10 excavation units in the residential sector and on

6188 | Millaire

Fig. 3. 3D model and photograph of the central mounds of the Gallinazo Group.

and around the civic complex (Fig. 4, U-1 to U-10). The ana- old. The corpses were wrapped inside shrouds reinforced with wood
lytical data for the 20 samples analyzed are reported in Table S1. twigs. When analyzed, the twigs from both burials yielded coeval
Five dates were obtained through radiometric analysis, while the conventional radiocarbon ages (Beta-253102: 1650 ± 40 B.P.; Beta
others were analyzed through accelerator mass spectrometry. 253103: 1660 ± 40 B.P.). The second living space (U-4) was a large
rectangular room (∼4 × 14 m) immediately to the north of Bennett’s
Residential Sector. Fourteen radiocarbon dates were obtained
V-59A excavations (40). It featured a sequence of eight distinct
from the residential sector. In this area, excavations were carried
layers of refuse which covered an uneven clay floor at ∼2 m below
out in deep test pits and in open areas. In all excavation units, the
the present surface. On the floor we uncovered a hearth, which was
ceramic assemblage included utilitarian wares (dominated by
Valley Plain, Castillo Plain, Castillo Incised, and Castillo Modeled), sampled and analyzed (Beta-233871: 1820 ± 40 B.P.).
as well as fragments of Gallinazo Negative decorated pottery. The other two units excavated in this sector (U-5 and U-6) were
Previous excavations were carried out through the site’s deep small size (∼160 × 160 cm) chambers, featuring storage jars set
stratified deposits (40, 50), revealing an uninterrupted occupation within the clay floor. Samples were collected from the layer below
that would have spanned centuries,§ but until recently no absolute the first clay floor in each chamber. Because of the shallowness of
chronology was available to date the occupation of Huaca Galli- the deposits (the samples were collected less than 1 m below the
nazo. Two deep stratigraphic test pits were excavated with the present surface), we posited that the samples would date the ter-
objective to obtain a terminus ante quem for the occupation of the minal occupation of the site. The two samples analyzed produced
site. For work safety reasons, however, we could not reach the relatively late conventional ages (Beta-233869: 1550 ± 70 B.P.;
deepest strata in either of these units. The first test pit (U-1) was Beta-233870: 1540 ± 70 B.P.), suggesting that the residential
excavated through the floor of a small storage chamber and sector could have been occupied until as late as A.D. 650, based on
reached a depth close to 5 m. Four clay floors and six refuse layers the calibration of these dates using two-sigma statistics (95%).
were identified. Although organic material was present in each
stratum, only two samples were retained for analysis. Those sam-
ples are from the fills below floor 1 (Beta-253100:1720 ± 40 B.P.)
and floor 2 (Beta-253101:1860 ± 40 B.P.). The second test pit (U-
2) was unusual in that we reopened an early archaeological trench
(Strong and Evans’ Strata Cut I), enlarging it by 50 cm toward the
east and sampling each layer. Five samples were analyzed; they
come from the layers of fill below floor 1 (Beta-233868:1680 ± 40
B.P.), floor 2 (Beta-233867:1900 ± 70 B.P.), floor 3 (Beta-
233866:1960 ± 50 B.P.), floor 4 (Beta-233865:1870 ± 60 B.P.), and
floor 5 (Beta-233864:1720 ± 40 B.P.).¶ Results from these test pits
therefore indicate that the residential sector at Huaca Gallinazo
could have been occupied by 50 B.C. in calibrated age, although
the earliest occupation levels have not yet been reached.k
Open-area excavations were also carried out in the residential
sector. The first unit (U-3) was a large patio (∼9.5 × 10.5 m) in the

center of an architectural compound. Here we identified the

remains of four successive clay floors. Samples of organic material
were collected below the third (Beta-253104: 1750 ± 40 B.P.) and
fourth (Beta-253105: 1820 ± 40 B.P.) floors. Two human burials
were also uncovered: an adult female and a child less than two years

One test pit excavated at Huaca Gallinazo (Strata Cut 1) reached a depth of more than
7 m, revealing layer upon layer of habitation levels (50).

This last date is unreliable in view of its departure from the temporal pattern shown by
the others in this sequence (floors 1–4), where the 2-sigma calibrated estimates range
back to the first century B.C.

All calendar calibrations reported here are expressed with two sigma statistics (95%). Fig. 4. Map of Huacra Gallinazo with adobe walls and excavation units.

Millaire PNAS | April 6, 2010 | vol. 107 | no. 14 | 6189

Civic Building. Four units were excavated on and around the civic from as early as the first century B.C. until as late as the seventh
building that dominates Huaca Gallinazo. A deep test pit (U-7) century A.D. (Fig. 5). These results take into account the full range
was excavated near the northwest corner of the building to date the of the two-sigma statistics, however, something that necessarily
initial construction phases. Following the exterior facade of the stretches the calibrated ranges. The present evidence nevertheless
adobe structure, we reached a depth of 5.5 m below the present strongly supports the idea that the Gallinazo Group was occupied
surface, identifying five successive occupation floors abutting the throughout the first half of the first millennium A.D. and that the
facade. Samples of organic material were collected from the layers founding of the settlement occurred at an even earlier date.
of fill below floor 2 (Beta-253106: 1750 ± 40 B.P.), floor 4 (Beta- Indeed, based on information gathered during our survey, we
253107: 1780 ± 40 B.P.), and floor 5 (Beta-253108: 1880 ± 40 B.P.). evaluate that there are at least 3 m of occupation deposits below
The results indicate that the civic complex was built early in the the deepest sample analyzed, which could represent more than 100
site’s history, possibly around A.D. 50, although the earliest years of refuse deposition and construction fill. It seems reason-
occupation levels have not yet been reached. able to posit that Huaca Gallinazo was first occupied sometime
Two more dates came from excavation carried out on a high during the second century B.C. This would agree with results
terrace located on top of the civic building (Southern Terrace), obtained previously at the midsized Virú administrative center of
which features a network of rooms of varying sizes. Excavations in Huaca Santa Clara, where the earliest sample analyzed also sug-
Unit 8 exposed a rectangular chamber with three successive clay gested a possible founding date in the second century B.C. (33).
floors and refuse layers. A piece of cane from the fill below floor 1 These results are significant in view of primary state formation
was sampled and analyzed (Beta-260854: 1730 ± 40 B.P.). A research on the Peruvian north coast. Not only do they provide
common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) from a small storage room (U- important information on the occupation of the Gallinazo Group
9) was also analyzed (Beta-253109: 1690 ± 40 B.P.). These two site, but also help to establish the chronology of the Virú polity’s
samples came from what was likely the penultimate occupation hold on the valley. Indeed, according to Willey (42) the founding of
level of the Southern Terrace, and therefore provide a terminus the Group was closely related to the extension of the cultivated
post quem for the abandonment of the civic building. area on the northern margins of the valley, and to the massive
The last excavation unit (U-10) was designed to study the public work required for expanding the existing irrigation canal
towering platform that dominates the civic building by cleaning a system. Based on this scenario, the site’s construction would have
section of a large looter’s pit. Rubble was cleared on a 4-m wide marked the materialization of Virú leader’s political success and
section, revealing the building sequence. Toward the bottom of possibly the emergence of a new social order. The data obtained
the profile, a layer of charred material that marked a clear break from this radiocarbon dating program therefore seem to sub-
in the construction sequence was sampled and analyzed (Beta- stantiate Fogel’s hypothesis regarding the early formation of a
260852: 1720 ± 40 B.P.). Above this stratum, the profile shows at regional state in Virú sometimes during the second century B.C.,
least two more building phases, each of which increased the evidence that calls for a reevaluation of the nature of early state-
platform height using a combination of loose fill material and craft in this region.
adobe building columns. These results raise questions regarding the notion of pristine state
The three radiocarbon dates obtained from the top of the civic development on the north coast of Peru. Based on the available
building are roughly coeval, ranging between A.D. 230 and 420 chronological evidence, one could be tempted to posit that the
in calendar years. The fact that the sample from the bottom of leaders of the Virú polity were the first to take steps toward the
the profile in Unit 10 is contemporaneous with the ones from the establishment of a functioning state “without contact with other
near-terminal occupation of the Southern Terrace can be preexisting states” (1). Such a conclusion would seem premature,
explained by the general construction sequence. Although it however, considering the large gaps that still exist in the chronology
cannot be established that these samples come from strati- of other major settlements in this region where signs of incipient
graphically contemporaneous levels, they come from strata statecraft have been documented archaeologically, including at
located essentially at the same elevation above mean sea level Huacas de Moche, the most important center of the post-A.D. 300
(between 32.84 and 33.22 m). Based on preliminary analyses, it period. Indeed, although excavations in the urban sector conducted
seems likely that the Southern Terrace originally extended fur- by Topic (44), Chapdelaine (51), and Uceda (22) revealed a long
ther north, and that the towering adobe platform was a late and uninterrupted occupation, absolute dates for the deepest
addition to the building. occupation levels—associated with the founding of this impressive
capital and possibly with the in situ crystallization of another archaic
Discussion state—are not yet available. The same predicament affects earlier
These radiocarbon dates provide strong evidence for a long and Moche Valley settlements where important signs of socio-political
uninterrupted occupation of both civic and residential sectors at transformation have been documented archaeologically, including
Huaca Gallinazo, indicating that the site could have been occupied Cerro Arena (52) and Cerro Oreja (24).

Fig. 5. Plot of calibrated dates (2σ) for samples from Huaca Gallinazo.

6190 | Millaire

Another, possibly more fruitful, approach for future research floor, and so forth. All but one of the samples were from sealed stratigraphic
might be to leave the concept of pristine state development aside layers (below a clay floor) to ensure the quality of the results. Moreover, all
until more radiocarbon dates are available and instead explore the samples were “short-life” organic material (such as food remains or thatching
material), reducing the chance of obtaining disproportionately early dates
possibility that there was never a single center of state develop-
because of the “old wood effect.” All of the samples were removed from their
ment along the Peruvian north coast but, rather, multiple centers archaeological context by the author using clean stainless steel tools and
of state development (10, 13). In a context where each coastal stored directly into foil paper. In the field laboratory, each sample was
valley was slightly different in terms of environment, resources, inspected, placed in clean foil paper, and bagged. All samples were pretreated
access to trade routes, etc., the debate should now shift from and analyzed by Beta Analytic Inc.** All calibrations of radiocarbon age to
whether Moche society developed the first state in the Andean calendar years for Huaca Gallinazo samples are based on INTCAL04 (53).
region to how many different incipient states emerged along the
Peruvian north coast in the centuries around the turn of the ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. I am grateful to Estuardo La Torre Calvera, Jeisen
common era. Navarro Vega, and Magali Morlion for their help in the field and in the
laboratory. My warmest thanks go to Charles Spencer, Elsa Redmond, Magali
Morlion, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments as I
Methods worked on the present article. This research was made possible thanks to
As a rule, excavation followed the site’s stratigraphy, which usually features generous financial support from The University of Western Ontario and
the following sequence: beaten clay floor, refuse fill, leveling fill, beaten clay from the American Museum of Natural History.

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**Information on pretreatment and analytical procedures is available at Beta Analytic.

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