Paracas Culture Develops a Sophisticated Textile Tradition (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: The Paracas culture, known for the production of spectacular textiles and complex mortuary rites, was an eight-hundred-year tradition in which social institutions adapted to a coastal maritime environment.
Summary of Event
The term “Paracas” refers to a specific archaeological site, an art style, and an archaeological culture. The culture is found along the south coast of Peru, through six major river valleys, and in the coastal desert region of the Paracas Peninsula.
Collections of Paracas cultural material began to be amassed in the 1870’s and progressed through the early twentieth century. Wilhelm Gretzer, a collector, and Max Uhle, an early archaeologist, recognized the distinctive and sophisticated nature of Paracas textiles and ceramics. A number of dilettantes, grave robbers, and professional archaeologists, including Alfred Kroeber, were involved with Paracas material culture during the early decades of the twentieth century.
It was not, however, until 1925 that the Peruvian archaeologist Julio Tello named the culture and designated a specific chronological framework emanating from his peninsular excavations. With assistant Toribio Mejia Xesspe, he began excavation in a cemetery known as the Paracas Cavernas. In 1927, yet another Paracas cemetery, the Necropolis, was excavated by Mejia, revealing more than four hundred burials, which had been interred in...
(The entire section is 1477 words.)
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