Picture of Possible clay source near Cahuachi
Proyecto Nasca Temprano - Excavations
Picture of Possible clay source near Cahuachi
Aldo Noriega excavating a looted tomb.
Picture of Enrique Narcisso, Roberto Quispe, and Aldo Noriega
House at Uchuchuma after excavations. Note the preservation of the storage features
highlighted by the arrows. The arrow on the right points to a well preserved house wall.
Picture of Aldo Noriega, Roberto Quispe, and Moises Linares making the trek up to Uchuchuma
Aldo Noriega, Roberto Quispe, and Moises Linares making the trek up to Uchuchuma
(it's a twenty minute hike including a river crossing).
A photo of the pago that took place before breaking the earth at Upanca
Following Andean tradition a pago, or offering, needs to be made to local deities,
especially Apus (mountain gods) before excavations. This photo is of the pago that took
place before breaking the earth at Upanca. Apparently Cerro Blanco and Carahuarazo,
the two prinicpal Apus enjoy creamed rum, which had to be shared with the site and the
crew (at 6:30 in the morning no less!).
Picture of Jelmer Eerkens Digging
Jelmer Eerkens of UC Davis digging an impressively square unit at Upanca. Note the abandoned agricultural terraces in the background.
Picture of the lab. That's Laly Ahon Zevallos on the left.
Back at the lab. That's Laly Ahon Zevallos on the left.
References (please see my vita for additional references and links to abstracts of most of
these published papers):

Vaughn, Kevin J.
2000 Archaeological Investigations at Marcaya: A Village Approach to Nasca
Sociopolitical and Economic Organization. University Microfilms, Ann Arbor.
2004 Households, Crafts, and Feasting in the Ancient Andes: The Village Context of
Early Nasca Craft Consumption. Latin American Antiquity 15(1):61-88.

Vaughn, Kevin J., and Moises Linares Grados
2002 Informe Final: Investigaciones Arqueológicos Valles Aja Y Tierras Blancas, Nasca
Peru, 2002. Instituto Nacional de Cultura, Lima, Peru.
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Website of Kevin J. Vaughn, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Website of Kevin J. Vaughn, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
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Crew at Uchuchuma.
While the first major goal of the
Proyecto Nasca Temprano is the clay
survey, the second major goal is to
conduct excavations at a sample of
Early Nasca domestic sites to
determine how important polychrome
pottery was to people living away
from the ceremonial core of Nasca
at Cahuachi. For many years in Nasca
research, it had been assumed that
finely painted polychrome pottery
(polychromes for short) had been
used by all members of Nasca
society, not just elites. This had yet to
be verified through systematic ex-
cavations. Research conducted at
Marcaya (Vaughn 2000, 2004) has
demonstrated that (1) Nasca
polychrome pottery was indeed used
by all members of Nasca society, but
(2) certain vessel types were
restricted to higher status individuals
and households at rural villages. To
test whether these results were
unique to Marcaya, the second major
objective of my current project is
to conduct excavations at additional
Early Nasca sites.

Towards that end, in the summer of
2002 with the permission of the
Instituto Nacional de Cultura of Peru,
our crew mapped and conducted
test excavations at two Early Nasca
sites: Upanca and Uchuchuma in the
Tierras Blancas and Aja valleys
respectively. Each site was selected
because they were the most
distant Early Nasca sites from the
ceremonial core of Nasca at
Cahuachi in their respective valleys,
and they are being excavated to
determine the degree to which people
in residence used Nasca polychrome
pottery.Both sites were first recorded
by Katharina Schreiber at the
University of California, Santa
Barbara during the Proyecto Nasca
Sur. (Please note that we have
conducted investigations at two
additional sites located in the
Las Trancas Valley: Santa Luisa and
Higosnoc, this page only describes the
fieldwork from 2002).

Upanca is a 2.5 hectare domestic site
located in the chaupiyunga of the
Tierras Blancas valley (which actually
becomes the Tambo Quemado valley
at this point) at 1700 meters above
sea level and 30 kilometers upriver
(east) of the modern town of Nasca.

The site is mostly Early Nasca, though
analysis is still underway and radio-
carbon dates have yet to be
published. We excavated ten 2x2
units at Upanca.

Uchuchuma is a 2 hectare domestic
site located in the yunga of the
Aja valley at an approximate
elevation of 1200 meters above sea
level and about 20 kilometers upriver
from Nasca.

Our crew excavated nine 2x2 test
units at Uchuchuma and analysis
is still underway.
Crew for the Project Nasco Temprano (2002)
Site of Upanca looking east. The Tambo Quemado valley is in the background sites
mentioned.
Cup bowl found in previous excavations at Marcaya
Overview of Uchuchuma looking from the top of the site.
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