A pre-Hispanic chiefdom in Barinas, Venezuela : excavations at Gaván-complex sites. (Anthropological papers of the American Museum of Natural History, no. 100)

Between 1983 and 1992, the authors conducted an archaeological project that involved five years of survey and excavation in a 450 km² study region that included portions of the high llanos (savanna grasslands) and adjacent Andean piedmont in the state of Barinas, Venezuela. Fieldwork (in 1983-1988) was followed by four years of laboratory analysis in the Departamento de Antropología at the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC) in Altos de Pipe, state of Miranda. Our project was designed to investigate whether during pre-Hispanic times the study region had witnessed the development of a chiefdom, which we defined as a regional (multivillage) polity led by a paramount chief who ruled from a regional center and presided over a chiefly administration that was centralized but not internally specialized.... Our fieldwork comprised three seasons of regional survey, during the summer months of 1983-1985, followed by two dry seasons (January-May) of excavation in 1986 and 1988. On survey we recorded a total of 103 archaeological sites in our study region that was centered on the Canaguá River valley, extending across the high llanos (savanna grasslands) and adjacent Andean piedmont. Site occupations pertained to two chronological periods: an early period dating to A.D. 300-1000 and a later period dating to A.D. 1000-1850, taking our coverage into the early historic period. We called the earlier of these occupations on the high llanos the Gaván complex, divided into the Early Gaván phase (A.D. 300-550) and the Late Gavaán phase (A.D. 550-1000), the latter of which exhibited many of the characteristics consistent with the expected archaeological manifestations of a chiefly society. There was convincing evidence of a regional hierarchy....
2 volumes (896 pages) : illustrations, maps ; 26 cm.
Indians of South America., Chiefdoms., Social structure., Excavations (Archaeology), Social archaeology., Barinas (Venezuela : State), Venezuela.