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A Chimu-Inka Ceramic-Manufacturing Center from the North Coast of Peru

Christopher B. Donnan
Latin American Antiquity, Vol. 8, No. 1. (Mar., 1997), pp. 30-54.
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ACHIMU-INKACERAMIC-MANUFACTURINGCENTER
FROMTHENORTHCOASTOFPERU
ChristopherB.Donnan
A Chimu-lnka ceramic-manufacturing center; dating ca. A.D. 1470-1532, has been located in the Jequetepeque Valley of
northern Peru. An analysis of a large sample of molds and over-fired sherds from the site indicates that the potters produced
both local and Inka-derived forms-primarily mold-made utility wares. Since Inka aryballoid bottles were produced here, their
production, and presumably their use, was more akin to utility wares for commoners than to ceremoniaVadministrative ware
for the elite. Although there were numerous potters involved in the production of large numbers of vessels, the production was
not organized with strict division of labor; but rather with each individual potter working on most stages of production.
Un centro de manufactura de ceramica Chimu-lnka, fechado alrededor de 1470-1532 d.C., fue descubierto en el Valle de
Jequetepeque, en el norte de Peru. El analisis de un gran numero de ejemplos de moldes y material descartado del sitio indica
que 10s alfareros producian formas derivadas del estilo Inka y tambitn formas locales-principalmente ceramica de uso
dombtico, hecha en moldes. Ya que las botellas de tipo aribalo fueron producidas en este lugar, su produccidn y, presunta-
mente, su uso, estaba asociado a la ceramica usada por la genre del comun, mas que a1 uso ceremoniaVadministrativode la
e'lite. Aunque habian muchos ceramistas trabajando en la produccidn de un gran numero de vasijas, e'sta no estuvo organi-
zada con una estricta divisidn del trabajo, pero donde cada artesano trabajaba en la mayoria de las etapas de la produccidn.
T
he north coast of Peru was an important Precolumbian ceramics were manufactured have
area of ceramic production before been investigated(Hayashida 1994;Russellet.al.
European contact. It was the source of 1994a,1994b;Shimadaet.al.1994;Tschauneret.
some of the most remarkable and well-known al. 1994).Recently, aChimu-Inkaceramicmanu-
Precolumbian ceramic styles, including facturing center was located, and its preliminary
Cupisnique, Tembladera,Moche, Huari-Norteiio, investigation providesimportantnewinsightsinto
Lambayeque, Chimu, and Chimu-Inka. During thenatureof Precolumbianceramicproduction.
the first centuries A.D., molds for producing
ceramicsbegan tobeusedinthisarea,andmold-
TheSite
making technology subsequently developed here The site is located in the lower part of the
to a degreethat surpassed most otherregions of JequetepequeValley,approximately 15kmnorth-
the Western Hemisphere before European con- east of San PedrodeLloc (Figure 1).It is in the
tact. areaknown as,Caiioncillo,approximately 100m
While hundreds of thousands of ceramic east of the Duros of Caiioncillo,ona sandyhill-
objectsfromthe north coastof Peruhaveentered sideatthenorthmarginofanextensivealgarrobo
museums and private collections, very little is forest.'
knownabouttheirproduction.Afewstudieshave The site covers the ridge of a sand dune
been made of north coast ceramic technology (Figure 2). It is recognizable by the abundant
(Bennett and Bird 1964; Collier 1955; Donnan ceramic sherds, shell, and ash on the surface,
1965, 1971, 1993; Grossman 1969-1970; whichcontrastsharplywiththesurroundingsand.
Shimada 1994b), but only a few sites where Thesiteisovalshaped,measuringapproximately
ChristopherB. Donnan.Department ofAnthropology,University of California, LosAngeles,CA90095-1549
LatinAmerican Antiquity, 8(1),1997,pp. 3G54.
Copyright O by the SocietyforAmerican Archaeology
31 REPORTS
San Pedro de Lloc
Figure 1. Map of the lower Jequetepeque Valley showing the location of the ceramic production site.
180 m N-S by 60 m E-W, and slopes downward
from north to south.
Extensive deflation of the ridge top has left a
remarkable abundance of sherds on the surface,
but has removed nearly all depth of midden.
Although a few areas have up to 10 cm of midden
beneath the present surface, in most areas the
sherds and shell are now resting on sterile sand.
The surface of the site appears to be undifferenti-
ated by sector, with an essentially homogeneous
inventory of material evenly distributed over the
entire area. There is no surface evidence of archi-
tecture.
The area where the site is located has abundant
evidence of Prehispanic occupation, including
concentrations of refuse, adobe and stone archi-
tecture, ancient roads, imgation canals, and field
systems (Eling 1986; Hecker and Hecker 1990;
Wier and Eling 1986). Most of the material is
Chim6, or Chim6-Inka, although some Moche
and Moche-Huari occupation also has been noted.
Our knowledge of the site is based almost
exclusively on a study of its surface features.
With the exception of several shallow holes dug
with a trowel to determine if there was any mid-
den beneath the surface, and a small exploratory
pit excavated into an ash deposit, no excavation
was conducted. On the other hand, all diagnostic
sherds (rims, lugs, bases, decorated sherds, and
mold fragments) were collected from the surface.
The collection, consisting of 1,359 sherds, pro-
vides the primary data for this report.'
Chronology
The site probably had only a brief period of occu-
pation. There appear to be no ceramics earlier
than Chimu, nor any with European influence.
Moreover, the inventory of ceramic forms is
32 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 8, No. 1, 19971
Figure 2. The ceramic production site, looking northeast. The fence extends east to west across the southern portion
of the site.
extremely limited, suggesting that it is all rela-
tively contemporary material rather than the
result of a long period of occupation.
Although no Cuzco Inka ceramics were found,
numerous sherds were from vessels with forms
and decorations that are clearly Inka derived.
These indicate that the site was occupied after the
Inka conquest of the north coast of Peru, an event
thought to have begun around A.D. 1470. Since
there were no European-influenced ceramics, nor
any other European goods (glass beads, iron,
brass, porcelain, etc.), it is likely that the site was
abandoned by the early part of the colonial period.
In sum, it would appear that the site was occu-
pied between approximately A.D. 1470 and
1535.' The ceramics produced at that period on
the north coast of Peru are generally referred to as
Chim6-Inka.
Evidence of Ceramic Production
The most obvious indication of ceramic produc-
tion at the site was the high frequency of over-
fired ceramic fragments on the surface (Figure 3).
Hundreds of these were fairly evenly distributed
throughout the site area. They were clearly the
discarded remains of ceramic vessels that had
been destroyed by excessive temperature during
the firing process. The excessive temperature
resulted in warping of the vessel walls and rims,
blistering and partial vitrification of the surfaces,
and the predominant dark color that characterized
these sherds.
No complete over-fired vessels were found,
but 108 of the sherds could be identified by ves-
sel form or decoration. They included fragments
of nearly every vessel form and decoration that
was represented in the other ceramics from the
site (see Ceramics below).
Another clear indicator of ceramic production
was the quantity of mold fragments found on the
surface of the site. Sixty-three mold fragments
were collected. The most common were for mak-
ing olla chambers (Figure 4a, b). These would
produce the chamber in two parts, with a horizon-
tal seam at the equator. Most were smooth on the
interior and would have created either the lower
half of the olla chamber or the undecorated upper
half. Some molds were incised (Figure 4a, b) to
REPORTS 33
J w
crn
I
Figure 3. Fragments of over-fired ceramics.
34 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 8, No. 1, 19971
d
cm e
Figure 4. Fragments of molds for producing ollas (a-b) and jars (c-e).
--
35 REPORTS
create the upper half of an olla chamber decorated
with a low-relief design (Figure 5f). No molds
were found that would have produced the rims
and handles of ollas-these apparently were hand
modeled and attached after the chambers were
removed from the molds (see Paste Types below).
At least three of the molds were for the pro-
duction of jars. These would have produced ves-
sels with vertical seams. One was a nearly
complete mold for forming one half of a jar cham-
ber with a low relief design depicting anthropo-
morphized bird and animal figures (Figure 4c).
Another would have produced a face neck jar
with a human face (Figure 4d), while a third was
for the production of both the chamber and neck
of a jar (Figure 4e).
Several molds were for the production of stir-
rup spout bottles. Two of these (Figure 6a, b)
were exclusively for producing the stirrup spout.
Once the stirrup spout was completed in molds
such as these, it would have been joined to a
chamber that was presumably made in another set
of molds. In contrast, the other two molds for
making stirrup spouts (Figure 6c, d) would have
produced both the stirrup spout and the chamber
in a single operation, thus eliminating the need for
chamber molds, and the additional step of joining
the spout to the chamber.
One mold (Figure 6e) was for the production of
garnbreled plates with lyre-shaped cross sections
(Figure 7a-j). The interior surface of this mold had
a design created with punctation, and thus would
have produced plates whose bottoms were deco-
rated with dots in low relief. One fragment of a
plate decorated in this way was found at the site.4
One mold was for producing aryballoid bottles.
These bottles are characterized by an oblate cham-
ber with strap handles on opposite sides, a tall flar-
ing spout, a pointed bottom, and a lug on the upper
shoulder of the chamber. They are one of the most
typical forms of Inka ceramics and were produced
both in the Cuzco area and in areas incorporated
into the Inka empire. The aryballoid bottle mold
found on the surface of the site (Figure 6f)
includes the portion for making the strap handle
on the side of the chamber (Figure 8a-e).
There were numerous molds for producing
heads andlor bodies of humans, birds, and ani-
mals (Figure 9).5 Among those recognizable from
Table 1. Frequency of Ceramic Forms and Decoration.
Sherds Over-fired
n % n %
Molds
Ollas with recurved rims
Ollas with straight or flaring rims
Ollas with handles
Jars
Strap-handle jars
Strap-handle jars with bird
Bowls with two handles
Lyre-shaped bowls
Tall-sided 28 2.2 - -
Short-sided 11 .9 - -
Rounded bowls 59 4.7 1 .9
Straight-sided bowls 9 .7 2 1.8
Aryballoid bottles
Rim and neck fragments 36 2.9 13 11.9
Chamber fragments and bases 7 .6 2 1.8
Strap handles 21 1.7 - -
Lugs 2 . 2 - -
Polychrome-painted sherd 156 12.5 21 19.3
Press-molded blackware sherds 59 4.7 - -
Press-molded redware sherds 30 2.4 - -
Paddle-marked sherds 3 . 2 - -
Miscellaneous sherds 48 3.8 - -
Total 1,250 109
the fragments are molds to make one half of the
heads of felines (Figure 9a, b, c), llamas (Figure
9d), and humans (Figure 9e, f).
The mold fragments collected from the surface
of the site are remarkably similar to one another
in appearance. All but one is oxidation fired. They
are normally very smooth and well finished on
the interior, but coarse and irregular on the exte-
rior. The exterior of many of the molds had one or
more small bumps near the edges, presumably to
align with similar bumps on the complimentary
half of the mold to facilitate alignment of the two
halves when they were lined with moist clay.
One lump of unfired clay, weighing approxi-
mately 107 g, was found on the surface of the site.
It appears to be pure clay, without temper added,
and its light cream color suggests that it may have
been to create the white slip painted on many of
the ceramic vessels from this site.
LATINAMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol.8,No.1,19971
Figure 5. Ollas with flaring rims (a-c), handles (d-f), and a bird face (g), and a jar (h).
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Figure 6. Fragments of molds for producing stirrup spout bottles (a-d), plates (e), and aryballoid bottles (0.
LATINAMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol.8,No.1,19971
Figure 7. Bowls.
REPORTS 39
Figure 8. Aryballoid bottle fragments of handles (a-e) and gambrels of lower chambers (f-i).
40 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 8, No. 1, 19971
Figure 9. Fragments of molds for producing feline heads (a-c), llama heads (d), human faces (e), and human bodies (0.
41 REPORTS
One final piece of evidence for ceramic pro-
duction at the site was the abundance of charcoal
on the surface, and the presence of several large
deposits of ash. The ash deposits were not sys-
tematically excavated, but their surface appear-
ance suggests that they were round or slightly
oval shaped with a diameter of approximately 2
m. They contained dense deposits of light gray
ash, up to 10 cm deep. Sterile sand beneath the
ash showed.evidence of intense heat that caused
the sand to oxidize and become slightly reddish
orange. The ash deposits are presumably where
the ceramics were fired.
Ceramics
The ceramics collected from the surface of the
site reflect both the ceramic use and ceramic pro-
duction that occurred there. In most instances, it
is not possible to determine if a ceramic fragment
was from a vessel that was broken during or
shortly after manufacture-before it was used-
or if it was from a vessel that was used by people
working at the site.
More than 37 percent of the diagnostic sherds
on the surface of the site were fragments of
necked ollas (Figures 5a-g, 10). These can be
divided into three basic types: those with
recurved rims (Figure lo), those with straight or
flaring rims (Figure 5a-c), and those with handles
(Figure 5d-g). The most common are those with
recurved rims. These and the ollas with straight or
flaring rims tend to be somewhat larger than ollas
with handles, and are generally undecorated.
Some, however, have a red slip applied to the rim
and upper part of the chamber (Figure 5b, c) or
are decorated with an application of thin white
slip applied in uneven lines or crude dots on the
rim and upper chamber (Figures 5a, 10d). Some
ollas had one or more rows of bumps on the upper
chamber (Figure 10a, b) created by reaching
inside the chamber while the clay was still moist
and pressing outward with one finger.
Some ollas with handles are undecorated or
simply have an uneven application of white slip
and/or bumps on their upper chambers. In most
instances, however, they have low relief press-
molded designs (Figure 5e, f)-a decorative form
not found on ollas without handles. The press-
molded designs are geometric, consisting of lines,
dots, and scroll motifs forming a continuous hor-
izontal band around the upper chamber. One
example has a bird face modeled into the rim,
with earlike elements projecting out from the rim
on two sides (Figure 5g).
Fragments of jars also were abundant on the
surface of the site (Figures 5h, 1 la-c). These are
generally crudely made, with uneven surfaces. A
few were painted with an overall red slip, and
some had traces of a thin white slip applied to
their rims and upper chambers.
Numerous sherds of strap-handled jars also
were found (Figure 1 ld-h). They tend to have the
same uneven surface treatment as the other jars. A
few have an overall red slip on their exterior sur-
face. The handles are generally lenticular in cross
section, although some have round cross sections.
One distinctive form of strap-handled jar has a
neck modeled in the form of a bird. The smallest
one found is complete and exhibits some organic
black pigment painted on its chamber and handle
(Figure llh). It is 9.4 cm high, but fragments of
others indicate that they were normally much
larger-some as much as 27 cm high.
Bowls with two handles were very common
(Figure 12). Their form is probably derived from
Inka bowls with two handles (Rowe 1944:Figure
80. The handles, which project from opposite
sides of the chamber near the rim, exhibit consid-
erable variation in size, form, and placement.
They can be round, oval, or lenticular in cross
section. The bowls are generally undecorated, but
some have the interior of the rim and part or all of
the exterior surface painted with red slip (Figure
12a, h). A few have thin white slip applied in an
irregular horizontal band on their exterior near the
rim (Figure 12e, h) or on the upper part of the
handles.
Bowls without handles also were common.
They exhibit considerable variation in form,
although most have either lyre-shaped (Figure
7a-j) or rounded (Figures 7k, 13a-d) profiles.
Less common are bowls that have relatively
straight sides and a sharp angle near the base
(Figure 13e-h). The latter are generally reduction
fired, while those with lyre-shaped profiles are
generally oxidation fired. All examples of bowls
with rounded profiles are oxidation fired.
Four fragments of rounded bowls have unusual
LATINAMERICANANTIQUITY [Vol.8,No. 1,19971
Figure 10. Ollas with recurved rims.
REPORTS
5
O .
crn
Figure 11. Jars (a-c), strap-handled jars (d-g), strap-handled jar with bird head (h-i).
LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 8, No. 1, 19971
O -
5
crn
Figure 12. Double-handled bowls.
REPORTS
Figure 13. Bowls (a-h), aryballoid bottle rim (i), aryballoid bottle lug (j).
46 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 8, No. 1, 19971
decorative elements on their rims-two nearly
flat half circles of clay with shallow incisions
near the outer edge (Figure 13b-d). It is likely
that they are derived from Inka plates that have
this form of decorative element.6 Unfortunately,
none of the four fragments is sufficiently com-
plete to determine what may have been present on
the rim opposite the decorative elements.
However, two complete examples of similar
Chimu-Inka bowls in the Museo Bruning in
Lambayeque have identical pairs of decorative
elements on opposite sides of the rim.'
The bowls without handles generally are
undecorated, but some have red slip on their inte-
rior surface and on the exterior near the rim
(Figure 7k). Others have a rim decoration consist-
ing of black-slip dots on a white-slip stripe
(Figure 7e), white-slip dots on a red-slip stripe
(Figure 7h), or simply black-slip dots (Figure 7g)
or stripes (Figure 7k) on an unslipped surface.
One fragment was decorated with a scroll-and-
line motif in black slip on the unslipped exterior
of the chamber (Figure 7i).
One small sherd had a polychrome slip design
painted on its concave surface (Figure 14a).
Although this sherd has no trace of a rim, it must
have been from an open vessel form-presum-
ably a bowl. The design is reminiscent of the fern
pattern that is characteristic of Inka ceramics and
known to have been painted on the interior sur-
face of Inka plates.
Another vessel form that is clearly borrowed
from Inka ceramics is the aryballoid bottle.
Numerous fragments of this form were recovered,
including rim and neck fragments (Figures 13i,
15), lugs (Figure 13j), chamber fragments
(Figures 8f-i, 16), and strap handles (Figure
8a-e). Only three sherds of the bases of aryballoid
bottles were found--each had a small, but dis-
tinctly flat bottom.
The production of aryballoid bottles clearly
involved much more effort and skill than the pro-
duction of other ceramics at this site. Surfaces were
carefully smoothed and painted with polychrome
slip. The slips were of better quality and were more
carefully applied than those on the other vessel
forms. Some aryballoid bottles were painted with
the fern pattern (Figure 16b-e, g), a typical Cuzco
Inka aryballoid decoration (Rowe 1944:47).
Although many of the polychrome painted
ceramic fragments could not be attributed to spe-
cific vessel forms, it is likely that nearly all are
from the chamber portions of aryballoid bottles.
The variety of color combinations and design
motifs (Figure 14b-1) implies a considerable vari-
ation in the decoration of aryballoid bottles.
Some fragments of press-molded blackware
and press-molded redware vessels were recovered
from the surface of the site (Figure 17). Mold
fragments for producing press-molded ceramics
were also recovered. Only three paddle-marked
sherds were found, and two of these may be from
the same vessel. This implies that paddle marking
was rare in the Chimb-Inka ceramic inventory
from the Jequetepeque Valley.
Other miscellaneous ceramic fragments recov-
ered include several sherds of large ollas, one of
which was decorated with circular depressions
(Figure 18a), a miniature jar with double handles
(Figure 18b), and a variety of bottle spouts
(Figure 1%-f). Also found were two figurine
fragments (Figure 19a, c), a fragment of a face
neck jar (Figure 19d), several grater bowl frag-
ments (Figure 19e), and miscellaneous lugs and
handles (Figure 19f-i). A few fragments of both
stirrup spout and double-chambered whistling
bottles were recovered, but these were too small
to provide a clear idea of the vessels from which
they were derived.
Paste Types
All of the ceramics are made of terra-cotta clay;
no examples of kaolin paste were found. The tem-
per is consistently sand or fine gravel. There is,
however, a remarkable range of variation in the
size of the temper grain, as well as the amount of
temper used in the ceramics.
Some vessel categories were consistently
made of clay with fine sand temper. These include
all bowls without handles (Figures 7, 13a-h),
strap-handled jars with necks modeled in the form
of bird heads (Figure llh), and press-molded
blackware (Figure 17). Cooking ollas (Figures
5a-g, lo), on the other hand, almost invariably
had coarse temper in the clay that was used to
construct the chamber, but a much finer temper in
the clay used to construct the rim. If the ollas had
handles (Figure 5e-g), the handles also were
REPORTS 47
Figure 14. Polychrome slip-painted sherds.
48 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 8, No. 1, 19971
Figure 15. Fragments of aryballoid bottle rims (a-h) and neck (i).
REPORTS 49
Figure 16. Aryballoid bottle chamber fragments.
50 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 8, No. 1, 19971
Figure 17. Press-molded blackware sherds.
Figure 18. Rim of a large olla (a), miniature double-handled jar (b), and bottle necks (c-0.
REPORTS 51
cm
Figure 19. Miscellaneous ceramic fragments.
52 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 8, No. 1, 19971
made of clay with fine temper.
Strap-handle jars (Figure 1 ld-g) are similar to
cooking ollas in that the chamber usually was
made of clay with coarse temper, but the necks
and strap handles were made of clay with much
finer temper. This suggests that they also may
have been made for cooking. The same is true of
bowls with two handles (Figure 12), whose cham-
bers are made of coarse-tempered clay but han-
dles are made of fine-tempered clay.
Aryballoid bottles were distinct from all the
other vessel categories in having virtually no con-
sistency in paste type. To some extent, the larger
the aryballoid bottle, the coarser the temper, but
there were many exceptions. Moreover, some ary-
balloid bottles had coarser temper in their cham-
bers than in their rim, while others used the same
paste type throughout. Nor did the temper charac-
teristics correspond to the complexity or quality
of the polychrome slip painting.
One possible explanation for the remarkably
wide variation in paste type used in the aryballoid
bottles is that the sample may include vessels of
local manufacture as well as those made else-
where. While this may account for some of the
variation, the fragments of over-fired aryballoid
vessels (which presumably are all of local manu-
facture) include considerable variation in paste
type. This implies that aryballoid bottles were
made at this site by various potters working with
their own distinctive clay.
Conclusions
The ceramic-manufacturing center provides new
insights into the nature of Precolumbian ceramic
production, particularly as it was practiced on the
north coast of Peru during the last decades before
European contact. At that time, the north coast
had been conquered by the Inka, and the ceramics
used in the area included both traditional local
forms and new forms that were borrowed from
Inka ceramics. Both traditional and new forms
were produced at this center, with a system of
production that was heavily dependent on the use
of molds for constructing the vessels.
Although a great variety of ceramics was pro-
duced at the center, it did not include the full
range known to exist on the north coast at this
time. The emphasis was on utility wares-pri-
marily vessels for cooking and serving food. The
ceramics were generally well made, and emi-
nently functional, but little effort was spent to
smooth and polish the surfaces or decorate the
vessels with carefully incised or painted designs.
When paint was used, it was normally a thin,
poorly made white slip that was applied in wide
uneven lines or irregular, randomly placed
blotches. With the exception of the polychrome
slip-painted aryballoid bottles, few vessels in the
sample had a slip-painted decor that would have
required even a minute of the potter's time. The
ceramic production was clearly aimed at quantity
rather than quality and must have been tied to a
large population creating a constant demand for
common utility vessels.
Vessels generally thought to have been used by
the religious and administrative elite are notice-
ably absent from this site. These include kero-
shaped drinking cups, pacchas (ceremonial
vessels), and high-quality blackware vessels with
elaborate press-molded designs and/or highly
burnished surfaces. Presumably they were pro-
duced in other centers that functioned under more
direct state control. The fact that aryballoid bot-
tles were produced at this site, suggests that their
production, and presumably their use, was more
akin to that of utility ware for commoners than it
was to ceremonial/administrative ware for the
elite.
The wide range of paste types used in the man-
ufacture of the ceramic vessels implies that the
clay was not prepared in large quantities to be
used communally by various potters, but rather in
relatively small quantities by individual potters,
or family units, each of whom prepared the clays
to their own specifications.
Furthermore, within each vessel form pro-
duced at this site, subtle differences between ves-
sels imply that we are looking at the work of
many different potters. This is well exemplified
by the variation in two-handled bowls (Figure
12). Each example of this vessel has essentially
the same form and would have served the same
function. Yet the subtle differences in shape, rim
form, handle form, and position of the handle
strongly suggest that they were made by different
potters. The same is true of each of the other ves-
sel forms, including aryballoid bottles, where
53 REPORTS
great variation in paste and slip-painted decora-
tion has been noted. All this implies that, although
this site had numerous potters involved in the pro-
duction of large numbers of vessels, the produc-
tion was not organized under any central
authority with strict division of labor.
In this regard, it is interesting to consider the
Inka ceramic-producing site of Milliraya, located
near the northern margin of Lake Titicaca.
Colonial-period documents indicate that during
the reign of Wayna Qapaq, the Inka took 1,000
weavers and feather workers and 100 potters from
neighboring areas and resettled them in Milliraya
to produce for the state (Murra 1978; Spurling
1992). The ceramic production site at Caiioncillo
may have resulted from a similar state-directed
resettlement of potters from neighboring areas,
with the expectation that they produce for the
state.
Inka-period ceramic production in the Mantaro
region of highland Peru involved a somewhat dif-
ferent system (Costin 1986; Costin and Hagstrum
1995). There the data suggest that Inka ceramics
were manufactured at state facilities that were
physically and organizationally distinct from the
household-based workshops where the local
Wanka-style pottery was produced. Apparently,
local potters were recruited by the state on a part-
time (mit'a) basis to produce ceramics in the state
style. There is no indication, however, that the
potters were brought in from neighboring areas.
In the case of the ceramic-manufacturing cen-
ter at Caiioncillo, it is not possible to determine
whether the potters were local people who had
been recruited by the Inka state on either a full-
time or part-time basis or were simply local pot-
ters working on their own. It is clear, however,
that local Chimd- and Inka-style ceramics were
both produced at this site.
Studies of provincial Inka ceramic production
in the Mantaro Valley and Tarma regions of the
central Peruvian highlands, as well as in the
Titicaca area of the southern highlands, have
demonstrated that provincial Inka ceramics were
normally produced and consumed within regions
rather than transported far from their centers of
production (D'Altroy and Bishop 1990). The
ceramic production center at Caiioncillo, as well
as other contemporary ceramic production sites
on the north coast of Peru reported by Hayashida
(1994) and Tschnauer et al. (1994), indicate that
ceramics in this region also were produced locally
and were largely for local consumption.
It is hoped that evidence of ceramic production
will become available from more regions. As
Spurling (1992) concluded in his study of Inka
ceramic production at Milliraya, the variations
have major implications for understanding the
organization of state-level production, specifi-
cally in terms of internal task specialization, stan-
dardization, administrative systems of indirect
control, and ultimately, the distribution of the
ceramics produced.
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You have printed the following article:
A Chimu-Inka Ceramic-Manufacturing Center from the North Coast of Peru
Christopher B. Donnan
Latin American Antiquity, Vol. 8, No. 1. (Mar., 1997), pp. 30-54.
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References Cited
Standardization, Labor Investment, Skill, and the Organization of Ceramic Production in
Late Prehispanic Highland Peru
Cathy L. Costin; Melissa B. Hagstrum
American Antiquity, Vol. 60, No. 4. (Oct., 1995), pp. 619-639.
Stable URL:
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-7316%28199510%2960%3A4%3C619%3ASLISAT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E
The Provincial Organization of Inka Ceramic Production
Terence N. D'Altroy; Ronald L. Bishop
American Antiquity, Vol. 55, No. 1. (Jan., 1990), pp. 120-138.
Stable URL:
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-7316%28199001%2955%3A1%3C120%3ATPOOIC%3E2.0.CO%3B2-1
Ancient Peruvian Potters' Marks and Their Interpretation through Ethnographic Analogy
Christopher B. Donnan
American Antiquity, Vol. 36, No. 4. (Oct., 1971), pp. 460-466.
Stable URL:
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-7316%28197110%2936%3A4%3C460%3AAPPMAT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-7
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