Chavín de Huántar

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Chavín de Huántar

(chävēn` dā wän`tär), archaeological site in the northeastern highlands of Peru, near the headwaters of the Marañon River. It flourished between c.900 B.C. and 200 B.C. The site features two monumental temples and intricate stone carvings depicting snarling human deities and a variety of animals, including caimans, jaguars, snakes, birds of prey, and mythical beasts. The site also features residential architecture covering c.18.5 acres (7.5 hectares). The term "Chavín" (or "Chavinoid"), used as an adjective, refers to the intricate art style present at this site, which eventually spread throughout much of central and N Peru. Once considered one of the earliest large-scale ceremonial centers of the central Andes, archaeologists now realize that monumental architecture actually emerged considerably earlier in other parts of Peru. The spread of the Chavín style in media such as metallurgy, textiles, and ceramics dates to the last phase at the site (c.400–200 B.C.), when Chavín de Huántar was undoubtedly the most prestigious religious and urban center in Peru.


See J. A. Mason, Ancient Civilizations of Peru (1961); J. H. Rowe, Chavín Art: An Inquiry into Its Form and Meaning (1962); E. P. Benson, ed., Dumbarton Oaks Conference on Chavín, 1968 (1971); C. Kano, Origins of the Chavín Culture (1979); R. L. Burger, Chavín and the Origins of Andean Civilization (1992).

References in periodicals archive ?
On the acoustics of the underground galleries of ancient Chavin de Huantar.
Feathers adorned the imagery of anthropomorphic and fantastic deity figures from as far back as Chavin de Huantar.
For example, Richard Burger argued that Chavin de Huantar was founded around 1000 BC and was transformed into the principal civic/ceremonial centre of a pan-regional religious network around 500 BC (Burger 2008).
Despite this ongoing controversy about its chronological position and relations with other centres, most archaeologists agree that Chavin de Huantar was of central importance in the emergence of socio-political complexity in the central Andes (e.
In Phase 2, stylistic elements of Chavin de Huantar were also frequently recognised in the pottery assemblage.
According to the Mayor of Huaylas district, Jose Espinoza Caballero, these ancient stone carvings were found in the Chupacoto town and would be older than the famous tenon heads of Chavin de Huantar Archaeological Complex.
Tello idendfied it as the font of Andean civilisation, the monumental site of Chavin de Huantar, high in the Central Andes in Ancash, has loomed over Andean prehistory And while this status has long been under assault, Chavin material culture--the so-called 'Early Horizon'--continues to mark the first period in which some degree of unity is visible in the archaeological record across great expanses of the Central Andes.
For instance, the chronology of the Early Horizon established by Burger has come under question again, this time by John Rick and Silvia Rodriguez Kembel, whose investigations bring the latest three-dimensional survey techniques to bear on Chavin de Huantar itself.
The excavations reported by Rick reveal one facet of the society that made Chavin de Huantar so far under-appreciated amid all the 'baroque' splendour of its artwork: namely, just how fundamental were its achievements in civil engineering, wrought here some three thousand years ago.
Here, the author brings together four themes he has promulgated before, all focusing on what Chavin de Huantar was, how it came into being and how long a shadow it cast.
One scholar who has been drawn to Chavin de Huantar is Yale University archaeologist Richard Burger.
The North Highlands of Peru: Excavations in the Callejon de Huaylas and at Chavin de Huantar.