By Helaine Silverman
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Additional resources for Ancient Nasca Settlement and Society
It is located at 2,076 meters above sea level on the south side of the Tierras Blancas tributary. ) has collected local legends associating Cerro Blanco with irrigation water; he suggests it ﬁgured in rain-inducing rites. Cerro Blanco is highly visible in the region, where many ﬁltration galleries are located (see Schreiber and Lancho Rojas 1995: 239, ﬁg. 11). Urton recorded a legend that attributes the origin of the underground ﬁltration galleries to Viracocha’s penetration of the earth at Cerro Blanco.
The geoglyphs also integrated the various Nasca religious, political, social, and other landscapes through their multiple functions and meanings. In reconstructing these emically meaningful landscapes we are aided by recognition of Nasca’s root paradigms (Ortner 1973; Turner 1974) or multiscalar patterning: the patterns that are repeated at multiple scale in a society are those that employ symbols that are important in a culture. For instance, clearly the profusion of geoglyphs, particularly the lineal ones, is an indication of their tremendous importance in Nasca society.
Thus, if we think in terms of Harvey’s (1989: 220 –221) famous grid of spatial practices, as archaeologists of the ancient Nasca we can deal quite well with their material spatial practices and make a reasonably data-based reconstruction of aspects of their representation of space (especially if we use ethnohistory and ethnographic analogy), but we cannot treat Nasca peoples’ spaces of representation—their imagination—without wandering into the realm of imagination ourselves. Place and the Practice of Archaeology Nasca society’s social construction of space and the spatial construction of Nasca society also implicate place, s e t t l e m e n t pa t t e r n s a n d s o c i a l g e o g r a p h i e s 15 the two concepts being inextricably linked in theory and practice.
Ancient Nasca Settlement and Society by Helaine Silverman