a1 Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, 19 Russell Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 2S2, Canada, Email: email@example.com
Archaeological investigations of public spectacle as mediated architecturally can provide an effective means to interpret culturally specific power asymmetries in prehistoric societies and the essential role of ritual performance in the creation of diverse forms of political subjectivity. A diachronic study of Late Formative (300–100 BC) and Moche (AD 550–800) ceremonial architecture from the Jequetepeque Valley in northern Peru demonstrates that archaeologists can approximate how power relations were materialized, conceptualized and contested in the Andes through their theatrical performance. Ultimately, a comparison of the performative construction of power with traditional archaeological indices of class-based inequalities reveals intriguing contradictions that both complicate and enrich our understanding of changing political structures in ancient Jequetepeque.
(Received July 19 2010)
(Revised January 04 2011)
(Accepted January 16 2011)
(Online publication June 06 2011)
Edward Swenson is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. He is currently conducting archaeological field work at the Moche centre of Huaca Colorada in northern Peru. Swenson's theoretical interests include the pre-industrial city, violence and subject formation, the archaeology of ritual, and the politics of landscape and social memory.