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Sunken Fields and Prehispanic Subsistence on the Peruvian Coast

  • Jeffrey R. Parsons and Norbert P. Psuty

Abstract

A series of hypotheses concerning the subsistence role of prehistoric sunken field agriculture are developed and evaluated in light of distributional studies of sunken fields along the entire Peruvian coast and excavations at one sunken field locality in the Chilca Valley. Our data suggest that (1) sunken fields occupy distinctive natural topographic lows; (2) sunken field agriculture developed late in the prehispanic sequence; (3) sunken field cultivation was a minor field system which, except at Chilca, was never extended to anywhere near the limits of its small potential; and (4) the factors which stimulated the initial construction of sunken fields at Chilca remain poorly understood.

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Sunken Fields and Prehispanic Subsistence on the Peruvian Coast

  • Jeffrey R. Parsons and Norbert P. Psuty

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