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Ventilated Hearth Structures in the Casma Valley, Peru

  • Thomas Pozorski (a1) and Shelia Pozorski (a1)

Abstract

Recent investigations in the Casma Valley on the north-central coast of Peru have uncovered a series of circular and rectangular/square structures, each containing a central hearth associated with either four subfloor ventilation shafts or a single open ventilation trough. The structures date to the Late Preceramic period (2500-1800 B. C.) and the Initial period (1800-900 B. C.). All are small and were originally roofed with perishable materials to hold in heat and smoke from the central hearth. It seems likely that these ventilated hearths represent a coastal variant of the Kotosh Religious Tradition that has been well documented in the Peruvian Highlands. The structures probably served as ritual chambers for small groups of people, somewhat analogous to the sweathouses of various Native American groups.

Investigaciones recientes en el valle de Casma en la costa norte central del Perú han revelado una serie de estructuras circulares y rectangulares/cuadradas, cada una con un fogón central asociado con cuatro huecos de ventilación debajo del piso o una sola canaleta de ventilación abierta. Las estructuras datan del periodo Precerámico Tardío (2500-1800 a. C.) y el periodo Inicial (1800-900 a. C.). Todas son pequeñas, y originalmente estaban techadas con materiales perecederos para contener el calor y humo del fogón central. Es muy probable que los fogones con huecos de ventilación representan una variación costeña de la Tradición Religiosa Kotosh que ha sido bien documentada en la sierra del Perú. Las estructuras probablemente servían como cámaras rituales para pequeños grupos de personas, algo parecido a los baños de vapor de varios grupos indios norteamericanos.

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Ventilated Hearth Structures in the Casma Valley, Peru

  • Thomas Pozorski (a1) and Shelia Pozorski (a1)

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