Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 July 2016
Pachacamac, covering an area of about 600 hectares (ha) near the Pacific shore, is one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in Peru. Most of the monumental adobe-made buildings of the later pre-Inca period (or Late Intermediate Period, about 10th–15th century AD) are so-called pyramids with ramps (the role of the ramps has been interpreted in different ways). Precise dating of the pyramids appears as a crucial step in defining the functions of Pachacamac in pre-Inca times. In this paper, we present the results obtained from 3 field campaigns at Pyramid III, one of the biggest buildings of the site. A total of 24 radiocarbon datasets from 4 different laboratories will help us to place the various steps of development of Pyramid III on a timescale, defined on the basis of the excavations. More absolute dates are available from another pyramid with ramps, which allow us to make comparisons and propose a new model of interpretation for the Pachacamac site during the Late Intermediate Period (LIP).
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